A few weeks ago I ran across a blog I hadn’t seen yet. It’s Peace.Love.Free and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite sites to read. I’ve been meaning to do a Friday Feature on it but life has just been crazy busy lately. So, I thought I’d feature my favorite post on it for Monday’s Muse instead. The post that took me there was one with the title above: 10 Things You Should Know (If You Intend To Love A Poet). I read the article and was completely charmed and smiling the whole way through. It was so spot on it was perfect. But, (a qualifier, I know) I think the list also applies to writers. It should read: 10 Things You Should Know (If You Intend To Love A Writer And/Or A Poet).
So, here is the list. I’m going to paraphrase because I want you to go check out the article in it’s entirety at their site.
1. We will always have a mistress. Poetry is our religion and the muse is our deity. She owns us.
Let us please her.
Yes, we do have a mistress/master (depending on how you hear your muse-I sometimes hear a male muse and sometimes a female-I think my muse is gender neutral but likes to mess with my head). Our muse strikes us when we least expect it, and we are helpless slaves to her. Our muse is the only one allowed to drive us to insanity with our own permission. If you try to compete with her, you will lose. However, you are second only to her, and she is very generous to those who allow us to worship her.
2. Poetry is not always literal. Except when it is.
Let it be.
What we write in our poetry, or prose, sometimes means exactly the opposite of what it says. Irony is to poetry and prose as milk is to cookies. They go hand in hand sometimes, but one is just as good without the other. We write what we feel and sometimes we hide those feelings behind satire and sarcasm. We’re very often the wizard behind the curtain. What you see may not be what you expect. But sometimes…we are. It isn’t important. Usually our words are our therapy and how we deal with our feelings. By expressing them we are letting the negative or positive out which might otherwise consume us. It’s okay. Let it go.
3. Poets fall in love easily.
Let us love.
Yep. We fall in love every day. With ideas and visions, the way a cat’s fur smells and the dust motes that sparkle in a sunbeam. The way the rain slips down a windowpane strikes the romantic in us, and so do you. We are enamored with trying to describe what we see and how it makes us feel. We want you to envision what we see around us. For the ones that love us, this is how we try to get you to see inside us. Let us show you.
4. When the voices in our head start speaking we don’t talk back or look for a doctor to make them stop. We write them down.
Let us write.
Ok, I disagree with one thing about this one. Some of us do talk back to the voices in our heads. Maybe not too loudly, but we do talk back. And write we do. Some of us write them down on anything we can find, while others of us write them on our hearts. Some things we hear in our heads are not meant for you to ever see. I love the line from Titannic where the old woman says that a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But I think I’d change it to a poet’s/writer’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. It is. We hold mysteries within us that sometimes leak out. The mystery is probably what you like best about us. We continue to surprise you, especially when you least expect it. Let us reveal ourselves a little at a time.
5. You have never been as beautiful as you will be through our eyes.You will be made immortal by the power of our words.
Let it happen.
You may never be known the world over. You may never receive your 15 minutes of fame. But if you let us, we will immortalize you in our writing. Every curve of your body, every angle. The way your eyes look after you’ve been crying or the beauty of your smile. The way your hair lights on fire when the sun touches it a certain way. When everyone else has forgotten your name, you will live on through our words. And no one can take that away from you. One of my favorite lines from The Last Unicorn is this: “She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.” For this is what writers and poets do. We keep your memory alive.
6. Anything you say/do or think can and will be held against you.
Let us write you into life.
If you are dating or married to a writer/poet, then you know that everything you say or do could possibly be written down and immortalized. (See no.5 above) Loving a poet/writer is both a blessing and a curse. We write about how your were a jerk that one time as well as how charming you were the first time we met you. Your best bet is to just be yourself. We’re going to write about it anyway. You have been warned.
7. At some point, we will get ink stains on your good sheets.
Let us get messy.
Ok…this one I’m not sure about. I don’t think it really applies as much in the digital age as it did before everyone had computers. So let’s say that at some point there will be a mess, whether it’s ink stains or post-it notes everywhere, or markers, or whatever it is that we writers/poets use to express ourselves. It also means that you might find us up at any ungodly hour of the night because our muse woke us up and wouldn’t let us sleep until we had pleased her. It’s okay. We may need some extra caffeine the next day but we’ll be fine. Just go with the flow.
8.We will love you well.
Let us love you.
This is true. We know how to express ourselves, and we do it well. Whether with words or with physical touch, we know how to show you we love you. What’s best is when words and physicality combine. We’re a hot mess in the best possible way.
9. Poetry has a long, long memory.
Let us remember.
Because we have immortalized you with our words, we will always remember you. Every touch, every kiss, every unkind word, every heartbreak…we will remember it all. We will feel the pain of your betrayal all over again every time we read the words we have written about it, and we will read it over and over again. But we will also remember every kindness, too. Our words are our memories. We write to remember our lives. We write so we won’t forget. We write so others will remember as well.
10. Our words are our truths.
Because poetry, like some love, is forever.
We write about life in all its messy glory. In all its imperfections. Because we know that life is hard. We know that life isn’t fair. But writing about it is what helps us deal with it all. It keeps us sane. We have ink for blood. If you cut us, words spill out from the wound. We leech the poems and stories from our very own heart because we know it’s the only thing that can save us. Writing is the one disease that we don’t want to cure. We live in harmony with it because we benefit from it. As long as man exists, our words are eternal. The lessons we have learned in life, our truths, are infinite. Let us teach you. Because words, like some loves, are forever.
There you go. Ten things you need to know about loving a writer/poet, with my own responses of course. I hope your Monday is starting off well and that it continues to do so.
P.S. Stop by Twisted Writers and read my other list I put up there: How To Tell If You Are A Writer The Twisted Writer Way