How personal can public writing be? No matter how close we are at relating and sharing our personal experiences, writing our impressions of the life around and inside us, there is a constant self demand of depersonalizing oneself; a persistent fear of sounding stupid, senseless and sentimental. In the process of looking for the thickest veil to shadow the indulging self ego, any artist is at danger of becoming insincere to his/her emotions.

Personal experiences and emotions emanating from them act as primary impulses that trigger a chain of thought, but how much emotion actually remains in the final product varies from one artist to another. And how the intensity and amount of residual emotions determine the quality of the creation is an enigma.

When people read poetry they have a natural inclination to relate the writer to the persona in the poem. To argue otherwise, seems to me fighting a lost battle. The difference in the relation of the writer to the poem needs to be taken far beyond the superficial and literal connotation. The question “what made the writer come to this vision?” seems more pertinent than taking the vision to be an exact manifestation of the writer’s experience. But the question remains, is the creative product still a reflective of one’s personality, emotions and experiences? And if it is, how far can it be a study of the writer’s life and personal traits?

Writer’s personality, if not directly reflected in the work, determines the process of the creation of a work. A reserved, self-seeking, introvert person is more likely to look for ‘objective co-relatives’ and other artistic equivalent to share his/her personal experience, as compared to a gregarious, and outspoken individual who will find the use of literary devices an unnecessary interruption in the communication of his/her first hand experience to the reader. The latter technique will produce a much simple form of poetry, though intense for a particular set of emotion and audience; in contrast to the former method where poetry takes a much complex and multiple narrative forms, opening itself to a fresh interpretation with every reading.

Similarly, writing poetry in oneself is another phenomenon where the writer enacts his or her creations, unconsciously.  How often does it happen that we come across a work of art that speaks to us despite the absence of a shared experience?  Such works stay in our sub conscious and if intemperance ensues, it leads to the work’s manifestation in one’s life. The overpowering emotion transferred from the art object rests in the recesses of the mind in search of a first hand experience. F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have lived through the plot of one of his novels. This is as if a writer can foresee the impulses, which are likely to be taken over in reality, in his/her moments of creative frenzy.

© Copyright, Tina Rathore.

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