Art and Courage

What happens when a poem, or rather, to a poet, when her poem is released to others?
In “Art and Fear,” David Bayles and Ted Orland touch on acceptance (or not) and approval (or not) by others of one’s art, and the effect such may have on the artist. I was especially struck by their comment that, apart from those “artists who thrive on confrontation,” for others “survival means finding an environment where art is valued and artmaking encouraged” (p. 46). I suspect over time this applies to most.
I wonder, too, if the need for the latter is not heightened for those necessarily engaged in live presentation — dance, theatre, teaching — in which the distance in time (and space) between presenter and audience is compressed. The buffer between isolated artist and intended recipient shrinks and, in the case of a class (or congregation), in fact, may become semi-permeable. When “I” and “them” become, for the duration of a specified time together, at least, an “us.” The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
Perhaps I should revisit my opening question, and that implied in Bayles and Orland’s subtitle, “Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.”

What happens when we articulate (or refuse to) the stuff of life before us. (On the risk to one-self of not making one’s art, see their p. 33).

How do we begin to make known “out loud” that which stirs us deep within.

And where does the poet find courage for the poeming.



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