A poem offers many things and at different times for people. One person hears sonics without meaning, another hears meaning and sonics pretty much get in the way )of the thought( while yet another hears a connection between words, history, culture, time, space, experiences of apple trees #erykahbadu That being said, I think it is okay to do things like listen to music, watch a movie or tv show, whatever, while working on a poem.
At one point I’m just focused on the other thing—Baduizm is blowing me away in these first songs, as usual—On and On is eternally (you realize) catching—but when I come back in these short interactions with writing, I see little things that can get lost in the big-picture. Like, don’t read a poem as if it’s already been published in your favorite magazine here every run through, read out or edit. Split up your attention to see if you hadn’t been missing out on those three repeated letters tetrising down the right line breaks.
See if there are words so similar in appearance across a quatrain that they rest together in a column of letter forms, shapes, sizes, etc. Look too close, and you’ll miss it.
SEE IF EACH LINE SHOWS ITS OWN MERIT
There’s no way to get away from the line when you only have the capacity to pay it attention for briefest spans. It’s in those small spaces of time, I believe, that bring out interesting observations and strives toward new, subjective thoughts about a piece. Even if those observations are half-interested, you may find something unique.
I admit, a poem won’t get finished in an environment other than that environment in which poems most successfully and fulfillingly are read. That could be the stage or the page, or both. Regardless, the poem is most itself whenever you are reading it.
Music and I have an intimate creative relationship—we’re friends, not lovers #erykahbadunextlifetime—we work together, we build each other up. In the end, I sit alone to spend time with poems. Like a conversation with a good friend, or to quiet the world to better )here( the wise ones. In the end, it’s poetry for me. But damn if I don’t love a soulful instrumental.