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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Paul Gauguin

"I would like to write the way I do my paintings, that is, as fantasy takes me, as the moon dictates, and come up with a title long afterward."

French Artist
1848 - 1903

Crouching Tahitian Girl

Choosing titles for my poems has always been difficult for me.  I am more into the creation of the work than giving it a title.  I am more into the fantasy than the reality.  My haiku and many of my short poems do not have titles.  Why do we need to name everything?  Why do we need to title the work?  Can the work stand alone without a title?  That being said: when I go to an art museum or an art gallery I always check out the title thinking it will give me some insight into the painting.  Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

Gauguin's quote, though, takes us deeper than the title.  It is talking about the creative process.  Do you plan out your work in advance or do you let the mood of the moment take over?  Some writers write from an outline.  They are just filling in the blanks.  The creative work took place when they prepared the outline.  Other writers shoot from the hip.  They never know what the next line is going to be or where it will lead them?  I never know where I am going until I get there.  I find outlines boring and only of value when I do article writing.  Even then I keep the outline to a minimum — four to seven key topics.