Friday, September 12, 2008

A01 - Works of Inspiration

Right off the bat, I will just say that I stand justified on my Introductory Entry: I do not, apparently, fall through every crack in every seam of existence. While there will be some parts of this class that I will inevitably slither through with little notice, this blog is apparently not one. Say hello to a singled-out blog!

Now that I have that bit of "aw-shucks" out of the way, I'm going to fulfill our first assignment. As I said in my Introductory Entry, I will be clearly stating what the purpose of my entry will be before I begin just ranting for pages into nothing-ness. If you look at my title, it begins "A01." This means: (A)ssignment One (01), as it appears on our syllabus. Logically, then, Suggestions will begin (S) and our Required posts will begin - you guessed it! - with (R). The Required posts will also follow with a number system, as we have multiples of some types [note introentry] Now, onward and upward:

Initially, I found it hard to post about work I found inspiring simply because there is too much of it - what should I share for the class, which of these things can I select if I consider writing in all forms to be a gateway to perspectives, to emotion, to the human condition and therefore inspiring for their Then, there is the question of what IS artistic writing? Is one poem or prose piece better than another for concrete reasons? Interestingly enough, I think I found my personal answer of preference.

Works that I find inspiring - To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Daily Mirror (David Lehman), The Agony and the Ecstacy (Irving Stone), Working (Studs Terkel) - often have an emphasis on some aspect of being human. They illustrate a struggle or an epiphany or even just a steady walk through the task of being on this planet and being in this life.

To Kill a Mockingbird isn't even what the author intended it to be - which was a love story. Instead, it became for many people a very accurate depiction of the societal issues of Lee's time. That's not entirely accurate; on a grander scale, it very well shows how cruel we can be to one another for the sake of our own denial as well as how wonderfully compassionate we can be and also, one of the most exquisite qualities that children possess: worldly impartial love. (Reading Rainbow Moment: Does the divide between classes or races of people bother you? Do you find the adventures of children coming of age interesting? Do you feel anything when you think about injustice? Read this book!)

The Daily Mirror, a poetry journal, was the first book to show me that writing could be a part of my life in each and every day that I draw breath. I never expressed myself when I was younger, to the point of being mostly silent and not even responding to my own name with a word. I would smile and simply wander away. I don't think that it ever occured to me that I could safely access the things that I thought and felt, that I could share them in a meaningful way. Lehman's book opened that door for me. (Reading Rainbow Moment: Did you ever wonder what you'd write about if you had to write a poem a day? Do you enjoy jazz music or the New York scene? Then you should look at this book!)

The Agony and the Esctacy helped me to better understand the great undertaking that art, in every discipline, truly is; there is a divine awesomeness to the creation of art, the struggle within finding the right way to express a concept, obstacles to overcome in the life of the artist to even attempt finding the concept or the passion to demonstrate it to the world... It made me respect the fine arts. (Reading Rainbow Moment: Do you want to know what it takes to create some serious art? Have you ever felt awed by a work of art? Then you'll love it even more after you read this book!) I should add, by the way, that I stole this book. Half of the best illegal activity of my life, the other half being

Working, which fortified my opinion that we should be actively interested in the lives of others, both in just the most mundane of senses as well as the more psychological aspects. Terkel interviews people from many different types of labor and asks them what they do and how they feel about it. That's awesome to me. It inspired me to continue questioning the way other people see things, to delve into perspective as a concept to be applied to almost every aspect of life. (Reading Rainbow Moment: Have you ever wondered about what the person sitting next to you was thinking? Do you look over to people riding on a bus with you and wonder where they are going, why they are going there? Then you'd enjoy this book.)

Now - are these books also artistic? I think so. The definition of "artistic" pretty much says all something needs to be artistic is to relate to the arts themselves or meeting certain standards of the asthetic. I guess that last part is where it gets fuzzy -

Words are so open to interpretation! What is artistic to me isn't going to necessarily be artistic for you. I think that artistic writing conveys a true IMAGE of the emotion or value that they're touting around, inspiring the reader to think, to feel. But - that's for another blog.

I will be very proud of you if you read this entire entry.