It’s interesting, the process of writing a poem. As I’ve been applying to MFA programs recently, it is a subject that I have had to approach a number of times; none of the questions that tangentially broach this subject are the same, and so none of my essays are the same. But, the question still remains, and They still want to know how I approach poetry, how useful I would be in a graduate-level workshop environment.
How to respond, and show the gatekeepers that success is a foregone conclusion? Or that my input will be a constructive and innovative addition to their program?
Do I approach by addressing my theories on what poetry is about / for? Do I describe where my ideas come from? Do I look at my ‘process’ in writing and revising? How does the angle play in creating an image or identity for myself?
While the attack-angle plays a definite role in conveying my qualities and suitability for the program, what about the voice I employ? Most of this post is semi-formal… not too much grand vocabulary, not too much complexity in sentence structure… but also little in the way of colloquial vocabulary or structure either.
Where things go wrong is in making these choices; I’ve written the responses in a more formal voice, and try to address a little of each of the angles in regards to my writing sample. How should these schools read these choices? We all read the world around us, how do my choices come across?
I’ve made my choices, and we’ll see shortly how they end up…