I read a very enlightening article over at the poetry foundation called "Floating". It's an interview with Louise Gluck about her view of writing and the periods in-between. She called the time between her books an initial period of exhilarated fatigue that eventually leads , from extended blankness, to the dreaded emptiness. But that first release from the grind of composing, editing and collating, from the pressure and expectation of finishing something truly great, is a time of cherished privacy. It engenders a euphoria that begs to be prolonged. The individual wants to cling to the finished work, stand back and relish its remark ability along with absorbing the other wonders of "quiet". In a way, this process is also a labor of adjustment and acceptance. It's about becoming part of the stasis and allowing those blank spaces, the open air and the mood of languor to own the individual self, to let it overwhelm (momentarily) and even liberate.
Between books, I first unwind
from the ways of writer and muse. The loose skein
of languor is wind-blown and wanton
but goes no where. It clings to corners of the garden
like breath slipped out -- in awe
of what has been done. What simply surrounds.
I'm that sparrow
landing on the spigot. Just there
to tilt my slight head
but not turn the water on,
or the cabbage white
in the briar fussing
over which flowers have a sweeter scent --
but not there to pluck
the dull petal or leaf.
And you may ask, as my voice hangs
wisped and suspended
along the lawn, if I'm dying
(piecemeal) from lack of work.
And I would tell you
the rabble of broom, cloth and brush
will soon inherit my hand
(the chores ever present)
but while my pen lies idle
on that blotter, I'm in the labor
of de - composing.
Floating wide and silken,
The beautiful artwork is by artist, Annie French, "The Bride".