The why of writing

Book Cover: Clearing The Space
Editions:Paperback - First Edition: € 4.99
ISBN: 1 897648 92 8

Clearing the Space is a personal meditation on writing and creativity

Clearing the Space: A Why of Writing meditates on the needs and desires of those who - like Le Marquand Hartigan - try to make sense of life through creativity. Her view is from the particular perspective of women. She acknowledges the space needed for the free movement of the imagination, the difficulty in finding this space, and the fear of the space itself. She shows that the making of a creative work has healing power which may actually encourage reconciliation with, and, understanding of, the emotions we fear.

Le Marquand Hartigan explores the need to be playful, how play gives space for the imagination to roam freely. She says, 'play promotes freedom, engages the heart, and prevents us taking ourselves too seriously...


Publisher: Salmon Poetry
Cover Artists:

The word "play". A word used to describe a dramatic performance, a more open and supple word than the word theatre which holds the drama and mystery, but not the fun or the irreverent, anarchic,innocent and childful qualities - the light qualities that rest in the word play.


The polish painter Marc Chagall said, "Painting should never be work". How enlightening are those words. What relief they give us. When I read those words of Chagall I felt relief, and the rediscovery of a truth known, but partly buried as I progressed in life and in writing. By progress, I mean I've produced more and lived longer, which does not necessarily mean progress, a condition that I have doubts about. I have been, and still am, uncomfortable calling the writing of poetry work. This is akin to the discomfort and presumption in calling oneself a poet. Calling poetry my work is putting a limit on Poetry itself. Poetry aims at the sacred, in its fullest sense. Our aim is to make a whole poem, that is therefore holy, full of all the senses, all humanity, all intellect, all spirit, with rhythms that move effortlessly - to be sublime and most fresh. Poetry cannot be limited just by the title work, though work is a necessary part of its creation, but it is only a part. The title poet is an honour bestowed. We aspire and hope to become artists, but all we can achieve in the moment we occupy, is to try to make, as best we can, a poem, a story, a play, a song, a dance, a painting, a sculpture.

When we play we become open to the imagination. We allow our imagination free play - play promotes freedom, engages the heart, prevents us taking our selves too seriously. Play allows creativity to live and loosens our bonds. We lose ourselves and it is then we are most likely to touch the deepest core and find sources we have no knowledge of, in the unconscious that is released by playing.

Plato had this to say on poetry, "The poet is a lightsome thing, a winged thing, a holy thing." Light winged and holy. Poems should not lie heavy on us, but give us wing. They should fly, yet be made whole. Which is holy. Full of themselves. Complete. Themselves.



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©2021 Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

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