Departing Concretes for Abstract

One thing I have been grappling with here in Iceland is the appropriate use of abstract reflections.  In a landscape as dramatic and uniquely beautiful as this, I feel it is very easy to write strictly in terms of concretes.  What there is to see, what has happened, etc.  The landscape itself practically begs to be written about.

However, mixing in our reflections with these concrete elements in a manner that is understandable and concise is another thing entirely, and has become a point of interest for me.  Writing a piece that strikes the perfect balance between showing and reflecting through the use of things such as objective correlatives is quite difficult.  I feel as though I have the concrete aspect down pretty well, and constant use of a thesaurus has granted my scene writing terrific specificity, but without that extra layer of deeper thought my writing is being held back in a way that cannot be remedied by any other means than including such reflections.

I first started thinking about this aspect of my writing, the deeper thought aspect, after receiving a comment on my poem from a reader who “did not know what to think”.  After pondering the comment, I realized I didn’t know what to think myself.  It wasn’t in my writing, or even in my own mind.

Since then, I’ve been making every effort to go beyond the surface layer of my writing, to make myself reflect upon what I’ve experienced, and to share those reflections effectively with my readers.  I think it may be one of the hardest aspects of writing, and it has also led me to understand how vastly I have under-appreciated the difficulty of the craft.

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