published Nov. 11, 2018
Poet William Carlos Williams once said, “Forget all rules, forget all restrictions, as to taste, as to what ought to be said, write for the pleasure of it -- whether slowly or fast -- every form of resistance to a complete release should be abandoned.”
For writer Andrés Vaamonde, writing started out as an interest and quickly took over his life. After reading poems by Langston Hughes, Vaamonde realized poets can “say a third thing by only using the first and second ways of saying it.” Through omission, Hughes is communicating the omitted message itself. Vaamonde instantly began reading, memorizing, writing, and submitting poetry before deciding to major in English.
Writing is now a permanent fixture in Vaamonde’s life, a part of him that is rewarding but also frustrating. Though prose is Vaamonde’s forte, poetry has been taking up his time recently. Poetry is autobiographical, personal, and can be terrifying to publish. In his poem Submitting, Vaamonde emphasizes the drama associated with submitting artwork to journals only to be rejected:
Submitting is largely about making things too big and too small and once I’ve done that, sending them all to the wrong places anyway. It was out of a moment of whimsy as well because it was kind of liberating to say regardless of this thing, I still wrote the poem. And guess what? I’m still publishing right now. The irony is not lost on me for sure.
The poem may be filled with hyperboles but many of the emotions depicted are real. At a younger age, Vaamonde was more affected by acceptances and rejections. Every acceptance was destiny pushing him in the right direction while every rejection was a sign that he should quit.
His own ability to persist upholds his motivation to write: “if I didn’t write the poem, that would be the affirmation of the death of poetry.” Vaamonde sees the final product as proof of his artistic stamina. Poetry is all about turning emotion into artwork, which is exactly what Vaamonde does and continues to do.
It is with hesitation that Vaamonde invites the critical eye of the public. “It’s an invitation to analyze my work [and therefore] analyze me and, from that, judge me” he said, “and that’s all very scary.” While daunting, Vaamonde embraces William Carlos Williams’s philosophy and is abandoning all forms of resistance.