Fatherhood And the Depressing Needs of Artistry

My son’s birth was like an awakening to a new morning in my life.


With Nathaniel’s birth a little over three years ago, I thought that my poetry writing skills would be affected or diminished to some degree. I thought that becoming a dad would kill such a creative impulse needed for the craft I’m so in love with. I thought that I should give up writing and focus on spending most of my time raising a child.

But it never turned out the way I thought it would. Instead, I learned to discover things that could be used to even enrich the artist in me. My son’s birth was like, as it turned out, an awakening to a new morning in my life.

My son’s birth has become, for me, a discovery of such a new sense of sensibility as I welcomed him into the world with a profound sense of mystery and wonder. His birth has given me the beautiful experience, for the first time, of what it is like to love unconditionally and without reservation. His birth is why I came up with this blog, although I was only able to actually launch it a day after he turned three years old.

Becoming a poet and a dad at the same time is not easy. Poetry writing demands so much of you and there are times you would be misunderstood by people around you and all because you’re grappling with the depressing needs of artistry. Anyone could write a poem and become a poet in his own right. But a true poet by blood is someone who is a cut above the rest. You have got to be weird when it needs to, or become absurd for the sake of the needs of your craft.

Fatherhood, on the other hand, is like being a poet and a literary critic all at once. As a dad, I had to intuitively know that my child emerge from the universe as a natural part of it. I would come to understand it as patterns what I would be absorbing as verses as a poet.

I have learned that my works on my personal transformation, as often reflected in the lines of most of my deeper poems, could affect my child, who is all free to grow up to retain most of his innate personality. I have learned, too, that what I give to my child I give to myself. And like a true and honest literary critic who believes that poetry should not be judged but understood and felt, fatherhood has driven me to come up with the conclusion that there are, actually, no experts in parenting but only a child and parents who are works in progress.

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