Peer Review 6

Well it’s pretty obvious that winning that competition was not a fluke. You really have a poetic flare Daniel. You have captured Blake’s wisdom and trippiness with this piece. It seems that you have the ability to open up your imagination and allow the words to simply flow; that takes courage and a special kind of finesse to keep it from turning out like a jumbled mess. You pull it off brilliantly.

No suggestions from me. I will not mess with anyone else’s poetry man!!!!

Week 8: Are they really MY Characters?

“Only the greatest masters can stand aside and allow themselves to be admonished by one of their creations whose vision, by some miracle of autonomy, is larger than their own.” (David Malouf introducing Patrick White’s “Riders in the Chariot”)

What a thrill it is when your characters actually take on a life of their own! I must admit that I am more often than not a peddler of thinly veiled clichéd characters in my writing, but occasionally one will break free from my banal mould and insist on their own unique and vivid personality. They will demand to make decisions I would not choose for them and have ideas that do not match my own.

I think it is timidity that keeps me, like most writers, from really sitting back and allowing this to spontaneously unleash of its own accord. Maybe it is vanity. We want to keep control of “our” creation. However, if anyone persists enough in writing it will inevitably happen, it must. The muse will take over and you will lose yourself in the writing and that is where the real magic happens. You are no longer concerned about how it will appear to a reader; you are totally immersed in the creative process.

I wouldn’t dare try to speak for Patrick White, but in my own experience as an amateur writer my best stuff has come from a place alongside my brain. I still require my intellect to come up with the actual words and type them down, but the combination and rhythm of the words is coming from somewhere else. It can be almost trance like, as if I too am going along for the ride. I find that the best description I can give others is to compare it to the joy one might imagine a surfer having when they ride a wave. You feel connected to something much larger and although you are definitely playing a part, you are not the only thing involved. You are participating in some kind of mystical dance and it is a glorious sensation.


Peer Review 5

You really write from the heart Mariam! What a fascinating journey you’ve been on. Religious or not, once a person begins the search for something greater than themselves I believe they are all on a similar path and that is definitely a creative and peaceful one. The image you have used is almost Blakean with the Sufi Whirlers dancing in joy of the divine.
Just one line may need revising; “Those who know Blake know that he didn’t necessarily agree with religion, matter of fact most of his works detested against it”
Suggestion; “as a matter of fact most of his works detested it”
I hope you continue your quest.


Week 7: The Visionary Rebel

It takes an enormous amount of moral courage to stick to your guns when all around you are insisting you are wrong and screaming for you to conform to the prevailing thinking of the day. Blake refused to yield to the status quo and insisted on following his own mystical path. He even risked being arrested as a heretic and whatever horrors may come with that. Although he was very stealthy with his message he was still sticking his neck out a very long way. It would have meant a much more peaceful and potentially profitable life if he had just shut down his brain and played along; but for people like Blake that would mean a fate much worse than death.

A psychic warrior would never surrender to the thought police. To silence their inner connection to the infinite wonders of imagination would be to lose their connection with the divine. However there must have been so many moments of doubt; times when it all seemed like a fantasy and certainly not worth risking persecution or even death for. Blake demonstrates a kind of conviction and internal fortitude that I would be proud to have even a tiny bit of. The faith that your inner voice definitely has merit, regardless of the constant antagonism from the ‘great minds’ of the time requires bravery and maybe a little bit of madness. In a world gone mad the crazy man is the sanest.

Blake was a mystical bad-ass; a hardcore hippie hero!





Peer Review 4

“Crazy Psychonaut” I love it! Your title is awesome too. It makes me think of the saying that goes something like “In an insane world, the sane man seems crazy”. People turned against Blake because he refused to join the madness and had the gumption to follow his inner faith. He was a true bad-ass! I think you have just given me an idea for my blog this week. Thank you.
I think you might have meant to have an s after the word give in your final paragraph.
Stay free!

Week 6: Visit to the Brett Whiteley Gallery

Standing in front of Brett Whiteley’s “Alchemy” was quite overwhelming at first. After moving in for a closer look and much discussion with others I began to catch a glimpse of just how profound this thing was. What at first glance appeared to be a hotchpotch mess with no meaning, slowly morphed into an intricate and fascinating peek into the inner life of another human being. Did I make sense of it? Absolutely not. What I did get was much more exhilarating; I got to share in the mystery that is the psyche of another soul.

Our lives rarely move in predictable ways and our memories are often a hotchpotch mess with no meaning. We never know when we are encountering an experience that we will always remember. Of course, our memories aren’t perfect and things change over time, and each time we recall something it gets altered a little bit more. “Alchemy” was for me an explosive, yet intricate expression of Brett Whiteley’s memories, both external and internal; things he encountered both sensually, intellectually and emotionally. Once you throw spirituality and imagination into the mix things get really wild!.

That chaotic rendition that took up two walls of a gallery was the best way an extremely exceptional artist could find to capture his transcendent consciousness. He may well say he was not successful, but I believe the task itself is impossible. Having the courage and skill to make the attempt is what defines a great artist. The rest is up to the audience.

It was awesome!


Peer Review 3

You explained it very well and the readings were great! Wonderful use of media; the images and music really complimented your readings. I loved the way you altered your tone for the second reading. It might be cool to try and have an even bigger difference between them; more cheer for the first and more angst for the second. Of course I know time is limited, but mucking around is all part of art. A brave choice!