Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Finding Ambition


At some point during 1996, I saw a news article about the Newbury bypass protests: pictures of houses built in the trees, home-made tents on the ground and banners asking for protection rather than the destruction of more than 10,000 mature trees. I told my parents that this is what I wanted to do when I was older...

I never managed to make the ambition of my twelve-year-old self a reality. By the time I got older, the certainty and confidence of youth had been washed away and I found myself within a place of no ambition...

But things change, people grow, and ambition is certainly not singular.

Over the last few years, I have reconnected with my ambition, compiling a mental list of things I’d like to eventually do: learn Latin, take a photography course, travel, own a small vegan coffee shop selling delicious vegan treats, write great poetry. They are things that will never bring a great deal of wealth, but is not my ambition to be wealthy. Yes, it would be nice to be comfortable, but if I were driven by money then I probably wouldn't have ever wanted to be a poet...

As Robert Graves once said: There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.

Perhaps some are surprised that (in terms of poetry) my ambition is to write great poems rather than achieve publication. But in a world of internet, ebooks and social network sites publication isn’t an affirmation of quality or greatness... Yes, to have a pamphlet / collection of my poetry published would be wonderful, but to be able to write great poetry would – in my eyes, at least – be a far greater achievement...

Maybe it is an unachievable ambition – but it is one I’ll follow, despite its lack of guarantees. 

Thank you for reading,
Lara
Reactions:

4 comments:

Ashley R Lister said...

I suppose the most frustrating thing about this ambition is, what we considered to be a great poem yesterday, is never as good as the next poem we intend to write.

Looking forward to being a customer in your cafe :-)

Ash

Lisa McFleeca said...

I like that list of ambitions - although I think I'd struggle in a cafe without bacon... I'm one of life's carnivores without question.

It's nice to read about ambition without money, too much of the other takes up tv, between Dragon's Den and the Apprentice, the non materialistic seem to go unnoticed. I hope you're dreams come true!

Meanwhile I'm still hoping for the lottery win....

Lisa x

vicky ellis said...

Lara, you do write wonderful poetry :) Ambition achieved. To sustain the writing of great poetry - that's your next ambition.

Have you considered writing poetry in a tree? Seems like it would tick a few boxes :)

Adele said...

I am already betting on being able to say that I saw the poet laureate perform as a nervy youngster at an open mic of the DGPS. "Non moving adjectives."

I have faith in your Lara. Believe.