Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Sweetest Taboo

From an earlier post on My Rules of Poetry, I was thinking about what qualifies as taboo subject matter in poetry and fiction. Specifically, this question came to mind: Are there any topics out there that you won't write about?

Is sex, money, and religion off the table for you? How about the personal stories of friends and relatives--do you change the details to protect the innocent? I'm not talking about choosing topics or words for shock value. But have you ever not written a poem because topic crosses a line for you?

I'm curious. What topics are off limits in your poetry or writing?


On a separate note, what happened to the recording artist Sade (the title of the post comes from a song by the same names)? Has she retired from the music industry or is she planning on a comeback?


Rethabile said...

None are taboo for me. I will desist from using some people's names or being pictorial with sex, or with family, but as far as I'm concerned, anything goes.

The thing to do, I think, is to adapt the language to the subject.

kj said...

i've declined to write many many things because of privacy issues for other people. i am a counselor and my clients' lives are rich, but i can't bring myself to share their stories publically, even if i change all the specifics.

Goodnight, Mom said...

I miss Sade!

Probably for me, the only thing off the table is sex. Got too many folks that read my blog.

By the way, TAG

January said...

Gotcha, KDB.

There's not too much that I don't write in my poetry, even uncomfortable family things.

Now the blog is a bit different because now my parents and some coworkers read it. So I'll stay away from topics that can come back to haunt me. Politics comes to mind.

January said...

kj: I completely understand. I imagine it would be like betraying a loyality. I get it.


"The thing to do, I think, is to adapt the language to the subject."

I agree, the subject matter determines the language in most cases. I try to stay away from overtly graphic language, and I don't believe in writing poetry for shock value.

librarytour said...

I've been wondering about Sade, too, especially since I picked up a vinyl record of hers at a yardsale. Perhaps she's off raising a family. She does have a website:


odessa said...

since i just started writing poetry again a year ago, anything goes for me, im still "testing the waters" so to speak. but i'm very careful with what i post in my blog since my family and friends read it.


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