Two Sylvias' Weekly Muse: August 6, 2023
Hello Writers, Poets, and Artists!
Welcome to August!
Let’s start off the month with an interesting question: How often do you employ negative capability in your creative writing? Negative capability is a term coined by British poet John Keats (1795-1821), who wrote the well-known poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” which you may have read in one of your high school English classes. In a letter to his brother in 1817, Keats explores the creative process, stating that negative capability is when a writer “is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” What is Keats saying here? In essence, negative capability is the state of allowing ourselves to experience the world as a vast place of uncertainties and multiple perspectives—as writers, it calls us to be comfortable in the “gray areas,” where there are no hard and fast solutions and answers.
Keats often made fun of poets who used their work as a soapbox, a place from which they le…