Beautiful Suffering: An Ode to the Tortured Artist #poetry

I’ve been doing a lot of suffering lately 
though I often hear it said
life could
or should
be fun
‘Shouldawouldacoulda’
that’s what I say:
Beautiful suffering 
that’s the life for me;
the artists way.

Beautiful suffering,
like dying sunlight rays
over the mountains;
like the break of day
which almost splits itself apart with yearning,
but what’s sweeter than that
beautiful suffering 
when you bleed
into the page
and make it sing?

I’ve been exploring the idea of the tortured artist this week, with a guest post over at ‘The Flippant, Comic, and Serious’ on this very subject. I think we need to feel deeply in order to create poetry (or any other type of writing) that has meaning. As Hemmingway said:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

I don’t believe that means a life of incessant suffering, however. We all have moments when we suffer, and we can learn from that and use it to give depth to our art. We can also use it to contrast against the lighter side of life, when we can revel in the good times and enjoy the simple joy of being.

As for the word ‘Shouldawouldacoulda,’ I have Beverly Knight to thank for that…

11 thoughts on “Beautiful Suffering: An Ode to the Tortured Artist #poetry

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  1. This is EXACTLY where I am now…having to choose life and sanity or staying in a place where every, SINGLE day I suffer for a paycheck and get beaten up by children who are not in their right minds and are truly innocent..but the blood still hurts when I get torn up. This speaks VOLUMES to me. Thank you–brilliant work

  2. Ingrid, I enjoyed your poem about suffering for your art and keeping life in balance. Very relatable and beautifully written! <3 Have a great day! Cheryl

  3. I do have to agree. Suffering, pain and (heart)ache do translate wonderfully well to paper. Moreso than happiness.
    Loved the second verse visuals of the poem!

  4. I always enjoy reading your poetry. I also appreciate your post-poetry comments. Your comment, “we need to feel deeply in order to create poetry” resonates with me – probably with many people reading your post. 🙏🏼

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