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The Creative Itch
Ehsan Elahi Ehsan
(Dedicated to Harry Buschman who has suggested the topic)
Please do not laugh at me
I am not talking of that itch
To which your mind has immediately run
Though that is also a creative itch yet
That is of a different type.
I am talking of that creative itch
Which is felt and experienced by the artists
Which makes them so impatient that they do not
Feel at ease until that itch is removed.
That is the creative itch which makes them poets,
Painters, musicians, dancers, sculptures and what not.
I am talking of that urge which instigates an artist
To such an extent that he has to manifest that urge
Into memorable master pieces of art.
It is this creative itch that makes Keats write
Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to Psyche
Which forces Wordsworth to explore into the very spirit
Of Nature and make it a living force, a guide and a nurse
To man on this earthly life till he recognizes
The soul and the light house from where did he come.
That is the creative itch which takes Coleridge
To the wonder land of Kubla Khan and the Ancient Mariner
This is the creative itch that takes Robert Frost
To take that road which has not yet been trampled
By the travelers looking for their destination.
But, these are only the manifestations of the creative itch
What is the creative itch itself, it is a too difficult question
For me because I am a man of short wits even unable
To understand what Aristotle says of the imitation being
An urge to interpret, represent and reproduce
What has been thought, observed, felt and experienced by
The artist and what has he imagined of the things, universe, man and God
With some tinge of reality and more of the beautiful colouring
Which are visioned by him through his inward eye.
But what is that inward eye, what is that vision,
No harm trying to understand it in spite of my short wits.
This creative itch in an artist is a gift from God
This is bestowed upon those persons who are blessed
With hyper sensitivity and have the capability
To translate this hyper sensitivity into different forms
Of art that teaches and delights the human beings.
When people are elated by this new kind of awareness
And a superb and most delicate pleasure,
The artist himself feels the same experience twice
First when he created a piece of art and the other
When he received back the exquisite reaction of the people.
I know those people who negate the existence of God
Would try to evade this arguments, yet no harm,
They would admit that some people are gifted with this gift
More than the ordinary persons irrespective of the fact
Who gifted them so. This creative itch is the sense
That makes the artist feel that he has to contribute something
Important to human knowledge and happiness.
This is an urge within the chosen men,
Which forces them to interpret life, its pleasures and sorrows
Its journey and destination in their ecstatic condition
Of which Plato was the first to speak though to degrade the artist
This is mainly the imaginative quality which distinguishes
An artist from the people of the mundane world.
And this is what the greatest of all poets and dramatist Shakespeare
Spoke of when he said, " The Lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold
That is the mad man. The lover, all as frantic
Sees Helenís beauty in a brow of Egypt
The poetís eye, in a fine frenzy rolling
Both glances from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poetís pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."
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