Abdul Ali

Abdul Ali Q&A on the most difficult obstacle he’s faced becoming a poet

The most difficult obstacle has been the realization that the internal journey is sacred. I once heard the great Lucille Clifton say that writing poems and publishing poems are entirely two separate journeys. I am forever in Ms. Clifton’s debt because it’s so easy to conflate the two. To look at what your peers are doing and the wonder if you’ve somehow lost the race. I now know that the real race is with yourself. Owning your journey and setting your own measures is very important. Not everyone is in the race for the same thing. As Rilke says, the job of the artist is to ripen. I want to mature and share these offerings with the community. But the point is to ripen first, don’t pick the harvest prematurely.