I had an interesting conversation the other day at my poetry group regarding the "true voice" and whether or not there's such a thing. What do I mean by true voice? Here's a sentence:
Throughout her undergraduate years, Mabel labored at trying to find her true voice as a poet. Ultimately disappointed, she decided to refocus her artistic leanings in the direction of macrame and candlewicking.
Call me a cynic, but I really don't think there's a true voice out there that's waiting to be found, and that all of our previous poems/stories are just vehicles for shoveling our way to a truer voice. Does Ariel demonstrate a truer voice than The Colossus? Was there a purgatory between the two? Is there a barometer to show you how close you are? Should I ply my students with the fantasy that one day their true voice will gallop up to them on a white horse? What are you supposed to do with it once you find it?
I'd like to believe that a true voice is out there, but to me it's like the illusion of true love. Ultimately, we stick with the one that makes the best grilled cheese.
Any thoughts on the idea of finding your true voice? Have you found yours? Lost yours? If you're less skeptical, please enlighten me already.