A Shadow of Doubt

I try to be strong

To hold onto my belief

That soon I will be free

From all of this grief


Solid and true

Is my resolve and my will

But that unknowing dark force

Continues to follow me still


I know it’s a manifestation

I’ve created and given life

As it cuts through my defenses

Like the sharp blade of a knife


It threatens to do harm

To all I have built

By delivering that blade

All the way to the hilt


But I know in my heart

My skin is too thick

And my nerves are aware

My reactions to quick


So cautiously I move

Aware of its presence and threat

Creating this darkness

I will always regret


In my mind I try forgetting

Try shutting it out

But I guess there is no escaping

My shadow of doubt

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt"

Emily's hope is ever-feathered
Sylvia's swastika burns the sky
William soars, a fly untethered,
Free from Poe's still-mournful sigh

These voices, they endure forever
Mingling in whispers in my ear
Personifying that endeavor
Dear to me but marred by fear

That fear, that fear, that bastard fear-
His weeds still choke my stem
That rascal fear, I feel him leer
And snatch away that glimmering gem

That gem, that gem, that little bud
That would have blossomed as my flower
He stamps with vigour into mud
Sucking up that precious power

in my deepest heart of hearts
in the house of my ambition
The puncture wounds begin to smart
As he feeds without contrition

Hope refuses to take wing
My blackest black fades in the sun
My caged spirit cannot sing
Resolve melts down and starts to run

corroding fingers in its path
You see - I'm no Sylvia Plath
Self-doubt kills creativity, she said,
and my creativity?

it's dead.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I've always loved writing, but it frustrates me that I can never seem to produce anything original or good. This poem is about how my perfectionism and fear of vulnerability related to that issue have more or less stopped me from writing altogether. 

This poem is riddled with references to famous poets and their works, especially in the first stanza.