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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Postmortem

Did you know Rodin's 'The Thinker' was originally
titled, 'The Poet'?  (Dante.) This is exactly
how hard I would think about poems during
National Poetry Month.
Travel trivia: We saw a cast of 'The Thinker' in a
garden in Paris. He was thinking  so we did
not disturb him.
So. National Poetry Month is over and with it the Writer's Digest Poem a Day Challenge. In which we perhaps inadvisedly participated. What did we learn from thirty days of writing -- or trying to write -- poems? That it's fun and hard and you end up with thirty first drafts.

But most of all, the discipline. When you really commit to it, and you tell yourself, I WILL post a poem every day, you find a way. You wake up, look at the prompt, and start thinking. And looking for a poem everywhere. Sometimes you find it. Some days it finds you. Sometimes you get desperate and recycle something but that's what you have a blog for. A twelve-year backlist of bad poems to choose from.

I feel like I should put up a little scoreboard like: 25 bad poems, 4 with potential, 1 possibly kind of maybe okay that at least I liked.

What I need is another poet to edit all this junk or at least talk to. Kind of like T.S. Eliot. That's right. I mentioned myself and T.S. Eliot in the same paragraph. That's what a month of trying to write even bad poetry does for you. Great article, though.

Since I have thirty first drafts to edit with no help, we resorted to poetic Facebook statuses:
I have forgotten my watch and my notebook, today I am timeless and my thoughts and plans unwritten, I am a child with a memory of May.
 We can't leave you with that. How about a little  Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (T.S. Eliot)?
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
We owed T.S. Eliot that one. And this.


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