This far into National Poetry Writing Month, I confess that I’m flagging.
I didn’t set out to write a poem a day anyway, but rather to write ‘something’ daily in response to a NaPoWriMo prompt. Some of these may end up as poem drafts, the bulk resigned to bones for future picking over. Most days I’ve chosen a prompt from Carrie Etter’s list to her Facebook group (whichever as the fancy takes me rather than in running order) and the occasional one from The Poetry School’s daily prompts.
Increasingly, my efforts are late night notebook ramblings, inadequately illuminated by the bedside table lamp. I tend towards the write what surprises you school of thought but I doubt much of this month’s new writing will elicite a response of ‘Did I write that?!’ when I revisit those pages, months on. But, hey, writing’s like running: starting never gets any easier. And so I’ll continue to muddle along in my own haphazard fashion.
Some drafts with ‘legs’:
- a series of cinquains on the common house sparrow
- a wobbly first draft on all the pairs of Doc Marten boots I’ve never owned but lusted after
- a praise poem for the brickfield workers from my village who made some of the decorative bricks for the Barlow Shed at St Pancras station (who knew?!)
- an unsatisfactory poem re-worked as a prose poem
- settling on a ‘form’ for a promise I’ve made to myself
- a few haiku on Spring/bird activity/the weather
- an elegy from photographs
- settling on a ‘form’ to write about the most emotive and time-consuming item on our Annual Parish Council meeting agenda
- a riff on a question from ‘Atlas,’ a Terisa Siagatonu poem
- a childhood memory from the point of view of one of my younger sisters
New discoveries and revisited learning so far:
- the cinquain (as a follow-up from George Szirtes’ masterclass)
- the ghazal
- the Golden Shovel
- the epistolary poem
- more about the industrial past of my village
- the first lines from Emily Dickinson poems
- a wealth of online images at The British Library
- numerous poems by poets whose work I’ve not read before
So all is not lost.
Quotes added to my notebook, to reflect on:
To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all.
We are all in the gutter
but some of us are looking at the stars.
Love makes a mess of dying,
rarifies what you’ve got left and
draws close those for whom you’ve
been essential architecture, each seeking
…I’m afraid, not of dying,
but of leaving a mess for love.
lines from a Gary Gilbert poem
And one for the wall on a subject close to my heart:
In other news:
- 3 poems submitted to The Lampeter Review on the theme of ‘Staying’
- 1 poem submitted to the Eibonvale Press Humanagerie anthology (submission window open until 31st May: see here for guidelines)
- I’m considering applying for Halsway Manor’s poet residency (poetry and folk music: my kind of heaven) *self-talking*