Friday, March 30, 2012

April.

Officially signed this site up for NaPoWriMo. I've been looking forward to April since I found out about this event late last year.

I haven't written much this year, though I've read more poetry in general, including the very lucid and helpful book by Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual. I tried another book from the library, but the examples put me off. Clearly we didn't have the same taste in poetry, so I didn't bother past the first few pages.

This raises a question, however, as to what kind of poetry I like. I attended a small reading at my sister's school a few weeks ago, and was a little jarred by what works well in such a situation versus what works well in print. Humor is always welcome. And quality is not necessarily the biggest priority. But I enjoyed it anyway. (Even though I was probably the oldest person there, and the only one who didn't actually attend the uni.)

But the poetry I write, and the poetry I am drawn to, tend towards free verse with symmetrical line lengths, containing spiritual and ordinary epiphanies, using lush descriptions and nature images. I'm not much into narrative poems, nor rhymed, unless it is done well, nor really long epic poems, visual poems, and prose poems. There are exceptions, however, but usually from poets that I am already inclined to like.

I've dipped a finger in half a dozen anthologies on my shelf, and there is much that does not impress, but there are also lines that shimmer on the tongue, that feel like bits and bobs of treasure, the kind the children keep in boxes for years and years. I feel every time I read something new that I am honing my own poetics and sensibilities, even though I can't yet articulate it very well.

So April. I intend to explore not just the depths of ideas swimming in my head, but also to extend my very limited range when it comes to form. I also suffer from a lack in vocabulary. It's not that I know few words, it's that certain images recur in my poetry that I feel I'm going to tarnish them a little from overuse.

Shall I compile prompts, then, or rely on what will surely be posted on different sites? Shall I compile words to use, forms to try, ideas to pound into shape? Tomorrow's task, I suppose. Til April...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anonymity

I submitted a poem to a tumblr account and they put it up, and a few other people liked it, and some even reblogged it. But I didn't write my name, and I'm not getting paid for it.

It feels good yes, but also a little weird. It feels like I created something and then I let it go, so it's not really mine anymore.

By the way, it's the non-theistic poem "And I Matter," hence the desire to remain anonymous.

I would like to publish my poetry, of course, and I would love to get paid for it. But for a work to find its way into the world, for others to encounter it and appreciate it, there's no price for that.

How-Things-Hang-Together

by Tomas Transtromer
from 17 Poems, Selected Poems

See that gray tree. The heavens have run
through its fibers into the earth--
only a shriveled sky remains when
earth has had her fill. Stolen space
is twisted into a mesh of roots, twined
into greenery. Brief moments
of freedom rise out of us, whirl
through the Norns'* blood and beyond.



* In Norse mythology, the Fates

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bookstore Hopping

A few recent purchases:

Poetry
Selected Poems by Tomas Transtromer edited by Robert Haas, Selected Poems by William Carlos William, British Poetry since 1945, French Canadian poetry translated in English, and an anthology by poets.org.

Sci Fi/Fantasy
Psion and The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge, Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card, The Virtu by Sarah Monette, Wild Side by Steven Gould, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, some new authors (Steven Barnes), some old (the rest of The Circle Opens by Tamora Pierce).

Fiction
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif, illustrated book of Sherlock Holmes stories, Mariposa Blues by Ron Koertge.

Non-fiction
The House by the Sea by May Sarton, The Periodic Table by Primo Levi, and The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I can't wait for April

because I contributed to this Kickstarter thing where they'll send you kits to make found poetry. So I'm thinking I'll conscript my little sis to leave some at her school, then I'll leave one or two at the library.

I'm planning to write a poem a day for the month, and I want to start in March too, but it's already the first of March and I'm just shriveled up inside like those tea flowers.

I've been reading poems from here and there, dipping toes in different streams. I recently bought a book of poems by Tomas Transtromer, another by William Carlos Williams. But I'm still really liking the ones by Alexandra Teague in "Mortal Geographies." I'll get it done... soon...