Friday, March 30, 2012


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...

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