Monday, May 03, 2010

Welcome to May - Short Story Month...Seriously? - Reflecting on National Poetry Month--





I had to laugh when I saw that May was National Short Story Month.  Really?  I pretty much got my bum kicked by National Poetry Month, I am not getting in line for short stories to have their way with me.

But in all honestly, it was a joyous bum-kicking.  I wrote *over* 30 poems for National Poetry Month.  One reason is because I got together with Marty  for a writing day.  Sometimes it's easier (and much more fun) to write with friends.

Also (and I should probably save this for confession Tuesday), but I had 30 poems for the month done by April 15th and I just saved them and then daily sent them out to my writing friend as if I did them that day.  I cannot tell you how satisfying it was to have all my poems for the month written by April 15th.

To some of you this may sound insane, but to the people who know me, this is a very Kelli-thing to do.

So if you participated in National Poetry Month (NPM) in any way here are some questions--

1) What was your favorite NPM event?
   ***Mine was Susan Rich's reading, though not an "official" poetry month sponsored event, it happened during NPM and bought all my poetry community to one place on a Sunday afternoon.  A lot of fun was had at that event!

2)  Did you write a poem that you loved?  Do you want to share it in the comments?
Here's one of the poems I wrote (it's not finished) that I think has some promise.

Please note (this isn't complete and it will only be up here for a day or two...just fyi):


Ode To Moving Forward


What I want to give you is yesterday,
the cornflower and paper birds,

which exist because of blue paint
on your fingers, the scraps of noon.

The world is too much with us,
but Wordsworth is quiet tonight,

so we discover our own language,
the gold wash in the iron pan, we spin

the water to see what we find.
There are so many ghosts in our bathrobes,

they walk the house without us.
This is yesterday relaxing with the remote.

This is rice paper and the book you found
at the bottom of drawer, hope written

across its cover.  The world is not heavy
with our problems, it is calm with indifference,

a thin world of unbroken china,
of fog moving around the boundaries

where we dance in the catacombs
of yesterday, where what haunts us

also give us promise, we listen
the windshield wipers’ song

as we drive into the country to set free
all the birds we tried to make stay.


3)  Worst part of NPM?
***At some points I completely over-scheduled myself.  I felt as if I should be editing the first proof of my mss, which is due to the publisher at the end of May, but I had all these self-created chores, events, and conflicts of my time.

In the end, I know everything will get done and if it doesn't, it wasn't important enough.

4)  Best part of NPM?
***Realizing that we can write a poem a day if we dedicate ourselves to it.  This is the lesson I think from these challenges, how come we can write a poem-a-day in April and then the rest of year it's harder?  It's called intent and it's powerful.  

5)  Did you win anything in the giveaway?
***I must admit, I didn't sign up for every giveaway because I was afraid I'd win and that would seem weird.  But I did sign up for a few, so far, no books, but that is absolutely fine with me as I felt a deep satisfaction in organizing it and discovering new bloggers and new poets throughout the giveaway.


4 comments:

Radish King said...

I did that once, 30 poems in 30 days, but isn't it king of cheating to write all of them in 2 weeks then parcel them out as written fresh today! I thought the point was to go through the practice of writing a poem every - single - day. The one month I did this exercise I was tempted to write two poems in one day but I didn't it felt like I was defeating the purpose of writing a poem a day so I went forward and wrote lots of crap as most of my practice is and is supposed to be. One thing I learned from doing it is that it certainly is not the way my writing 'works'. It pretty much went against the grain of my methodology my structured practiced. I won't do it again.

Rebecca

Kells said...

Hi Rebecca,

Yes, I totally think it was cheating and not the way one was supposed to take on the task. I have done it the one poem each day and what's interesting is that looking back on the poems I wrote last year (each daily) and the poems I wrote this year (in sort of marathon spurts because honestly, I just wanted to get them off my to-do list), the poems I wrote this year are definitely stronger than last.

You wrote:

One thing I learned from doing it is that it certainly is not the way my writing 'works'. It pretty much went against the grain of my methodology my structured practiced. I won't do it again.

***Yes! This is exactly what we can learn from this-- learning what works for you as a writer and doing it. I think we need to honor our process, whatever it is.

I've learned that my best poems do not come out with a lot of time between them, meaning- one poem a day. My best poems come out on the energy of the poem before it. I will write more and write in a stronger way when my poems are built upon each other and written in a compressed time (say 3 or 4 hours).

The poem a day doesn't really work for me except in setting the intent to write X number of poems in a month or if I would have taken it-- the intent to write daily.

I totally cheated and I knew it when I was doing it.

I wanted to out-do my to-do list. I did however still write a lot of crap (especially when I was writing only one poem each day, which I did for the first week or so before deciding it was bringing me down.,,)

I decided then, I must know the rules before I break the rules and since I had done the poem-a-day thing before, I decide to make it a race to the finish line because I was so overwhelmed with my life and that fact I had taken this poem-a-day thing on.

(I do think it's odd I can be overwhelmed by poetry, but I kind of like it.) ;-)

Thanks for your comment. Hope you are well, my friend.

Inkgirl said...

I'm still tempted to write a couple of short stories next month. Only a couple, though. ANy more and I might faint. It's a heck of a lot of writing. Congrats to you for making it through April. It was tedious, but fun.

Kells said...

Inkgirl--

I will be very impressed if you get some short stories in! And congrats to you as well. Thanks for your note!

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