Day 19 of the ‘write a poem a day’ challenge, and so far I have kept up, despite a four-day road trip to three destinations over the Easter weekend.
The best part is giving myself permission to write absolute rubbish. The first few days I wrote immediately on waking, before the first cup of tea, to loosen up and use dream imagery in a sort of surrealism exercise. By day 6 I started trying to write a particular poem I need for my pamphlet. I tried it as a Pantoum one day, a Villanelle the next, but neither were worth developing.
By the start of the second week I was back to playing, with a shape poem based on a walk to an old oak tree with a dear friend, followed by a poem using six words chosen at random from a tree magazine, in the order in which I picked them. It’s good to impose artificial restraints sometimes. A ‘Golden Shovel’ poem followed (take the first line of a favourite poem and use each word as the end of your own lines) using a line taken from Alice Oswald’s Falling Awake collection. And then I struck gold – a prose poem on waking that resolves an issue I had with another poem for the pamphlet. After another variant of the Golden Shovel (sadly I didn’t record where the original quote came from) the second week ended with a successful draft of the poem that didn’t work a week ago.
Two days later, while visiting my brother’s house, I found another poem for the pamphlet. I rolled up the treasure map made by my father and brought it home with me. It may even provide a front cover image.
And so I continue, sometimes writing complete drivel about where I am and what I’m thinking, sometimes producing a few lines or an idea that can be worked with, and occasionally producing a poem I really needed but couldn’t force.
Along with this, I’ve been editing for the pamphlet. Slowly, reluctantly, but getting there. It forms the final submission for my third year poetry course, and is due to be handed in mid-May. I have four weeks from today. Counting down…