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poetry progress

February 26, 2013

These days, I tend to identify myself as a fiber artist, photographer, and poet. And then I say I blog. However, from the standpoint of output, probably photography is first, blogging second, fiber arts a distant third, and poetry lagging way behind everyone else. I want to change that.

Through Meetup, I joined a group of Central Maryland poets. Our first meeting was Sunday, 2/24. We got a homework assignment: write a poem containing 5 particular words (the same 5 for everyone). I started writing something yesterday, but it wasn’t gelling.

Today I got an e-mail from a different writing group I belong to. They have a contest, ending on 2/28, which asks for 75 words or less of poetry and/or prose. That was just the impetus I needed. The poem I’d begun writing took a left turn, but I found a way to finish it, while including all 5 required words.

The submission form also asked for a metaphor on a particular topic — optional, but I decided to think of one.


Before last year, I’m not sure I’d written any poems since high school. Which was 30 years ago. No one but my teacher saw those.

Last year I wrote 10 poems. I think I published half of them on this blog; the rest were seen by no one but me.

In early February, I thought it would be cool to write one poem every week in 2013. At the end of the year, I’d have written 40+ poems! I’d have to be a lot more skilled! But then I didn’t do anything about it. (I was sure I’d written at least one poem already this year, but I just checked through everything, and I hadn’t written any. I wrote 1 poem this year: u miss real r, on 1.6.2013)

With a poetry group that meets monthly, though, I expect to have opportunities to write 11 poems in 2013. (More if I want.)

On Sunday, when asked why I hadn’t brought one of my own poems with me, I said many of them are ‘nonsensical’, similar in style to E. E. Cummings, or Dr. Seuss. (The name I was really searching for, but couldn’t think of, was Ogden Nash.) Now that I’m in a group, I’m kind of interested to hear what other people think about these kinds of poems. Perhaps I’ll be able to finish my favorite one: it’s lots of rollicking fun, but because it’s ‘nonsensical’, there is no obvious place to stop. Maybe I can get feedback that will help me figure out how to finish it, or if it could be already finished.

Lately I’ve been feeling drawn to writing more anagram poems. I’ve been stumped, however, on theme, which is usually how (where) I start. Maybe the group can help me with generating themes?

With today’s efforts, I have finished one poem, that I submitted to the contest. I created, wrote about, and submitted the prose metaphor. And I still have the imagery (from my poem before it took a left turn) that I could use to write a second poem.

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