Poetry, process, progress.

Day 6 process

Yesterday’s poem was a bit of a surprise. I felt heavy most of the day, that feeling that I will never write another poem ever, so why try? I felt a bit of a hint with the prompt though, but did not like certain other parts of it. In the end, I took the image that I wanted to start with and did what I do most of the time, which is start writing anyway even though I have no idea what I’m going to say. The initial image was enough to start me. It led to some wordplay that held the rest together and voila! A poem that had really been swirling around in my head for years in bits and pieces finally comes together on the page. Even after I finished it though, I still questioned its worth. I had to tell myself to leave it alone until tomorrow since I also could not think of what else to do with it. Today though, I think it’s very good and it’s done. No doubts.

This is an example of what may seem to others to be an “easy” poem. I wrote it in under a half hour with an erased draft six hours earlier. What that time does not include though is the years of thinking, connections, and image gathering that made it possible. Add in the despair that happens from time to time which convinces me I can never do this again and that too keeps it from being “easy.”

I bring up the emotional aspects that sometimes creep in when drafting not to whine, but to document a part of the process that many other poets experience. The despair can keep poets from trying at all. I’ve learned to remind myself that I’ve felt that way before and it wasn’t true–I did write another poem, and another, and they were good. Today I’m skipping the prompt because it leads to a poem that I’ve done and had published. Instead, I will do “free choice,” AKA staring at the screen until I write something.