Everyday People

I have been reading about so many other poets who are attempting a poem a day during this month that is usually associated with those trying to write novels. In the past, I have not attempted November for many reasons. End of the grading period. Parent-teacher conferences. Thanksgiving. Two family birthdays. It seemed I would just be a glutton for punishment by taking on a poem a day in such a month.

Then I read Carolee Sherwood’s first post, and I loved her idea of linking the days to create a long poem, something I don’t normally write. And I stopped by Kelli Russell Agodon’s post about lowering your expectations when cranking out a poem a day. And I read Dana Guthrie Martin’s newest post in a series of poems for her mother. I started thinking about these three busy writers and how they each had written something wonderful, had been brave enough to just go for it and get it down (with outstanding results).

And I sat down and I gave it a try. 14 lines on Tuesday. Another 20 or more on Wednesday, and  I had one poem that was a whole page long, something unusual for me. And today I have an idea – it’s not fully formed, but if I lower my expectations and just do it, it may be possible. So I want to thank these everyday poets (well, at least every day in November) who have inspired me to take a few moments to write something each day, even a really crappy draft. Because that’s how most poems begin. And I might just surprise myself.

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10 thoughts on “Everyday People

  1. Dood, I am so not writing a poem a day this month. I’ve been doing that already for the past couple of months.

    I removed the last line from that poem, after talking “at” you about it in my comments section.

    Charles Wright would say to always write higher than you can manage. Maybe writing daily is higher than some people can manage, but that’s where amazing things happen — in that zone of what you don’t think is possible but commit to anyway.

  2. I’m in another country working 16- to 18-hour days for the first ten days of the month, and doing my best to keep it up. Pressure can be an interesting thing: I got back to my hotel room around 11:20, and said, Self, you have 20 minutes to write a poem (on Poetic Asides, this time around). And just utterly pummeling your inhibitions into the ground, splattering out the first wave of reaction to a prompt, or the day, or whatever, onto the paper… it yields results. Not always (rarely) good ones, but results nonetheless.

    That being done, I’m going back to my emails now. No rest for the weary. 🙂

  3. I’m doing it too, and also with Poetic Asides. Robert’s prompts are not always, shall we say, the most creative I’ve seen, but they’re still prompts. Yesterday I posted an 81-line poem, one of the longest I’ve ever written, in a form that I think was created by Donald Hall. (I cheated a little because I started it before Nov. 1 but finished it yesterday.) You’re right though – it’s a bit masochistic to do this in November, but I guess it’s better than December.

    • I do read Robert’s prompts when I am doing this, but very often they don’t do much to get me writing. The first one (procrastination) worked because the idea I got from Carolee – to write a longer poem over two days.

  4. Keep at it – you may surprise yourself at the end – I know I did last time, though it takes a few days to get to grips with the prompts. So far I’ve only written little poems this time round, so hats off to you folks tackling long stuff. You can always doi the tidying up afterwards.

  5. I’m doing it! It’ll be stressful with Thanksgiving and the birthday of my brother and myself mixed in with trying to find a new place to live. Sometimes it’s when I’m the busiest that taking a few minutes each day to write is the most important.
    You’re right, even a really crappy draft is an achievement. At least something has made it’s way onto paper.

  6. Thanks, all. I am not really using prompts, per se. I sometimes take a peek, but otherwise I am working on sparks from other places or revising poems, which I am “counting” as poem-a-day work. I like what I’ve done so far, but trying to post it, too, is a bit much for me.

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