Friday, August 07, 2009

Writer's Block & A Poem about Poetry

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block in the last few months. In recent days, I have been struggling to finish a poem that I began writing over a month ago. (I was asked to write the poem for a special person—and a special occasion. I wanted the poem’s focus to be about reading, writing, or sharing poetry.) An idea for a poem popped into my head almost immediately. I sat down and began typing.

That poem about poetry has five stanzas—each stanza is a quatrain with a rhyme scheme of ABCB. Most of the poem flowed fairly easily—but I just haven’t been able to get the fourth stanza right…no matter how much I rework it. And the deadline for submitting the poem is at hand. I got so frustrated when I was rewriting the fourth stanza for the hundredth time yesterday that I decided to give up on it and begin work on another poem. The second poem seems to be a more natural expression of my feelings. It’s written in free verse—and, I think, captures the passion I have for poetry in a more natural. I’m hoping I can polish the poem to my satisfaction by Saturday.

At my blog Political Verses, I have a link to the website of The Nation. I clicked on the link before I went to bed last night/early this morning to read some news. That’s when I found Poems about Poems: Why Not?, an article written by Katha Pollitt. Pollitt has published a number of poetry collections. In her article, she includes a poem by Grace Paley entitled The Poet’s Occasional Alternative. It was the perfect poem for me to read at the time. I thought I’d post if today. (I’m sorry I can’t space the words exactly the way Paley did.)

From the Poet’s Occasional Alternative
by Grace Paley

I was going to write a poem

I made a pie instead it took

about the same amount of time

of course the pie was a final

draft a poem would have had some

distance to go days and weeks and

much crumpled paper

You can read the rest of the poem here.

At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original poem entitled Rain Barrel.

My poetic contribution at Political Verses this week is Bah Humbug Exercise: A Poem That Could Have Written by Rush Limbaugh.

Tricia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at the Miss Rumphius Effect.

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