Dark Skies

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Dark skies
loom over me
like a grumpy older brother.
I slump
and try to hide
until his mood
improves.

 

As this is my final post for National Poetry Month, I thought I’d reflect a little about the process of writing a poem a day for the last 30 days. First of all, yay me, I did it! It was hard to find time to write every day but I did. Of course this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family. So, yay family, too! In many ways it was great to write every day. It gave me faith that I can indeed write every day, that I won’t run out of things to say, or things to write about. Writing every day pushed me to be creative. Would I have written about a fire hydrant if I hadn’t committed to writing about a backyard treasure every day for 30 days? I doubt it. What I didn’t like about writing and posting every day was not having more time for revision and critique. I missed having the time to put the poems aside and then look back at them with distance. With distance odd rhymes, awkward meter, and confusing content become louder and easier to hear. If I do this again next year, I’ll try to start a week early so I can build in a little cushion. I may even decide to take weekends off. Writers need to write but I do think they also need breaks. I might also try to come up with a theme that provides more variety. I thought Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s thrift store them was brilliant. In any case I have 11 months to decide.

 

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I also want to thank Jone Rush MacCulloch and her student Dylan J. Last week they sent me a wonderful postcard as part of Jone’s celebration of National Poetry Month at her blog Check It Out. I absolutely adore the phrase “unhurried worm.” I’d like to be an unhurried worm some days. I hope you enjoy the poem and illustration as much as I did.

I’ll be taking a blog break from now until May 16 when I’ll be hosting Poetry Friday. See you then!

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

26 replies
  1. Martha O'Quinn says:

    You did a fantastic job Elizabeth. The poetry was lovely, with or without editing. Enjoy your break. I, too,
    am waiting for a mood to improve. Dark and dreary in Western NC today.

  2. Rosi Hollinbeck says:

    I sure enjoyed this journey, but I agree with the idea of taking weekends off. I participated in RhyPiBoMo and could hardly struggle through to the end of the month (and we’re not quite done yet). The revision piece is so important. Time is the necessary ingredient for really excellent writing, but I thought your poems were terrific. Thanks.

  3. lsteinglass says:

    Martha, Anna, Rosi,
    Thank you so much for following along and commenting. I really appreciate it!

  4. Bridget Magee says:

    Yay Liz! Yay Liz’s family! Your poems were fun and inspirational throughout the month. (I binge commented, but enjoyed the poem a day in my inbox) Thanks for this gift, Liz, you have a treasure-filled backyard! = )

  5. Tabatha says:

    Congratulations on accomplishing your goal! I can see how making a cushion would make you feel a bit more comfortable. Maybe writing a poem a day in March and then posting a poem a day in April would work?
    Love Dylan’s descriptions!

    • lsteinglass says:

      Tabatha,
      I like the idea of writing in March and posting in April. That would also give me more time for revision. I’m guessing I’d want to revise each of them as I sat down to post.

  6. Myra GB says:

    So lovely to see all these poetry postcards going around! And yes, a huge congratulations for being able to write every day, that is truly a blessing, and so is family! 🙂

  7. maryleehahn says:

    Congrats on a poem a day! I agree about having to publish very “draftish” poems — no time to revise or mull. And the other thing that was hard was no time to go visit other people’s poem a days!

    I can appreciate the grumpy older brother in this poem! I had one, and skies can seem like one!

    • lsteinglass says:

      Mary Lee, you are so right. Writing and posting every day left very little time to visit other blogs.

  8. Violet Nesdoly says:

    Congratulations, Liz! Your backyard poems and Amy’s thrift store set are such an inspiration to look for poetry in the mundane stuff around us.

    I wasn’t quite as successful. I completed 27 new poems in April (though if I count each homophoem as an individual poem, I guess I made the goal of 30). I agree with your musings about taking the weekends off. And I know too that the poems I wrote need work. I’m thinking of devoting May to revising.

    • lsteinglass says:

      Thanks, Violet. I think you should definitely count the three homophoems. I was going to try one but they seemed a little intimidating. Now that the time pressure is off I’ll be sure to give it a try. I like your idea of revising during May.

  9. Tara Smith says:

    Dark skies
    loom over me
    like a grumpy older brother.
    …perfect, having been there often, this feels just right. Enjoy your break!

    • lsteinglass says:

      Thanks, Tara. We often have a grumpy older brother in the house so it was pretty easy to see the connection.

  10. mattforrest says:

    Very nice! I havent’ had a chance to read all of them, but the ones I have read connect with the reader quite well (like your ‘grumpy older brother). Thanks also for sharing the student’s postcard – I had forgotten where they were coming from when I got mine!

  11. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    How did I miss this one? Wonderful! And I think I know that “grumpy older brother.”

    You really did a fantastic job this month, Liz– I agree with Bridget’s word, “inspirational.” I can relate to your frustration of not having time to revise. I did a challenge earlier this year, I don’t even think it was a whole month long, but while I was proud of myself for having stuck with it, I was so frustrated for having a bunch of “loose ends” to show for it. I guess that’s the J in my INFJ– I need to feel closure each step of the way.

    • lsteinglass says:

      Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for following along! Have you ever done Nanowrimo? Talk about loose ends!

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