Saturday, May 03, 2008

A meme and a poem

I've been trying not to think too much about poetry for the last couple of days (NaPoWriMo burnout), but this morning I remembered Writers Island posts prompts on Friday, and so I went out to take a look. This week's prompts are "identity" and "ferocious". I was eating breakfast but right away got a good idea of where I wanted to go and within a half hour I finished it. And felt really good about it!

Then I sat back and wondered why I had such a difficult time with NaPoWriMo. If I could characterize my experience with one word it would be disappointment. I'm disappointed I didn't do more reading of favorite and unfamiliar poets as I had planned. I'm disappointed I didn't get out to other participants' blogs and websites to read and comment on their poetry. I'm disappointed it felt so labored to write a poem on a daily basis. January at Poet Mom posted a NaPoWriMo meme, and contemplating my answers helped me get to the bottom of the disappointment.

1. Number of poems written in April. 30.
2. Number of poems you’ll keep and revise. Hmm. Not sure. I don't have good a history of revising once I've set aside a poem. But I should start doing more of that, I think.
3. List the titles of your top three NaPoWriMo poems. My haiku Sunday; Aunt Nancy's Paddle; Icarus Considers
4. List your three least favorite NaPoWriMo poems. Slipstream; American sentences; Signs and Wonders
5. Favorite line from one of your NaPoWriMo poems. "to laugh in the gaping jaw/the hollow sockets of my own mortality"
6. Favorite poem by a NaPoWriMo participant. The De Chiriku, by mariachristina
7. What surprised you most about writing a poem a day? How guilty I felt about taking the time to hammer out and rework an entire poem in one day. Even the short ones. I had so much going on, and I felt guilty about spending time on poetry, even just reading other people's poetry. Also the pressure; it was hard to feel like I HAD to get a poem done each day, and some days I procrastinated just to rebel against the pressure. I noticed I do well writing under pressure when it doesn't have to be creative, just straightforward. But poetry or other creative writing? I felt very forced trying to crank something out every single day. It was weird how this exercise pushed a lot of emotional buttons for me.
8. Now that you’ve started the momentum, what’s next? Taking it easy. Writing for fun. Finding balance between life and art.

Oh, and here's what I wrote this morning...

I’m Not a Good Girl Any More

I used to be a good girl, used to
take only burnt slices of bacon
iron cloth and hearts I hadn’t wrinkled
take self-righteous comfort in rejection’s purity
hold in pain, opinions, passions
only to lash out with acid tongue
when bile boiled over and
my carefully constructed identity imploded
I’m not good any more
I’m better.


aubrey said...

i'm sorry that it turned out to be not as fun as you hoped. i enjoyed your month of poems, though!

chicklegirl said...

It wasn't all bad; just not what I expected. Thanks for your support! :)

anthonynorth said...

I feel sometimes writing can be ruined by pressure - the demand to do, to produce.
Maybe this was the problem. If, of course, there was one, and you're not just being too hard on yourself.

Tammy said...

I think it's a daunting task that you managed to do. WooHoo!

Clever meme January! I didn't attempt it but I was inspired by some great poems.

Hooray for not being good girls. ;)

christine said...

Wow. I really relate to your poem and to your comments about napowrimo.

I love the line in the poem about the bile boiling over.

Thanks for the shout out.

Selma said...

Good on you for doing it. I would have trouble writing one poem a year let alone one a day for a month. And sadly, I am no longer a good girl either. Or maybe I should say - happily.