Year of Poetry - One month down.

So today brings me to the end of Week 4 of the Year of Poetry program and the end of the first month.

My hours were up slightly this week, cracking the target of 18 hours, which on reflection is going to be hard to keep hitting but I'll take the victory here.

The fact that the week seems to have entirely disappeared on me is testament to the work I have been putting in. I have been hitting the program pretty hard, fitting extra bits and pieces of time when I can.

This week has seen me come up against some fatigue, some of it if I am honest, is poetry fatigue. Usually my approach to poetry has been to write when inspired and so the experience is a bit like taking a big old hit of endorphins followed up with that sense of peace that you get when you are in the zone editing your work and problem solving. That still happens but I am finding that I need to work at the words a bit more.  

What I have shown is that I can sit down and write and that If I follow this process even when fatigued, something usually loosens up and the words start to flow.

On to the stats, here are this week's with the overall project total in parenthesis:

Total time: 18:34 (72:42) hrs

poem writing = 7:10 (28:00) hrs
close reading = 4:20 (19:50) hrs
technique/theory = 5 (17:38) hrs
reflection = 2:04(7:14) hrs

Poetry written:

7 poems completed
1 poem abandoned
1 poem at 1st draft stage

General thoughts:

I don't think I am going to have trouble hitting some of my targets for poems of publishable quality.  I am managing on average two poems, fully developed, a week.  I think there's a good chance that 2 of the above might be worth sending out. So the poetry writing section of the plan is working.

The study or technical/theory part of the plan has at times been a struggle. But reading through my daily reflections ( an exercise in translation) I can identify growth and increased understanding.

I have learned:

  • that not only can you create half meaning when playing around with the tension between sentence and line but that good poets can do this on the phrase as well (Plath)
  • that there's quiet a bit of variety in the way you can alter rhythm end stopping and enjambment but also through substituting feet.
  • that some of the best poems dealing with highly emotional content are the ones that seem to say the least about it
and there's more that I am sure I am incorporating through synergy achieve through pairing study with close reading.

Speaking of which, I am still loving it and indeed I think it might be the best way for me to read poetry.  Good poems only seem to get better when you look under the hood. I think the decision to switch the study section to the middle of the process has added benefits for the close reading as well.  I often find that my attention is focused on finding examples of what I have been studying in the content of the poem.


Disruption to routine is my enemy.  My best days are when I start early and get a good 4 hours in. That being said I can work piecemeal, so no excuses. I do note that I seemed to get imposter syndrome occurring in waves, more so when I am getting tired.  I have chosen to see this as my inner lazy writer trying to come up with excuses not to write and pushed through with the manta "Trust the Process".


I'd like to get one poem in particular out of this lot published and I will work on it in the coming week.


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