Year of Poetry Update - Month 5

Stamp battery at Arltunga
Another month closer to the half year mark and I can feel time slipping away from me a bit.  It's the effect of the reduced hours.  This week there were 6 days between writing sessions and I could barely remember what I had written on the first day.

The plan to write a little each night fell through;with an extra day of teaching this week I had neither the time nor the mental wherewithal to sit and produce anything.  Still I managed to squeeze in a bit of study. 

The hours are down this week on last, but considering I only had one day off, I am happy with the effort.  On reflection the one prose poem I did manage to progress to first draft stage I am happy with.

The new week starts tomorrow and I plan to write all day.

This week's study was devoted to reading the first chapter of Glyn Maxwell's On Poetry, called White.  An entire chapter devoted to the space between the lines and stanzas.  Maxwell's a believer in form and pattern in poetry, so I do have a certain bias towards his line of thinking.  

That said, I found some points he brought up engaging and fresh.
  • Aesthetic preferences, those things that  we find beautiful stem not from what renders life delightful or endurable but what makes life possible (an interesting idea incorporating evolutionary psychology)
  • Poets work with black and white, sound and silence - the blank page to the poet is not the same as the blank page to the novelist.  For the poet, the white page is 50 % of the poem.
  • Maxwell encourages us to see the breaks between stanzas in cinematic or script writing terms to imagine whether it's a cut, fade or a dissolve (this is to help you understand the power of making a decision to end a stanza at a certain point)
I am looking forward to the rest of the work.

My close reading, was Billy Collins'  Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House followed by Ted Kooser's In an Apple Orchard.( which I only managed to start).  If you want to see an example of delight in poetry as suggested by Kay Ryan in her article A Consideration of Poetry I think Collins is a prime example, especially in this poem.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 05:15(261:56) hrs

poem writing = 2.00 (108:08) hrs
close reading = 1:45(54:00) hrs
technique/theory 1:00(65:49) hrs
reflection = 0:30 (21:37) hrs

Poetry written:

1 (21) poems completed
10 poems in draft
1 poem abandoned
1 poem facing execution at dawn

Poems Submitted:

0(13 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(5) poem

Live Performances:



0(7) poems


Most Popular Posts