Year of Poetry Update - Week 21

Painting by
Sand Hills and Seascapes
This week has been possibly the hardest I have had to face.  For a moment I did question why I was bothering before intoning the mantra of "trust the process" repeatedly.

I managed to conjure up another 3 hours from somewhere this week but for some reason the increased hours didn't translate directly into feeling happy with my poetry practice.

I think the issue is that with less time being spent on writing, when I do hit one of those patches where the writing isn't going well then that time seems to stretch out.  

Previously if I had a rough couple of days, I could be fairly confident that by the next couple I would have had some success and enjoyment.  Now it's possible those periods can stretch out to 2 weeks.

The Writing

I watched The Hours and ended up writing some emotional and weird mediation on the colour grey that ended up as a three quarters of a poem.  Then after reading another chapter of Glyn Maxwell's book I decided to play with one of my previous prose drafts.

The Study

This week's study was devoted to reading the third chapter of Glyn Maxwell's On Poetry, called Pulse. This is Maxwell's take on meter and how technical one should get when first setting pen to paper as a poet i.e. not very. This was odd coming from someone who's an advocate of form and refreshing and reevaluating form. This isn't to say he doesn't think you should know about meter: pentameter tetrameter, iambs etc but that you shouldn't get bogged down in the technicalities. If you need to know what an anapest is, look it up on google.

I found that he tended to have similar ideas to Mary Oliver when it came to line length/meter.

Close Reading

My close reading, was(and still is) Dennis Greene's  Wheat Field.  A poem from a sequence on the life and work of Vincent van Gogh.  The painting which I believe Greene was responding to is Wheat field with Crows.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 08:00(269:56) hrs

poem writing = 3.05 (111:13) hrs
close reading = 1:30(55:30) hrs
technique/theory 2:53(68:42) hrs
reflection = 0:32 (22:09) hrs

Poetry written:

0 (21) poems completed
11 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


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