Year of Poetry Update - Week 27

Japanese inspired journal cover
from my wife
Another week down (and still no government)

This week was a shortened week for me, I took an extra day's work on top of my normal teaching load and consequently really only had last Sunday as a serious day of writing.

Despite this limitation though I still managed to bring one poem to fruition.

In writing related matters, I have filled my fourth notebook which amounts to about a thousand handwritten pages. I began my second reflections journal and received this lovely Japanese inspired cloth journal cover from my wife.

The Writing

A curious thing happened this week. After last week's rather good effort of three poems I was, shall we say feeling a little creatively drained.  

Normally I just sit and write and that process may result in a couple of ideas and then the writing takes off and I simply continue to work on what I've got.  

This week, I kept hitting a wall.  I'd write and nothing grabbed my attention, for sure I did some quality thinking, unearthed some memories but it didn't catapult me on to anything.  In the end I gave in and decided to do some close reading of  Richard Hugo's poem.  I was about ten minutes in and a line came into my head.  I can get pretty fixated on disciplining myself to follow the process so my initial reaction was to ignore it, but I couldn't settle back.  

Figuring that it was my subconscious hitting me with a metaphorical mallet I went with the decision to write, quickly penning a paragraph.  The urge disappeared and I went back to close reading.  

The following morning, wanting to test this interesting development, I decided to start with the close reading and lo and behold the same thing occurred.  This time I answered the door and the poem came in and made itself at home.  I have tinkered with it since but It was one of those glorious experiences where it almost feels like you are not doing the writing.

I think I'll employ this tactic again in the future.

The Study

Nil study done this week. I am still awaiting  Mary Ruefle's, Madness Rack and Honey which I hope turns up on Monday.

Close Reading

This week I finished Richard Hugo's Back of Gino's Place  and began reading John Brehm's, When My Car Broke Down.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 4:56 (324:05) hrs

poem writing = 2.35 (141:21) hrs

close reading = 1:57(68:12) hrs

technique/theory 0:00(75:38) hrs

reflection = 0:24 (26:01) hrs

Poetry written:

1 (27) poems completed

13 poems in draft

1 poem abandoned

1 poem facing execution at dawn

Poems Submitted:

0(16 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(8) poem

Live Performances:


0(8) poems


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