Year of Poetry Update - Week 51

So only one week to go... Where did that time go? 


At the start of the year it really did look like quite a hill to climb.  Now, a week before I conduct the big review of the project it seems to have gone by in an instant.

This week was not quite the return to 14 hours writing that I wanted, but coming in at just over 8 hours I will not beat myself up - or rather, I will, but will endeavour to let it go.

I received a number of early Christmas presents to myself this week -  Stephen Mathews (Ginninderra Press) must have been camped next to the Australia Post distribution centre because I received the poetry pamphlets I ordered last Friday, midweek.

If you don't think that's unusual, remember I live in the midst of wheat fields where taking the bin out requires a 24 km round trip.

The pamphlet collections included  Immediate Reflections from Martin Christmas that I mentioned in last week's post and Jude Aquilina's Ship Tree and Other Poems.

And yesterday I received William Stafford's You Must Revise Your Life - the first chapter of which contained some timely wisdom for the writing life.  It also encouraged me to track down the Poets on Poetry series (there goes next year's poetry budget).

I received two rejections this week as well but this didn't seem to annoy me as much as the difficulty with writing.

The Writing...

felt much harder than it usually does.  This was probably because I am coming off the end of year party circuit and managed to get into some bad sleeping patterns. There was also a sense of dissatisfaction-leaning-towards-frustration, that the extra hours writing didn't lead to the "best poem ever written".  

I really hadn't felt that sort of trough in the process for some time.  I suspect that is because I haven't really had the time and space to get down on my process of writing with the move to full time teaching in the second half of this year.

But the very next day I found my way around those demons, proving once again that my process works. I suspect this pattern will continue/does continue throughout all writers lives - peaks and troughs linked more to the writers emotional state than to what is actually written on the page.

I had chosen to rewrite an earlier variation on a Petrarchan Sonnet, so the sort of workout being restricted by rhyme schemes gives me, probably played into that sense of frustration. 

The Study...

I continued reading Frances Mayes'  The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poem and the section on sonnets inspired me to tackle a rewrite of the poem mentioned above.

I also read the first chapter of You Must Revise Your Life . What was interesting to read, was that Stafford, who won a number of awards and had a distinguished teaching an publishing career estimated that 80% of the work he submitted was rejected.

Close Reading...

Read Kim Moore's, Picnic on Stickle Pike from the Art of Falling, an interesting poem set in the Lake District that plays around with what is considered beautiful and natural in the landscape.

Merry Xmas

If you subscribe to this post by email you will be receiving a Christmas email from me in addition to the weekly digest containing a new poem that I was playing around with.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 8:03 (447:00) hrs

poem writing =4:03 (207:58) hrs

close reading =1:25(86:05) hrs

technique/theory= 1:43 (104:35) hrs

reflection = 0:52(38:34) hrs

Poetry written:

0(41) poems completed

2(21)poems in draft

Poems Submitted:

0(27 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(9) poems

Live Performances:




2(15) poems


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