As the fourth week of my attempt to write a poem every day in 2023 draws to a close (for more information, see my post from January 1st), I’m still having a lot of mixed feelings. I feel like I’ve done some good and interesting work, and I’m sure some of these pieces would never have come into existence if I hadn’t made myself sit down and finish a poem rather than just have a nice idea or sentence and then abandon it.
However, I am afraid of pushing myself into not enjoying the work and making it a chore. Poetry has so far been something that I’ve always come to with joy and inspiration, and I don’t want to ruin that. I also feel annoyed that I can never take a day off. In theory, writing a poem doesn’t have to be that time consuming, and I’ve definitely written some less than stellar ones – but the days where I sit working on a poem (or multiple different attempts at poems) for hours definitely outnumber the days where it takes me 15 minutes.
I wanted to explore how being constantly in the poetic/creative flow would influence my work. Will I feel that I get deeper into it, or that my perception changes, or that it gets easier or harder, or will I discover a preference for a certain theme or style, etc. This is still a valid and interesting experiment, and at any rate I want to finish out the month of January with the project as is, so I can at least say I wrote a poem each day of this month.
Options I’m considering are writing a poem a week instead of a day, or one month on one month off (in order to try and keep that immersion), or giving myself a set day or a couple of days off per week. I do want to maintain some kind of framework so I feel like I’m working towards specific goals. If you have thoughts or ideas, please feel free to share in comments!
This week I’ve written some haiku. I am intrigued by the forced limitations it imposes both in regards to style/length and theme. However, I am still very new to the genre and don’t feel comfortable sharing the ones I’ve written so far – I want to learn more first. So I will leave you with a different poem from this week, below.
I also shared a midweek poem earlier this week, here, if you missed it. Can’t be serious all the time. 😉
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Poem #27: Once in a dream
Recalcitrant beams of light
emerge from cloud-thick skies
Dowsing rods litter the path
I don’t know what I’m searching for
so I let them lie
and move deeper
into the frozen woods
chasing a dream I once had
or a deja vu
Somehow I find myself on the cliff’s edge
and I know that I was here before
it was different then – warm, light
the energy that of
children on the first day of summer holidays
but I was the same
the dark was the same
I look down
into the swirling mass
the vertigo setting in
but then I take a step back
that if I fall, all there will ever be is darkness
this isn’t what I came looking for
One Comment Add yours
To your comment: Yes, I see, it’s tricky to weigh these things against each other. What about setting a certain time — instead of one poem a day, one and a half hours of concentrated work on poetry every day…? Then you are still holding yourself to a routine, and keeping a kind of flow. I find that for me one and a half hours is a kind of time span that works for creative work — also for teaching and therapy work. One hour can be just a bit too little, and more than one and a half without a break can get heavy.
To your poem: I love the beginning. It’s very exciting and intriguing until and including the line that ends with “summer holiday” after that it starts to close down, I feel. It steps out of the magical world and becomes more normal and sensible and uninteresting.
The images you have in the beginning are so powerful, and so fresh and new. Love the recalcitrant beams of light, and the dowsing rods that litter the path.