Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year 2008

Poets, and Lovers of Poets,

Here we go, off on our 2009 adventure. I hope that things begin to get better in the world, but the events of the past few days are a grim reminder that not everyone is seeking peace. [I am not assigning blame here as I have dear ones on both sides of that barrier] But I grow weary of the not getting along, the not seeing peace and seeing it is its own reward. Of course it is great material for poems (strife, fighting, killing), but to the end where violence only begets more violence is seemingly eluding some folks. ENOUGH is what I say! On with more poetry.

I am always a bit excited and filled with fear when the eve of another year shows up. For the past 12 years (this will be 13), I have taken up the project to write the final poem of the year on New Year's Eve (late at night usually). I do this before champagne is popped, before tucking myself in a warm bed to snuggle my husband. I then feel somehow that the year is "done" for me. The other half of the project is after midnight (usually within an hour or two but sometimes after breakfast) when I write the first poem of the new year. What always has amazed me is that the two poems, sometimes written within an hour of each other (OK--- so they're drafts!!) are so far removed from one another in subject or tone or style. It is like I am a new me when I write the second poem. Wonder how that happens????

So, now I have a chapbook number of these poems (will as of tonight/tomorrow). So I think I ought to send these out in 2009, organized and titled. Great! ANOTHER project. LOL

Well, off to the kitchen to get ready for dinner guests. We are doing dinner at six and the guests will be done and gone by 9 pm. Then it's me in my office and my hubby snoozing in the New Year. Isn't life grand?!

Happy New Year everyone. Peace is my wish for you and all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

it's good to be writing again

I swear I get so grumpy when I am distracted from the writing. I am making a NY resolution to write every day as I was doing before teaching took over my life.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

my head is busy

Poets and Friends,

My head is busy with plans for my time off from teaching. AFTER I clean the clutter in my office I have a number of submissions to do and will take a final pass at the book manuscript. I have so many notes to myself for doing this. And of course there is the jumble of work running around in notebooks. There is always that. 

Re: the manuscript, I am toying with 3 sections that can stand alone as chapbooks. So each section of the manuscript will have its own title and focus. I have fussed and fussed for over a year after going to the Compleat (Colrain) manuscript conference as there were poems that I want in, but as they were arranged did not hang together that well. A year later sees the thing more focused. Way different in terms of what poems fit and several new poems. I have 5 places to send it, so hope one of those will see the layout as a good thing along with the poems themselves. One new-ish section is entitled "Breakfast at the Brass Compass" which will feature 20 poems about Maine. I am excited about that. The other two sections are Confessions of a Town Girl, and Naming Water. I am looking for a title for the collection. NO clues there yet. Maybe someone will read for me (volunteers?) and see a title that links all three sections.

Well, I am off to see a movie. Going to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It is a 3 hour deal. Went to Bedtime Stories yesterday...good. Cute and not long. I recommend it. More later on  today's film.

Be well. WRITE.

one example of a poem using great literary work, just an example

I am snowed under
with work, my desk piled 
with papers and notes 
to myself to clear  
a space for writing. Snow
is deceptive, piles
of it outside the window
make me sluggish for work.
I need to stop drifting
and plow through the mess
I made here over 10 weeks 
of teaching others about writing. 
Writing is what I say I do. 
I cannot regard others'
writing as more. I need to fall
back, drift away on the weather
that has been building in my head
and write what snow is doing outside.

Lesson of the week/repetend

Recently my friend Ellen and I attended a workshop in Belfast (Maine) on using repetend in poetry. While the idea was not new to me, it sparked a surge of "oh yeah, I like doing that." The idea is simple really: use of a word or phrase more than once in a single poem, or using a word or phrase to connect poems to each other in a sequence. It is a great way to create emphasis or linkage. I like the idea that one can repeat something very simple and seemingly small or unimportant and make it drive the poem to a new and more emphatic level. I also love the notion that one can link poems this way, making leaps and connections that were previously not happening. I am toying with doing this with a group of poems that might not at the moment fit together in a collection. Hmmmmm.

SO, here's the prompt of the week:

Write one or more short poems, using repetend as a strategy of emphasis. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Semester is done YIPPEE!

I am thrilled that as of today I am off work until April. I hope to have more time to blog and to do some serious writing. I hope not to get sucked in to obsessively do housework. OK, so I have neglected a few dust bunnies. I am not ashamed to be feeding them as they are SO hungry. 

Well, I am off to eat dinner with my hubby (downstairs in the dining room!). He was outside most of the day snow blowing and will probably go to bed early. Then I will return and post a few snow photos! It is sure beginning to look a lot like Christmas!