Thursday, May 18, 2017

Poetry Friday Anniversary

First, thanks to Keisha for hosting our Poetry Friday round-up this week. Her weekly writing invitations have become a part of my writing life. A visit to Whispers from The Ridge is a treat and very worth the trip. 


A year ago, I embarked on a journey to a Highlights Workshop for verse novel writers in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. My time in that workshop was incredible. I allowed myself time to write in the company of other writers.

My question one year ago was, am I good enough? Can I do this thing of writing a novel in verse? My answers are what I shared last week. But, I'd like to allow a year's perspective of writing to elaborate.

Yes:  I can write a novel in verse. If I am anything, I am a goals setter--and achiever. So, if I work toward my goal of a novel in verse I will do it.

No: I am a writer. I may write a novel in verse or two or more. However, it might not be published. The market for all writing is highly competitive. I'm not sure I can write a marketable novel in verse at the same time it's in demand in light of the competition. That's simply the truth of it for many writers.

Maybe So: Silly things keep me from writing. Sometimes, I don't write unless inspired....or here's a good one...I don't write if I haven't researched enough. I don't know "enough" about my topic to write. So, I'd better spend some time looking up facts.....three hours later I look up from social media and my time for writing has gone. Maybe working on the discipline of writing really is important.

It Depends: Right now, my work as wife and mom to my family and as a full-time public school librarian keeps my plate full. Any writing I do is on the fringes of what time any of the hundreds of people in those circles need with each other.

But still....I write. I'm forever grateful to Jan Godown Annino at Bookseedstudio for holding my hand through figuring out the nuts and bolts of PF. Now that I've achieved a year Poetry Friday posts, I may take a Friday or two off. I may just read what others contribute.

Today's Little Ditty's writing challenge comes out of Michelle Barns' interview with Melissa Manlove: Write a poem that explores how writing (or a book) is like something else. Contributors share their work on Michelle's (@MichelleHBarns) May 2017 padlet. Here's my response to the challenge.....this is me....still writing. Happily.


Meta-poetry

When a poem pauses,
she places a hand
over her heart
sensing the matter
and meter of the universe
which is itself,
poetic.
Free verse or rhyme,
sonnet or haiku
form matters less
than the half-life of each word,
                each syllable
moving through time, space
and consciousness
settling where it will.
A poem knows those gazers
with telescopes
and butterfly nets
jumping and grasping at
notions to anchor to a page
as finite as a constellation.

Gravity is such a nuisance.
Poem understands
creative arcs are brief
and glancing, fueled by bravado
and as much heartache.

She gathers the inks--
and pens of scribblers--
and sighs.
She knows.



© Linda Mitchell




22 comments:

  1. "Gravity is such a nuisance." -- ain't it the truth? Congrats on a year of PFing, Linda! (I like "But still....I write.") It's been great having you with us!

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  2. "A poem knows those gazers
    with telescopes
    and butterfly nets" - LOVE.
    Thanks for sharing your keen mind and generous heart with Poetry-Friday-Land, Linda - wouldn't be the same without you!

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  3. I'm glad you've been here, Linda, and always enjoy your words, now am imagining you with "butterfly nets/jumping and grasping at/notions to anchor to a page". I loved your 'yes', 'no', 'maybe so', etc. It's a writer at work!

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  4. Happy PF anniversary! I have had my own yes-no-maybe struggles over the years, especially as my plate fills with other responsibilities, but I'm so glad that you keep writing. There are so many reasons not to write, that it can be a struggle to find the time, and the will, to sit down and write, but our lives just feel emptier without that creative outlet. Keep on writing! :)

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  5. Happy Anniversary, Linda--your contributions to this community are already deep and provocative, and you show your YES(nomaybeso) with lines like "Gravity is such a nuisance." Great summary post.
    Let's make plans to get together in person this summer--I think we're close enough for a lunch meeting!

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  6. Linda, you can do it. I believe in you. Before any other consideration is the will of the author.

    Here's evidence of your skill and talent:
    "sensing the matter
    and meter of the universe
    which is itself,
    poetic."

    Gorgeous!

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  7. Congrats on a year of poetry writing and sharing and celebrating. Today's poem is the perfect marker to celebrate all that writing poetry (and reading and sharing) can bring.

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  8. I believe in you, too, Linda. That first stanza is glorious. I'm happy you've been part of PF, too. I always feel buoyed up by your comments. Writing is a lonely business. Not only are we alone when we're writing, it comes out of our time when we could be with other people. It is lonely and it makes us even lonelier in the time it takes us. But I believe it's worth it. That the universe needs the order we bring to it. Congrats on a year. I have no idea when I started PF but it can't be a lot longer than a year. Maybe 18 months? No idea. :-)

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  9. A year! Congratulations, Linda! It has been a joy to know you. My favorite part of this post: "But still... I write." That's it in a nutshell, isn't it? Thank you for your poem about Poem... Yes, "she knows." And sometimes when she whispers her truths to us we are actually listening. So happy to know you! xo

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  10. Dear Linda, with a hand over my heart, I thank you for sharing yours with us. Your sticktoitiveness inspires me all on its own, but then you throw such beautiful words and images my way, how can I not believe that of course you will be fruitful with whatever you put your mind and heart to? Look at how far you've come in one year! Congratulations on all the PF posts, but by all means, do take a Friday off now and again to anchor yourself when gravity fails.

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  11. Linda, your passion and drive to staying true to your writing life is so inspiring. Poems do know and they help us to know ourselves as well. Happy PF anniversary to you!

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  12. The beginning of your poem drew me right in with her hand over her heart. Thump! Thump! You sure fooled me. I thought you were an expert at this writing stuff. I love finding my kindred spirit in you. And we even share the same birthday! Now write something wonderful about that!

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  13. Congrats on one year of PF! It's been wonderful getting to know you, following along as you set goals and work towards them. As you say, it's challenging carving out time to write with a full time job and so many of life's demands -- but you continue to write! Brava. Keep going!

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  14. When a poem pauses,
    she places a hand
    over her heart
    sensing the matter
    and meter of the universe
    which is itself,
    poetic.

    This is so beautifully put...and so true.

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  15. There are so many beautiful lines in this blogaversary piece (and I congratulate you on one faithful year!). Others have picked out some that jumped out at me... and these did too:
    "form matters less
    than the half-life of each word,
    each syllable
    moving through time, space
    and consciousness
    settling where it will."

    Take your dream of writing a verse novel with you through these busy years. You never know. I have a feeling...

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  16. Linda, your perseverance is noteworthy. You have come so far in one year that I feel we are all in the same space and time. Among other lines, I like this one too=>moving through time, space and consciousness settling where it will. You opening and ending are really wonderful. Thank you for sharing your endless research to get you to your end products. You have really spent so much time writing that it clearly shows.

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  17. I'm so glad you have joined us for Poetry Friday. Your voice has a special place here.

    When you and Heidi get together this summer, please extend the invitation all the way to Ohio. ROAD TRIP!

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  18. Thanks for being part of PF, Linda - and great job on your poem. Those 'Highlights' workshops are pretty incredible, aren't they/ So inspiring. And keep up the writing - good, bad, or mediocre, it all helps you improve and work towards your goal of publishing. That's why I started the Twitter hashtag #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading - because if we are expected to dance like no one is watching, then we should take the same approach to other creative pursuits!

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  19. "Sensing the matter and meter of the universe," beautiful Linda your poem drifts down the page as naturally as a spring flower opening its petals, thanks! And congratulations on your one year PF anniversary.

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  20. (I think my comment just got lost in the interwebs... so posting again.)

    I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to say how often your poetry has caught my breath - and that's a beautiful thing. Congratulations on one year. And all the wonderful words!

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  21. I'm sorry I missed this last week, Linda, but I was away and off the internet (which can be a good thing for writers). What a lovely poem. And yes, of course, you can write. I remember your hesitancy at the Highlights Workshop and I'm glad you stuck with it. You can do this!

    That said, one of your reasons for not always writing ('I don't write if I haven't researched enough. I don't know "enough" about my topic to write') hit home with me. I'm going through that same situation right now as I try to write the rough draft of my second novel in verse. It's historical, which I've never tried before, and oh my, is there a lot of research involved before I can feel qualified to write.

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