Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Poeting Is Hard

Day Three ... now Day Four of my NaPoWriMo and this is really f*ck*ng hard. Forgive my language, but I don't know how people write poems on a daily basis. I remember an interview with Robert Bly saying he doesn't get out of bed until he writes a poem in the morning, and some days he doesn't get out of bed at all. Must be nice.

Not to sound grumpy, but I have a head cold, which makes it hard to focus in my Sudafed-induced haze. And with Poetry Thursday around the corner, there's just no time to slow down. The nice thing about writing a poem a day is that at the end of the month, I'll have 30 first drafts to show for my efforts.

So if you're reading or writing poems, how are you enjoying NaPoWriMo?


Becoming Amethyst said...

I'm feeling strangely contented and therefore strangely uninspired ~ that's why I've been experimenting with some traditional forms, and playing that favourite 'writer's block' trick of mine ~ just writing about exactly what I'm doing at the moment, in the absence of any other grander thoughts!!!!

Hope your stinking cold gets better soon :)

chiefbiscuit said...

I haven' got as far as Day Four yet, and it's already Poetry Thursday tomorrow. Ah yee! And I haven't had work either so I've really no excuse. Like you I figure at least I'll have some good first drafts - I'm nervous about posting poems in such a raw state - I'm finding that the hardest thing actually. Something about exposure to the light too soon - or like a half-baked loaf of bread maybe.

Catherine said...

I'm using the Poetry Thursday prompts, and I find it much easier to come up with something if I am restricted to a particular prompt - otherwise I keep casting around for an idea that is "good enough". I'm viewing it as an exercise in learning the habit of putting pen to paper on a daily basis, rather than an expectation of producing good poems. But I'm a little frustrated because I don't have much time at the moment due to work demands, and we will have visitors all Easter. I want to hide in a corner somewhere and write.

January said...

Catherine, I want to hide in a corner, too, with a pen, my journal, and a cup of hot tea.

I've been trying to fit the Poetry Thursday prompts into my poems but I know I'm going about it the wrong way. I should start with the word and work my way out. It goes against my process, which is exactly why I should be trying them in the first place.

January said...

CB, I hate posting rough drafts. They do feel half-baked, indeed.

BB, I definitely have to venture into forms this month.

I may complain a bit, but I'm glad I'm writing daily, and that I can share my angst with you.

amy said...

Hi there, January.

This is my first time commenting. I'm really enjoying your poems.

I've been thinking about Robert Bly a lot, too! I have the collection in which he wrote the poem-a-day before getting out of bed. I don't particularly enjoy it.

The thing is, I'm always on the fence about Writing first, Living second, yk? I don't like writing about writing, which so often happens when I'm spending too much time at the computer -- which is exactly why Robert Bly's bed poems doen't appeal to me. He was too insulated.

I'm sort of doing the opposite this month - not writing at all (unless terribly inspired) and just enjoying/reading/posting all the poems I've loved in my life.

It's fun.

poet with a day job said...

It is very hard, and of course, when it is hard it gets made ever harder by: getting sick (me too) overload of work at work, Easter and Seders to cook for and go to, no sleep...argh, I feel like I am in college again, running on pure adrenaline!

January said...

PWADJ, have we lost our minds, or what?

Brian said...

I am loving the writing a poem a day. Would you be upset if I told you that my poem for PT is done?

Love all your poems, keep writing. An besides, haiku count, right?

January said...

Brain, you're done with your Poetry Thursday post? I envy you, and can't wait to read your poem. Glad to hear that you're enjoying writing so much. It is kinda fun.

(I'll come by later tonight to read it.)

January said...

Hi Amy. Thanks for stopping by. I hear what you're saying about Robert Bly. I believe Ted Kooser also wrote morning poems when he was going through a bout of cancer. He wrote them on postcards and sent them to another poet. Fortunately, he did not publish every poem.

I like your laid back approach to poetry in April. Will stop by your blog later today.

pepektheassassin said...

Ah. So, those days when Robert Bly didn't get out of bed at all--those were the days he didn't write at all, right?

Catherine said...

I think William Stafford wrote every day, too. I'm not sure if he wrote a poem a day though - he just wrote, and some of his writing turned into poems and some didn't. David Lehman wrote a poem a day for a whole year. He published them, too. I can't say that I liked them much.

Carole said...

Hi Poet Mum,
I've stopped by before but this is the first time I've posted a comment. I love your poems. I read about NaPoWriMo on CB's blog and decided it was just the thing I needed. Today is my second 'raw' poem (written since I got out of bed this morning). I generally only expose things that have been edited pretty hard. I'm finding the discipline really helps with putting a restraining order on my inner editor to stop her getting in on the act too soon.
Hope you feel better soon.

Robin said...

I am doing napo on livejournal, and I'm struggling with it too.

jim said...


Glad to see you're slogging it through, though you seem to be rockin' from my perspective. April is the absolutely busiest month for me (promo file, annual review file, grading M.A. comp exams, reviewing M.A. applicants, attending readings, grading finals, etc., and etc., and etc.).

Anyway, I'm going to give this poem-a-day thing a go in June. Really. Honest.

Rethabile said...

I can just barely make one poem a week. A poem a day is out of my reach.

January said...

Unfortunately, writing a poem a day leaves me little time for sleep or exercise. And, I'm stuck with posting bad, unfinished poems. :(


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