Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Poetry Overdose For Which There is No Anecdote

'Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.'


I have recently immersed myself in poetry, so much poetry I find myself speaking in internal rhyme while doing my farm chores, and dreaming about punctuation placement. The cow doesn't seem to mind the extraneous chit chat when I am fussing with her udder, but the ducks are most definitely, not impressed.

I am in week five of my online poetry class, the half-way point, and it is amazing. There are over 30 of us in the group and every week we submit an original poem and then comment on poems submitted by others. We revise our poems, resubmit if we want and read more comments on our revised poems. At the end of the week, the esteemed Kevin Higgins (all the way from Galway, Ireland) comments on all our poems and makes suggestions for revisions prompting the entire group to then comment on those revisions.

Much like a write-revise-write merry-go-round of sorts but without the cotton candy.

In a weeks time I estimate I now read, including first and revised drafts of all participants, approximately thirty five poems. I don't comment on all of them, but I do comment on many of them plus their revisions. It's all done through a private group on Facebook which is refreshing since Facebook can be an ugly place to hang out sometimes. Who knew such beautiful prose could be shared on a social media platform best known for its dueling Hilary-Trump cartoons?

In case that's not enough stanza bonanza's I also subscribe to a few poetry journals: The Moth, Poetry Magazine, Poets and Writers, and SKYLIGHT 47. To top off that big poetry pile I get two "Poems of the Day" via email.

What am I? Nuts?

Pretty much. It is a tendency of mine, when I make a decision to try something new, to jump in with all three feet. Just one reason why I can never get the bottom of my feet, completely clean.

If you're wondering how I manage this, yes, I work at home. I do not have an outside job that requires me to leave the house for hours and hours at time only to return exhausted in the evening. I had jobs like that for decades but now I am a full time homesteader who can set her own writing and reading schedule.

My current schedule follows.  Cows, ducks, chickens, dogs, steers, cats, and one horse get cared for in the morning before I hit the poetry, then I read and hang up clothes, read some more and can some sweet potatoes, read more then dry some herbs for this winters tea, read just a bit more and start supper, read a smidgen more and do the evening chores. Late, after my husband goes to bed, I hit my office and write some poetry of my own.

Some nights it's pure crap, reminiscent of sappy TV advertising jingles but with less rhythm. Other nights the exposure to the excellent work of others, proves motivating, inspiring and  prompts my own creativity.

Soon, this online class will be complete and I expect I'll have gained improved writing skills, some minimal respect for Facebook, and maybe a new international friend or two, making the overdose of material and the influx of ideas, not to mention the nominal fee, all well worth my bloodshot eyes.

So now tell me. Do you write poetry? If so, who or what inspires you? If you've ever taken an online poetry class, did it work well for you? Why or why not?