And so it begins - Kicking off the Year of Poetry
|What's the Year of Poetry ?|
I wisely went to bed early on New Year's Eve so that I could rise early next morning and get stuck into My Year of Poetry schedule.
Now, I had set a provisional target of about 6 hours a day, split between writing my own poetry, completing a close reading of a poem that I admire and studying technique and poetic theory.
It's become apparent over the two days I have stuck to the plan that 6 hours might have been wishful thinking. I have managed 4 hours on both days and while I did feel that my mental sharpness had increased I still felt very flaky towards the end of the day.
But what have you actually been doing?
The writing segment consisted of writing a creative prose piece focusing on the perspective of a close relative and their reflection/impression of a season.
This creative piece was to be drafted 2-3 times and then written in blank verse form of about 20 lines. The blank verse was then to go through about 2-3 drafts as well. Which is where I got to on day one.
Today, after revisiting the work I was concerned about the diction and register, the former was slightly archaic and the later too formal (a consequence of some of the readings I'd done in blank verse). So I spent some time rectifying that today and after about 7 drafts, I have four lines.
Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect so far, though has been the close readings. I have read two poems. The first was Mandy Coe's, When We Found Flowers Could Speak and Helen Mort's, Fox Miles. I chose this poems specifically because I enjoyed them on first reading. What surprised me was the extra detail delivered by the close reading.
I initially felt there might have been a danger that in attempting to pick apart the poems I would end up destroying "the magic". If anything the opposite has been true.
My close reading process takes about an hour and a half. The actually reading aloud of the poems and subsequent silent re-readings followed by analyzing the poem from a number of angles ie Title and its relation to the poem, expectations that it creates etc.
In terms of technical study I have been reading the first Chapter of Robert Pinsky's, Singing School, which had some interesting points to make about studying to become a poet. I might write another post on the general thrust of his argument. I have also begun reading the first chapter of A Poet's Guide to Poetry, which left till the end of the day, has been hard going.
Wnat to see how it turned out? Click here to check out the year of posts.