So over on the ol' Poem-A-Day(-On-Average) Poetry Blog "A Pocketful of Poesy", I'm running a bit behind my pace at 240 poems for 2011. Today (the 21st) is day 264. But I'm not sweating it. You know what I just did? Earlier this evening I tossed off a rather tossed-off, impromptu throwaway poem that referenced the rather tossed-off, impromptu throwaway band Snow Patrol. Link, for reference. Take a look.
Not much, is it? Nothing to write home about. No cause for a Poetry Blog Update, certainly! No reason to STRUT AND CROW.
Except check out the next 12 poems. Upon completion of that first, chuckling at the idea of Snow Patrol as a springboard for poetic creativity, and in the most perverse of moods, I decided - spurred by one throwaway Snow Patrol-inspired song - to do an entire tossed-off, throwaway poem cycle inspired by the titles of the 12 songs on that one album of theirs! You know, the one that I liked. Not the one with the one good song on it, the one before that - the one with six. Now this poem cycle was not to be inspired by the songs, mind you! Just taking the titles to the songs, and using each as the seed for a brand new poem. One by one, all in a row.
And folks, just take a look at some of those results. These poems were written as fast as you see them posted - faster, some of them!
I swear. Sometimes I feel like I must be making fun of poetry, with how easy I make it look! Other times I think I scare myself, but really: poetry is the one who should be scared. See with what haughty disdain I work my will upon its surfaces, and into its crevices and depths! WHATCHA GONNA DO NOW, POETRY?? I GOT CHA NUMBA!
And I tell you, I don't know how much further I can refute all you people who question my methods. All you people who tell yourself that you don't "force the moment" - like its a point of high principle not to push yourself. You say you don't want artificial targets, that you want to wait until its ready to come out, as if poetry were a bowel movement - well I say, get off your artistic-integrity-as-a-transparent-excuse-for-laziness and WRITE SOME! No, do not wait for a moment. No, do not wait for a subject!
Do you realize that more than 90% of my poems would never have existed at all, but for my own "artificial" drive for 365 each year? You start yourself, and soon you get going and great things happen that you hadn't planned on. Do you realize that almost 20% of my poems are any good? Some of them are damn good. High and excellent examples of the art! Okay, maybe my rhymed style is a bit too dependent on a few overly-predictable singsong meter schemes. I'm working on it! Got to work on it to work on it. And maybe my free verse is a touch prosaic around the edges - the language usually sinks its teeth in, at least! Maybe my approach to line breaks doesn't always work in my favor. Certainly, there are poems in there that suck. Poems you'd have to class as "jokes." Some of them, as "hilarious jokes." But overall, the work on display is of a very high standard, and some of it is just...blows me away. Words fail me. How can I describe, how can I do justice in words to some of those absolute best ones? I don't know where it came from, some of this stuff. I'm certainly not a worthy conduit for it. I don't have the necessary humility, but it's one aspect at least where I have to claim credit, and that's that I get off my ass.
How are your poems coming along?