did someone say National Poetry Month?

Reader, I may be returning to the surface (gurgle, gulp). Then again, it might just be a good morning. Either way, I’m glad to be here for a few minutes of poetry talk before I return to my mothering/nursing duties.

Rumor has it it’s National Poetry Month? I know many poets are writing a poem-a-day. As for me, other duties call and I’ll be taking my cue from Rita Dove, whose advice to young poets is pictured above. (BTW, I don’t think I could be accused of being a “young” poet. “Middle aged” poet, yes. “Apprentice” poet, always). There’s lots more advice, for poets of all ages, at this link.

Yes, I have lots of books on my to-read shelf. The latest addition is on its way, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it: Alison’ Seay‘s To See the Queen is finally out. I’ve been waiting for it since I came upon this poem, which I know I’ve linked to before, but trust me, it keeps.

Speaking of poetry books, Powell’s is offering 15% off all poetry titles this month. Tempting, verrrrrrry tempting.

Speaking of poetry books, Susan Rich is hosting the Big Poetry Giveaway this year, and there’s a list of participating poets in the left margin of her blog. I will probably participate in this, too, but give me a few days (gurgle, gulp).

Speaking of metaphors (uh, well technically, I guess we weren’t, but…), here’s a short but informative craft essay by Mark Doty about the making of his poem “A Display of Mackerel.” Amongst other things, he says,

“Our metaphors go on ahead of us. They know before we do.”

He says,

“I need something to serve as a container for emotion an idea, a vessel that can hold what’s too slippery or charged or difficult to touch.”

He says,

“Will doesn’t have much to do with this; I can’t choose what’s going to serve as a compelling image for me. But I’ve learned to trust that part of my imagination that gropes forward, feeling its way toward what it needs; to watch for the signs of fascination, the sense of compelled attention (Look at me, something seems to say, closely) that indicates that there’s something I need to attend to.”

There are more gems in this essay, which is called “Souls on Ice.”

As for my own work, I know it will be at least a couple weeks before I can count on what I think of as “real” pockets of time for writing. But I’ll keep reading, and I’ll keep slipping into cracks of time, jotting things down in my notebook like: Who knows which brother it was? He was / on his bike. It was summer. And, We made… Even the ruins… We went back to them… . And, There was more to be undone.

Who knows when or whether these scraps will become poems (Hey, maybe I can do a scrap a day, rather than a poem a day!?)… but middle-aged poets…, we do what we can.

Happy National Poetry Month!

4 thoughts on “did someone say National Poetry Month?

  1. A scrap a day —- that’s perfect! I can’t take the pressure of much more.
    And I LOVE the Rita Dove advice.
    Thanks Molly — you’re always full of keepables.

  2. Love the idea of a scrap a day, and love Allison Seay’s book (lucky me, I got a review copy, so I’ve been mooning over it for a while now. Now all I have to do is write the review!) Happy, happy National Poetry Month to you! Your scraps sound terrific to me. I think breath-taking and scrap-making is a perfect combo for the middle-aged poet in April (month of poetry and month of Spring Break, when the children stay home and roost). Hope nursing goes smoothly, and welcome back to the surface! The weather’s good up here, and the chocolate is pretty decent too. 🙂

    • Thank you Sally, and pass the chocolate! Breath-taking and scrap-making sounds just right. As for the nursing, let’s just say I’m no Clara Barton. :/

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