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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Rethinking my Poetry

Oh dear — just read through the last few months' verses (on The Passionate Crone) and was struck by how banal and prosey most of them are!

I have often noted that my poetry blog gets far more viewers than any Australian lit. mag. Maybe this is not such a great idea, when what viewers are seeing consists largely of first drafts!

This happens from time to time — looking at one's poems and suddenly perceiving them, en masse, as simply awful.  Or perhaps on this occasion it is because I have just been reading the beautiful words of Patti Smith in Just Kids. Not only does she write like a dream; much of the story is about the making of art — innovative art.

For so long, influenced by my love of haiku, I've tried to make poems that are very plain and clear. I think I've gone too far! At any rate, the only ones that look good to me now are where I've explored form — particularly lesser-known forms such as the bref doublé, the sijo, even the paradelle.

I don't make New Year resolutions as a rule, but this year I seem to be making a few. A new one is to refrain (at least most of the time) from writing poems to prompts — because usually one has only a few days at most to complete the poem. Instead I am really going to do what I promised myself last year but didn't: go through all these drafts and either turn them into poetry that sings (or makes some other artistic impact) or else discard them.

I'll very likely make an exception for form prompts, especially if I get an opportunity to explore forms new to me. And I might be turning some of the lack-lustre free verse into form.

I expect I'll still share poems with the Poets United and dVerse communities, but in their weekly general poemfests rather than responding to specific prompts. And I'll certainly share rewrites with my facebook poetry communities ... except, I suppose, the Free Verse one.

There are also two books to produce — collaborations — of poems that ARE working. Keeps me off the streets!


  1. hah, we're on the same resolution page. this year is for me to go back and refine, finish on poem level and book level. too much of promising drafts.