Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Poetry Exercise: Harvest

November field

HARVEST

I wish I had a bird's eye view of the
cold, brown rivers braided together
against the base of a mountain. And
there, can you see? As I fly, I spy
hollow ravines and harvest-gutted
fields, painted with the fragile
shading of November.

I'm very uncomfortable with writing poetry and then instantly sharing it. I've learned over the years that my first-draft poem "charms" me into thinking it's perfect, and then when I read it the next day (after having posted it), I'm horrified at how unfinished and awkward it reads! This has happened time and time again, to the point where I always let my poems ripen for at least two or three weeks. They tend to slowly transform themselves with each re-read...I know a poem is done when I can leave it, revisit it days later, and feel as if nothing has to be changed. Until then, I don't post it!

But today, for some reason, I saw the Verse First prompt on Poets United and felt an urge to give it a try. Verse First is a weekly prompt that challenges you to write a poem spontaneously based on their prompt. This week's prompt is "the work is not about place", and asks that we go to a place we don't usually write and write a 7-line poem. I always type my poems at the computer - I never do them by longhand. So today I grabbed a 4X6 index card and went to our den along with my poetry journal and a pen.

I came up with the poem above...and although it feels stressful to post it, I will do it in the spirit of joining in! I think this is good for me - as I struggle with feeling vulnerable when sharing my poems, this exercise really puts me out there because I'm sharing stuff that is fresh out of my brain...I haven't had a chance to clean it up or arrange it in a more perfect way. And that's OK.

I feel there's no wrong or right way to write poetry...it just has to be from the heart, and authentically you. Here's my authentic poem...that probably isn't finished. I may make it longer - it has potential. Thank you for stopping by! The image is one I took near Sperryville, VA on a back country road.

So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days you can hear their chorus rushing past… ~Nicole Krauss

25 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing it right away, I thought is was very clear visually.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bravo to you for letting your poem take charge today. It conveys a sense of freedom. I understand that stress when I first started blogging I feared posting anything less than perfect. I'm still struggling to post my drawings.
    Hopefully we will get to see more of your "free for all" work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. well done.. you released the reins and let loose... :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. love those beautiful imagery in this closely knitted frame.........harvest gutted fields, brown rivers braided together,
    and fragile shading are some of the unforgettable expressions......

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thje few times I have flown in a plane, I have marveled at how the earth looks from the sky. I resonated with this poem completely. I also enjoyed your explanation afterwards. The way I write poetry has changed so much. I used to write longhand and work the poems....now I simply start typing and what wants to be said appears right away. I think it might be the pace of keeping up online. Also my pace is quickening as there are not many years ahead left in which to write........Anyway. Your poem reads perfectly to me and I cant imagine needing to change a thing! It is quite wonderful. And a cool place to "write from". Smiles.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it is perfect it really sums up November...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sherri,

    You have set the scene very nicely for having November in our midst right now...
    I understand your nervousness about quickly posting poems etc. I think you are not alone in that respect, since most writers are never truly satisfied with their efforts...It all changes and evolves...

    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  8. i love it, Sherri - & thanks for sharing that bird's eye view - i truly felt i was flying with you
    awesome pic as well

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love the poem & your musings. Beautifully expressed :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's an incredibly beautiful poem, instantly my favourite of yours. I know what you mean about first drafts charming one into Thinking they're perfect, and after posting you see all the flaws. (I do go back and re-edit things I've posted.) But I think this one of yours is already perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is beautiful. I love the 'fragile shading of November' which rings SO true to this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Here it is, 12 hours later, and the poem is still here! I love the instant of take off in the middle when your narrator stops wishing for something far away and lifts up to look closer at the November right there now!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful! vivid...glad that you brought this out and well, you could, if you feel so, revisit it. But happy to see you sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful photo!
    Greetings from Holland.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I completely agree with you, i too have felt the same many times with my poems..

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your poem feels very sincere...flowing from the heart. Thank you for sharing, and I appreciate the explanation very much.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How wonderful that this came to you so spontaneously.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, but this is so nice! I'm pulled into the images and the point of view. Very, very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello, Sherri, Well done on posting this beautiful piece! I do understand about letting a written work grow and mature. But how lovely to indulge in spontaneity with this one. A wonderful challenge!

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. A birds eye view would be good..first thought..best thought..

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for instantly sharing this nice poem!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your poem has really touched me Sherri! The photo here also really adds to your words, and brings the picture of your beautiful words in to the forefront. I think that you have done a wonderful job with this being a first draft.... I would not get this good on the 50th try. It might be an interesting exercise to work this some more, and look to see if it really has changed that much. I think it is just beautiful as it is!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I also rarely post anything until it has marinated for a while (read: been edited several times). I wonder if that's an introvert thing.

    ReplyDelete