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