Sunday, February 1, 2015

Month of Poetry in Review

Month of Poetry finished yesterday, and once again, I found it a great experience. I did write 31 poems, although not all of them found their way here (some went to the closed MoP blog, some to the closed Facebook group, and a couple were too raw to post anywhere).

I was quite pleased with the month overall, although there were definite misses. Form-wise, I wrote 4 sevenlings, 5 villanelles, 1 kyrielle, 1 Abcderian, 1 erasure poem, 1 enjambed rhyming poem, 10 free verse, 5 haiku, 2 rhyming poems and 1 stream of consciousness. Subject matter covered nature, family, historical and religious figures, politics, and environmentalism / dystopias - sometimes all at once, which got a bit confusing at times.

I really liked my Maligned or Mistreated Women of the Bible mini-cycle - 8 poems in all, covering Vashti, Queen of Persia; Jeroboam's wife; Cozbi, the Midianite princess; Aholibamah, the Canaanite wife of Esau; Lot's wife; Pharoah's daughter who adopted baby Moses; the ill-fated daughter of Jephthah; and Delilah, or Samson-and fame. In fact, I'd like to do more in this vein and will explore offline.

My Favourite Five from this year is a little hard to pin down, but I think I'd choose these:

1. A New Year's Day Sevenling
My first attempt at a sevenling, and I like the last line in particular.

2. Liar
This raw stream of consciousness, written from the POV of Cozbi the Midianite princess, came through in a voice I've never really achieved before.

3. Birthing the Poem
It's far from perfect, but I am fond of this one. A self indulgent poem, yes, but very enjoyable to write.

4. Penalty
Angry and cynical and political. But sometimes you need those things too.

5. Salt
Kyrielles don't always work for me, but this one, on Lot's wife, did. (I think).

As always, doing this exercise has reminded me how important creativity is to my sense of purpose and wellbeing, and the reality is, writing is my primary form of creative expression. I am a visual dullard; I can't craft; I am not especially musical (I am competent at piano and can hold a tune, but in no way talented). Writing poems and stories is, for me, the way to let the light out and play with it, and I cherish disciplines like Month of Poetry for the richness they bring me.

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