Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poetry Between the Lines

I have a month to go in the semester, and I've hit that inevitable moment I hit every semester when my writing takes the backseat to grading.  Every semester it seems to happen right about this time, and as much as I swear I'm going to not let it go, I do. The massive, tilting, guilty stacks of student papers take over and I lose all will and motivation to write.

This week I've been delighted by how many friends and writers are posting poems or parts of poems on Facebook for National Poetry Month.  This morning I've been wondering if there's a way to slip a little poetry into my life in these times when it's impossible (ok, not impossible but clearly difficult) to sit down and write.  Most writers I know go through periods like this when we just can't get it done.  And we miss it terribly. 

So, here is my brainstorm list for how to get a little poetry in between the lines of my life. I'd love to hear your ideas too:

1.  Poem in Your Pocket.  I bought this sweet book at AWP this year put out by the Academy of American Poets.  It's a "book" that's really a large tablet full of poems. You rip one out and put it in your pocket and carry it around all day.  How perfect is that?

2.  Hand Poetry.  Write one line of a poem you're working on on your hand.  Preferably the back.  Just think about that line all day, tinker with it, read it aloud often.

3.  Poem Flow App.  I found this great app for my phone called "Poem Flow"  It gives you a new poem every day.  

4.  New Word.  Yesterday on Facebook Terry Tempest Williams asked everyone to post their favorite words.  She got everything from "moss" to "spatula."  Find one new word and play with it in your head all day.  How would I use that word?  Could I open a poem with it?  What are all its derivations?

5.  Daily Haiku.  I have to confess I adore haiku.  I'm thinking if I set myself the task of writing one haiku, that would feel less daunting than a longer poem. I could take all day. I could work on one line at a time.  But I'd write one haiku every day for, say a week.  Or a month.  However long I need to get back to my regular writing time.  It might be kind of fun to work on a theme for the haiku of that period.  Birth haiku?  Coffee haiku?  Cat/Dog haiku?

So now I'm lecturing myself back into writing, in some way, every day.  Please do post your ideas and thought--I'd love to see them!

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