Friday, May 1, 2015

After National Poetry Month

WARNING: The following post is quite introspective (read self-centered). It was written completely for my own edification and not for my audience. As such, it — and its author — will likely come off sounding, well, querimonious. Plaintive. Grousing.


Still, other writers who have shared the feelings I express here might find some measure of commiseration in them. So maybe it's not so self-indulgent after all.

When I saw National Poetry Month rolling toward me, I thought it might be a fun challenge to try to write and post a new poem every day of the month. And it was both those things: fun and challenging.

And I did it: Thirty poems in thirty days.

But completing this challenge didn't give me that warm fuzzy feeling that usually comes with setting a goal and completing it.

Honestly, though, I don't know what I expected to really get out of it. Did I expect that somewhere in there I would land on a perfect string of words? Would I draw in new readers from around the globe? Would I discover that I truly am a poet?

I think the past 30 posts prove pretty well that I am not a poet. Sure, I can make things rhyme. And I can establish and maintain a meter. But all that is closer to math than to creative expression. Poetry remains for me the psychiatry of the literary sphere: I can talk intelligently enough about it, but if you actually need it done, you should go to a professional.

It wasn't all crap, of course. I did have a few prideful moments this month. I am particularly fond of the poem from last Tuesday, "A Walk in the Woods," the first draft of which I really did write while perched on a bench in the woods. There was also one of my earlier posts, "The Possum," which came out of March's Indy WordLab. We were directed to write an animal poem, and although the form of the poem itself is no great feat, I like the concept and the metaphor behind it.

Did you have a favorite Logophilius poem this month?

All told, though, after a month of daily posts, I created nothing of great import. And according to everything I know about SEO (which is more than your average blogger), not to mention what the analytics tell me, these thirty posts did very little to make this blog easier for people to discover while searching.

In short, I don't feel like I accomplished much of anything. My view of the last month is like the cynic's view of climbing Mount Everest: I started at the bottom. A month's worth of stuff happened. And now I'm back at the bottom, where I started.

And sometimes, as my last poem of the month reveals, I feel even worse — that all the writing time and creative effort I put into the last month of posts was wasted. That I could have — should have — spent it on something more important, like a novel. Or even just one kick-ass short story. Anything that would have more staying power than a handful of haiku, limericks, and random quatrains.

But, I try to be positive. I try. This little poetic tangent is over now, and in May I will return to things more useful and interesting. For everyone (I hope.)

Watch this space.