The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Re-Verse

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I’ve spoken before about the “impulse” to write creative non-fiction.  It’s still as strong as ever; virtually omni-present in my cognitive processes.  This year in particular, too, I have experienced the fiction impulse and been satisfying it as I develop my fiction skills.  There is still the poetry impulse, though, and I haven’t felt it for quite some time.

That changed about 3 weeks ago when my poetry schemas pulsed anew after a long dormancy, like an Atari 2600 that you’re surprised still works when you plug it in after all these years.  That was last month; poetry pulsed again a few afternoons ago.  Both times, I was in my car heading to or from work.  Odd now that I think about it:  Many of the poems I have worked on over the last few years came to me in the car under the same circumstances.

So now I have two poems clunking around in my head.  I’m trying to polish off the sharp corners of the first one, but can’t seem to find the time.  I’ve hardly done much about it except work through a rough draft.  I took a far different approach to it than I ever have before, though.  The approach came out of The Practice of Poetry, a book I snagged for a dollar a few summers ago at an art festival in Lake Geneva, thinking it might be good to have around if I need to whip out something for my creative writing students.  I dig through it every now and then, and am consistently surprised at what I find and how it builds my poetry schemas.

The approach I used comes from Thomas Lux, who suggests to write for 10 minutes without stopping; concretely, sensorily, in images.  Don’t read it.  Don’t you dare.  Then put it away and forget about it for a spell.  So I tried that, focusing more on the subject of my poem, which happens to be the way you can look directly at the sun on a cloudy day if you’re wearing sunglasses.  So I wrote about that in my journal on August 27.  I rewrote and wrote some more 10 days later, that time on a computer.  Last week, I started to excavate the writings.  I’m not worrying about line breaks or rhyme or enjambment or anything.  I’m writing and looking.  Not finding too much right now, but even if I’m not digging up gold, little chunks of silver and bronze still have some worth.

And I’m digging.  The sweat feels good.

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Written by seeker70

September 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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