Poetry Questions

I've been sorting my poems from last year. I wrote one every day, and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with them. It's a rather strange process.

There are some poems that are only for me. I had to write a poem that day, about something that mattered to me. I did, but it doesn't sound especially nice, and it also wouldn't mean much to anyone else. Poems like:

Three packages
offered up
by one chilly mailman.
Mail always makes the day gleam brighter.

These are poems that did help me think of a moment that made me happy, and remember it. And they are poems that tell about me. I love to get the mail. I order catalogs and write letters and send cards, all so that I can hope for something to come in the mail. So, now I have a poem about it. Yay. These poems go into the "unsorted" pile. They are not much use to anyone but myself.

There are also poems that are just plain bad. Poems I truly, truly only wrote because I had to. They could have been written better by a second grader. Poems like:

Blue
Blue
Blue sky.
after
days of grey.
And even though
It isn’t warm.
It feels warm.

These go in the "unsorted" pile as well. I don't get much from these poems. They don't help me remember a moment, or know something about myself. I don't even smile and wish I could go get the mail.

Then there are poems that make me smile and that almost have a point that would matter to someone else. Poems like:

Sparkly stars
on a puffy tutu.
The ridiculousness of it all apparent
as she shoves it into her mouth.
Munching happily
in the inquisitive way of a babe.
Taste, texture,
all to find the meaning.
One extra lick,
for good measure.

But there still seems to be something missing. What is missing? I really can't say. Maybe a lot. Maybe a little. Maybe it still only matters to me. But they are poems I still keep unsorted. I wouldn't know what to do with them. They are special, but not special enough. Boy, that doesn't seem too nice.

Then I have poems I like. Poems like:

The rain still falls.
You'd prayed for it to stop,
wished for it to stop,
squeezed all your hope together
on the off chance
it might stop.
But it rains anyway.
And the poles must go up,
the fly must go over,
the bags must be placed inside
to keep the many bodies warm
which you've dragged on this excursion
which they barely understand.
click, click
go the clasps
smack, smack
goes the mallet
And the rain still falls down.
But at the end of it,
standing there
with muddy hands,
wet pants and boots,
a coat whose down is failing to stay dry,
the tent stands up.
As you made it do.
Inside that tent,
other than a few unwieldy drips,
 you've managed
to make
the rain stop.
Having to answer your own pleas
with the determined insistence
that you would not desist,
you would not give up,
no matter how brokenly you wished you could lie down
and cry
that none of it is fair.
The rain would not stop.
So make it stop,
why don't you?


Or:

It had fallen over in the dirt,
almost dead
from heat
and an accidental miss
at watering.
Shriveled.
Folded together.
Sinking
in the clay.
A little water here,
a night of coolness,
and a strange day of no sun
bring it back to life.
There may be some who wonder
why it grew so cool
in a week of hotness.
But not the little cucumber
that cried
for one more chance.


These are poems I like, that make me remember, and that also seem like they might mean something to someone else. But who exactly? And how? Where exactly would I send these poems, that they would become something beyond scribbles on my computer.

And there are some, maybe just a handful, that really truly could be something, and as such can't be thrown about on a blog to be picked up by the google robots. And I truly have no idea what to do with those.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Le Guin Writing Exercises #3 - Sentence Length

Thoughts on Editing a Book

Strawberries and Violets