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  • April 1st, 2011 | 3:28 AM
A Poem a Day for National Poetry Month

Yay! It's time for National Poetry Month when the Poetry Lovers unite across the blogosphere to share their love of poetry. Last year I wrote a poem a day about the father I had never known. It was an incredible emotional journey for me. I struggled to find a theme for this year, especially since my writing has not been going well. In fact the writing was going so "not well" that I decided to take the month of March off from all writing and try to do something I don't know how to do very well - play.

For most of the month of March I have been learning the basics of painting backgrounds for my collages. Everything was foreign to me - the kinds of paint, the kinds of paper, the kinds of brushes, even how to hold the brush was a new adventure. I've learned some things about art which led me to learning some things about writing which led me to learning some things about myself.

For National Poetry Month I'm going to look back at my month of play and try to distill some of what I've learned into poems. I'm not promising final, finished and polished drafts. Just another emotional honest journey through my life.

Guilty fingers poke and prod,
pushing me toward something
that I don't know
if I really know
how to do anymore.

The lack of words steals my voice,
the soul of what once defined me.

No longer a beginner
I cannot rely on hope
to bring me to the page.

I close my eyes

I am undone.

I am silent.

© 2011 Susan Taylor Brown. All rights reserved.

To see all the poetic events going on this month, check out this link at Kidlitosphere Central.
Amy, at The Poem Farm, has the Poetry Friday round-up.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 12 comments — Leave comment )
April 1st, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC)
I applaud you on your month-long journey and will be on that journey with you. I know all about the something-I-don't-seem-to-know-any-more. Maybe at the end of the month, you'll know it again.
April 1st, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Candace. This is actually a look back at the month of March which is what I took as a month of play. It was incredible. So hard to do at first. I had no problem not writing but I didn't know what else to do. And even with the playing with paints (which are so new to me) I was stiff and awkward and felt like all the directions I was reading were in a foreign language.

It took three weeks before I even thought about writing again and the last week I actually had writerly thoughts and thoughts of going back to one of my book projects. I hope these poems will help me recapture that time of play and write because I love to write not because I have to write.

April 1st, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
I love this idea! I am looking forward to reading more of your poems all month!
April 1st, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Andi. The month of play was an amazing experience. I have never been very good at playtime, not even as a child, so it took a while to get into it. But once I did, I loved it and the space gave my brain what it needed to go deep.
April 1st, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)

BTW, I am mentioning Hugging the Rock at a library workshop tomorrow (when I discuss novels in verse). :)
April 1st, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you and thank you. That's so sweet. And motivating for me to hear when I am on the cusp of trying to decide what book to go back to work on and what the heck a verse novel is and isn't and all that crazy writerly stuff.
April 4th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
I never could figure out what a verse novel is...if there are "rules" etc. But HTR was beautifully done. :)
April 1st, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
Your willingness to share your journey is so inspiring to the rest of us. Thank you for sharing it. You've got me thinking that I need more play too. May your silence feed you, Susan. A.
April 1st, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Play is important. I discovered that for true this past month. It is the best gift I could have given myself. Now to work it into every day.
(Deleted comment)
April 1st, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
It has only been by giving myself the true gift of a March without writing that I can at last admit that I have been in a fallow, wintery time not for weeks or months but for years.

It is not only that I have not sold a book for five years (not counting work-for-hire stuff) but I have not finished one.

But this month of permission to not write which is different from just not writing and beating myself up, has allowed me to nurture my creative self and, hopefully, lay seeds for spring.
(Deleted comment)
April 2nd, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
Yes. There is a need sometimes to just sit and wait. Usually I fight it but this past month I gave into it all.

But you're right in that it also take a commitment and I have been struggling with that as well. For a time I thought I needed to be obsessed about a project before diving into it. Then I remembered that commitment comes first and the obsession comes when I am in the middle of it all.
April 2nd, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing a journey of your heart and soul again this year!
( 12 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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