We are now a quarter of the way through April, and my poetic experiment is bearing fruit. For the first 7 days, I managed to produce 6 rather solid drafts, 3 in English and 3 in French. After so many years of studying creative writing in English, I had kind of lost the habit of writing poetry spontaneously in French, so it felt good to rediscover that I can still do it!
And, on the 5th, due to fatigue, I only managed to produce these little lines in my journal:
Forgive me, ancient poetesses and goddesses
of inspiration and magic, I am so tired this evening
that nothing can escape my mind — here are some
little lines that show, a little limply, that, well: I tried.
Here are some quick observations:
- The 30 minute limit is the chief reason I managed to write a complete poem (or almost) every day. I'm not Jamaica Kincaid, who famously penned her short story Girl in a single, very short, sitting. I can't produce a masterpiece in just 30 minutes! It forces one to really confront one’s expectations. Even if the draft isn't miraculous, that's why it's a first draft — you can always rework it.
- Ah, my poor sonnets! I neglected them. My original plan to write sonnets from April 4-10 was quickly scrapped! I was planning on taking an hour or two to refresh my memory in my old notebooks from university before I started on them, but in the end between work and a few other obligations during the week, I just could not find the time. Maybe before Sunday I will have a little more courage to try again, but in the meantime poetry in free verse remains my preference when the minutes on the timer are running out!
- I feared that my drafts would all be about the weather or the muddy season that is Montréal in April. Although the natural (and not-so-natural) world around me is very present, I’ve been writing about all sorts of things — which is pretty reassuring! (We'll see how I feel about all of this by the end of the month, however!)
I will happily continue this experiment, and am really looking forward to haiku week. If you are doing 30 for 30, NaPoWriMo, or a similar writing challenge at the moment, I wish you very happy writing and a lot of inspiration!