The Struggle

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One of my goals for the second half of this year aside from putting together my own collection of poetry is to develop some new works. I have been working on some new poetry, but it has been quite difficult. Writing poetry has always been something that comes easily to me. The words have always poured out of me, even after midnight, when I wanted to be asleep.  However, lately I have been unable to really focus on finishing new pieces. I have started at least twenty new poems that are currently sitting in various stages of development on my hard drive. I’m reluctant to call it writer’s block because I am writing but none of those pieces feel complete.

In the hopes of fixing it, I am toying with the idea of pulling out my old craft books and trying to create based on prompts. Or looking up prompts on Poets & Writers or another site. I’ve been trying my hand at different forms of poems in the hopes that they will spark my creativity. I have been looking at tanka, blues poems, epistles, and prose poems; next I may try found poetry. I’m hoping that focusing on different types will help me complete some work. I may just have to pause in trying to create new poetry and focus on some other type of writing until the words come back.

Please share any suggestions or recommendations that you think might help.

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Holy Sonnets:Death, be not Proud-John Donne

It’s Sunday and I am feeling spiritual so I thought that I’d share one of poet John Donne’s Holy Sonnets. As a poet, I have a special affinity(and disdain) for sonnets. The disdain is probably because I associate them with The Bard but I respect them because I have difficulty composing my own.  Regardless of my feelings, I love the beauty of the form and was delighted to share one with you this weekend. This sonnet was one of the first of Donne’s Holy Sonnets to catch my attention. In my defense, I was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II yesterday and got caught up in Harry bravely speaking to his parents, Sirius and Remus. I think that’s why this one captivated me.

As always, enjoy!

birds cloud fog gloom

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Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Thank You for Being a Friend

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Since its inception this blog has been my safe haven, a place to share my writing and misgivings and the joys and pains of everyday life.  For the past eight years it’s been something that I could turn to as a way to ensure that I was creating and then I always had things to share because of my never-ending commitment to education. Since I am currently on a pause from classes, I have been struggling with what to write especially as I turn my vision more towards fiction. In many ways, this blog has helped me develop my voice in ways that degrees and multiple creative writing classes couldn’t. If you are a long-time follower of the blog, then you’ve read some of the fiction that I’ve shared here. I currently have one completed piece of fiction and two more that need editing and revision. I have a bunch of other stories that are in various stages of development. And I have this poetry manuscript that I am working to put together before the end of the summer so that I can pass it along to a few trusted readers to ensure that it is cohesive.

I like to think that over time, I have improved, not just in what I share but the quality of material as well. As this blog took on the feel of a portfolio of poems from other poets that I respect I began to feel more confidence as a blogger but also as a curator of works. So hopefully, that experience will help me as I try to collate my own collection.

I know this reads as some sort of goodbye, but it isn’t. It’s merely a thank you for taking the time to read whatever I share. I am not going to be stepping away from the blog, but I am going to take some steps this summer to get back to batch blogging in order to ensure that I’m sharing great and relevant material (including poems, fiction and rants).  You are going to see a bunch of different types a post at least once a week, but I will still be sharing all the normal writing things.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

A Love Song-William Carlos Williams

This poem is so full of color that I thought it would be perfect to share today. I hope that it brightens up someone’s Monday.

As always, enjoy!

woman in yellow and blue dress lying on a grass field

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I lie here thinking of you:—

 

the stain of love

is upon the world!

Yellow, yellow, yellow

it eats into the leaves,

smears with saffron

the horned branches that lean

heavily

against a smooth purple sky!

There is no light

only a honey-thick stain

that drips from leaf to leaf

and limb to limb

spoiling the colors

of the whole world—

 

you far off there under

the wine-red selvage of the west!

The Holdup

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Lately, one of my biggest struggles has been trying to write every day. When I am troubled or just really need to get something down I usually don’t have a problem but lately it has been a catastrophe when I attempt to write. I didn’t anticipate encountering this when I’d previously had a sort of routine for sitting down to get some writing done. Apparently, I was sorely mistaken.

In an attempt to fix this I have been trying to read more since I believe the two are closely connected. However that hasn’t been working either. I have found myself rereading some of the same books trying to inspire myself and still nothing. This weekend, I even binge watched an entire twenty-three episode show in an attempt to get some inspiration. I was only inspired to watch more shows.

I don’t know what else I should try or how to break out of this slump. So I’m going to try two things 1.) freewriting  for at least thirty minutes and 2.) selecting five to seven words from my GRE flash cards and incorporating them into a writing. My goal is to try to do these each day for the next week or so in the hopes that it will help .

Does anyone have any suggestions on breaking a writing slump? I’d love to hear any tips or suggestions.

Long, too long America- Walt Whitman

Under the present circumstances, I felt that this was a great piece to post today. America is, in my opinion, still the most amazing country but I also view it without blinders. I have to and not just because of my natural cynicism. This poem by a great American poet pays tribute to the country but the first line speaks directly to the feelings of a lot of Americans right now.

arizona asphalt beautiful blue sky

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Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn’d from joys and prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv’d what your children en-masse really are?)

Spite

Tonight I’m sharing something that I’ve been toying with. I have shared previously that I want to try working with shorter forms so I had to post this. It isn’t really finished, I could see myself adding at least another stanza but I wanted to share. Over the summer, I hope to go back to some of the books from my earlier classes and work on experimenting with various forms. As always, I hope you enjoy!

Also, please excuse the cute picture that accompanies this post. I saw it and couldn’t resist.

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You wear your disdain like a badge

Spearing others with it

As if it were the

spines of a porcupine.