Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Poetry Month: the Half Way Point and the Mountain Top

We are halfway through National Poetry Month.  How is your month going?

I have not been trying to write a poem a day.  In ordinary times, I would be happy to write a poem a week; this month, I missed a week, but I have hopes of writing some extra poems this week-end, since we have Friday off.

I did submit my poetry manuscript to Copper Canyon Press.  I thought I had submitted before, but I looked through my submission log to discover that I had not.  I like that I paid $35 and got not only permission to submit, but 2 books.

I will buy more books of poetry too, before the month is over, but I do that most months.  The trick comes in remembering to read poetry, not just support the poetry community by buying books.

In short, my National Poetry Month looks a lot like every other month.  In many ways, I think that's a good thing.

Some years, I've ramped up my poetry activity during April.  I often end up exhausted by May and not writing anything for a month or more.

And yet, I look back to those years with some wistfulness:  all the poems I wrote!  all the ways I felt fully engaged and alive!  the fact that I felt like I was doing what I was put on earth to do!

Could I capture that feeling without the full-tilt pace?  What are the ways to cultivate those highs in my daily poetry life?

Or are those years of full participation in National Poetry Month more like going on a retreat or pilgrimage?  The mountain-top-experience is great, but one must return from the mountain.

But must we return?  Can we not infuse the mountain top into our daily lives?

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