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.
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.
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.
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.
I love this idea! I am looking forward to reading more of your poems all month!
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.
BTW, I am mentioning Hugging the Rock at a library workshop tomorrow (when I discuss novels in verse). 🙂
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.
I never could figure out what a verse novel is…if there are “rules” etc. But HTR was beautifully done. 🙂
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.
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.
Wow, that so perfectly describes what the fallow times feel like. But so far, the fallow times have always been a winter, followed by a spring.
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.
“permission to not write which is different from just not writing and beating myself up”
That’s so important. I didn’t write much creatively during my years in graduate school. Going in, I told myself I would keep it up, but I just couldn’t. After grad school, I recommitted myself to writing.
That was a matter of having the time and mental energy. But there are other times when I just don’t know what to say, or how to say it, and then I wait until the muse returns.
Thank you for sharing a journey of your heart and soul again this year!