Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some Final Thoughts on Poetry Month

Today is the last day of April (seems hard to believe) and thus the end of poetry month. But I do hope to post some poems off and on as the weeks continue. And I hope you all will make poetry a part of your lives. One easy way to do that is to listen to a daily broadcast of the Writers' Almanac.

Posting poems (nearly) every day has been an interesting exercise for me. I'm often hesitant to show any of my work before many, many revisions, critiques by trusted friends, many more revisions, etc. So to publish my work, even on such an informal venue as a blog, feels risky to me. But I also benefited from doing so. Several of you helped me revise poems, which I always find helpful. Plus, I got encouragement along the way to keep at it. That always helps.

Being a writer is an odd life. On the one hand, I have to develop this super-tough skin to weather all sorts of rejections and attempt to stay positive so that I can continue working and writing new things. On the other hand, I have to stay vulnerable and sensitive to the emotions of others so that I can portray an authenticity in my writing as well as stay open to critique and edits. So it sometimes feels a bit strange. I'm usually reluctant to share any work until I feel it is "ready" because experience has taught me to wait. I wait because I can easily become discouraged about a project. Keeping that optimism is very important for maintaining motivation, that drive which keeps progress moving on a project that may never have a single reader, except for me. I dream one day of having a published collection of poetry, but poetry is a hard sell since very few people actually spend time reading it.

Anyway, enough rambling. For today, the last day of poetry month, I'll share one of my favorite poems:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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