Poets

Are Poets Just Lazy Writers?

Are Poets Just Lazy Writers_

Thank you all for taking part in last week’s post, Even Poets Can Be Funny. Your responses kept me smiling well into the weekend. Mrs D got in the act suggesting my humour was like me, best kept in a MOOseum. Hopefully we can have a few more posts like this throughout the year.

In today’s Thursday Thoughts I am returning to the exploration and journey through poetry and a question asked at a writing meetup I attended a few weeks ago, “are poets just lazy writers?” My first reaction was to go on the defensive, but I took the question home with me and it has opened some interesting ideas and reflection.

Poetry can appear, from the outside, to be a writing form taking less time and effort than other types of writing. Compare, for example, one of Issa’s Haikus with Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the finished work on paper can lead to the impression poetry is a less time consuming and challenging activity.

At the same meeting I was asked, “How long does it take you to write a poem?” My answer was “55 years…. at the moment”, because each poem I write contains every ounce of my being going back to the time I took my first breath. This would be no different whether writing a novel, short story or a six-line poem.

Sometimes an idea for a poem can sit in my head for weeks and only after a hundred miles of walking and pondering will the first draft make it on paper. Then there is the drawn-out process of reducing the 1000 words of mayhem into something resembling poetry.  Many poems are put to one side in journals or files and may not see the light of day for months or even years.  In among all this there are the hours of doubt and frustration and a process that may be taking place with numerous poems at any one time. There are many words I could use to describe poets but lazy would not be one of them.

C.K. Williams said  his poem, The Hearth (in the singing), took twenty-five years to write and there are many other poets whose poetry and collections were the product of years of hard work.  Each one an example  poets are far from lazy writers.

Well that’s enough for this week. I have had my daily ten minutes of stretching the pen and grey matter; the log fire and armchair beckons (it’s a poet thing).

What are your views on this. Are poets lazy writers, or is there much more to the dark art? The floor is yours.

Poetic Motivations:78

Poetic Motivations_78

Run Your Own Race

Run Your Own Race

It is that time again when the inbox is full of tips and advice about setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions. The phrase for 2018 seems to be “Run Your Own Race” and this is a good starting point for the first Thursday Thoughts.

Life feels like it’s getting quicker and 2017 went in a flash. At times I felt like Usain Bolt (in mind, not in body.) One of my challenges in 2017 was to post on Inside the Mind of Davy D each Monday to Friday. Apart from one week I managed it, but I reached the finishing line a little exhausted and needing a strategy to run a different kind of race in 2018.

Two pieces of writing I read in the last week had an impact on me and provided some ideas on how my race in 2018 will look. Gina, over at Singledust, wrote an excellent post, What am I thankful for? giving time for reflection and recognising the good things we have in our lives. This made me realise sometimes we need to slow down and look back in the race to see how far we have come, applauding ourselves on the steps we have taken.

Fiona, on her Wordsworth Muse blog, wrote a beautiful poem titled Butterfly Daze.  One of the lines, “Because they have so little time to live,” reinforced the seed left by Gina and planted the thought maybe we need to have the occasional time out from the race, take a few deep breaths and spend time looking at our surroundings and getting to know more about the people we are racing with.

So, for 2018, I am taking off the sprinting spikes and putting on the carpet slippers and my race is going to be more of a ramble. I will still be posting Monday to Friday, but when I need to take a time out……… I will.

Some of you may have seen my Poetic Goals for 2018 and although they were a little tongue in cheek they express the notion of getting deeper into poetry. This means taking time to reflect and exploring my motivations and inspirations as a poet and experimenting with different styles of writing and poetry. It also involves getting to know more about the writers and poets in this excellent writing community, and finding others who can add to the conversation.

At times in 2017 it just felt like a brief hello and wave before racing off into the distance. The purpose of Thursday Thoughts is to try and address the imbalance and deepen and share the love we have for all things poetic.

Slowing down, more time for reflection, getting deeper into poetry and knowing you all better, the pulse rate is dropping already.  How will your writing race look in 2018?  It would be nice to read your thoughts.

 

Poetry For Beginners

Poetry For Beginners V2

Poetic Motivations:72

Poetic Motivations_72

Poetic Motivations:63

Poetic Motivations-63

Poets and Death

Poets and Death

Poetry in the Waiting Room

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Earlier this week I was sat in the waiting room at my local doctor’s surgery when on a table, amongst the magazines, I saw several cards with the heading, Poems in the Waiting Room.

The cards contained a short collection of poetry designed for patients to read, while waiting to see their doctor. They were offered free of charge, with patients able to take the cards with them when finished at the surgery.

What a great way to use and promote poetry. I read the poems and, for a while, forgot about my aversion to anything in a white coat.

The Poems in the Waiting Room initiative is run by a small charity, based in the UK, and its purpose is to use poetry as part of providing a healing environment. Their website contains comments from patients, doctors and surgery staff as to the benefits of having poetry in waiting rooms, as well as links to research and other organisations who support the programme. They also accept submissions from poets.

If you want to know more about the charity, links to research around the subject, or would like to submit poetry for their publications, have a look at their website at www.poemsinthewaitingroom.org

Do you know of any similar initiatives where you are? It would be good to find out about them.