Creativity Workshop, Goals, Poetry, Writing

Week two, during which I entered Poetland

Today is the day I update you on my Creativity Workshop progress. My goal this week was to research poetry forms, necessary because I’m basically ignorant of everything connected to writing poetry, and then to write the first of four poems. My theme for this set of goals is the four seasons. Certainly not an original concept, but it meets the requirement for connection, and I’ve never written poems specifically on seasons before. Also, each season will be personified as maiden, mother, or crone. I recognize two stages to motherhood: birthing and rearing, so Summer and Fall will both stand for mother.

I confess, by midweek I began to question the wisdom of signing up for a workshop when I was this close to finishing the final polish of a novel. Only two weeks in, it’s become a struggle to keep focused on the workshop goals. I don’t write well in short spurts, and at this point in my life, I usually don’t have to. I can and prefer to take the time to “get into character” before I let the story flow and then work until my brain exhausts itself. Breaking up my writing time with a bit of this and a bit of that is taking its toll on the quality of my output.

As requested, I recorded my progress in writing the first of four poems for the Creativity Workshop. This week I did not keep to the daily schedule I drew up before the workshop started. Obviously, I’m not doing so well on marrying discipline and creativity. I did, however, step up a rung on the ladder.

  • Monday: This was meant to be my research day, and I did some, but not as much as I’d planned because the words came first. I wrote some “poetic” thoughts on summer as I recall it from living the first half of my life in Indiana.
  • Tuesday: I researched more on poetry forms. One form I kept bypassing on Monday was the prose poem because it didn’t seem challenging enough. But early this morning, I took another look at the what I’d written and saw that it had already matured halfway to prose  poem–so prose it is. I worked far beyond my scheduled time and finished a decent draft of the poem by the end of the day. Also, viewed Merrilee’s three photo prompts and wrote down nine ideas/thoughts inspired by them as requested.
  • Wednesday: This is the busiest day of my week, so I had to stick with my allotted CWS time. Edited the poem to choose words better fitted to this poem. I consulted with one of my musician sons on use of one term.
  • Thursday: On second thought, I may not keep the prose poem form. I revised to free form, which is not a new poetry form for me, but I think I like the poem better this way. I spent the rest of my CWS time sitting in the sun and reading poetry.
  • Friday: I let the two versions of the poem sleep today. I researched more poetry forms to prepare for writing the next three. My aim is to fit the poetic form to the theme of the poem, but I’m not sure I will be able to do that.
  • Saturday: I re-read the two versions and decided to go with the free verse. I changed one word and added another. At some point in the future, I might know enough to write this better, but for now, I’ll consider this poem finished.

Words for the next poem came to me in the shower yesterday morning. I had been considering haiku for a winter poem and these words were already a close fit. So, it seems I have a head start on next week’s goal.

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19 thoughts on “Week two, during which I entered Poetland”

  1. You’re far braver that I am, Linda. I have scarcely attempted poetry over the years.
    That might be a blessing in disguise. I’ve always thought it would be nice to try. Never say never, I guess.

    Sounds as though this workshop is keeping you very busy.


    1. You know, Laura, I started this year out by challenging myself, and intended to keep doing that, but let the ball drop. The point of Merrilee’s workshop is to challenge ourselves creatively and I decided an attempt to write poetry filled that bill for me. So, yes, never say never. 🙂


  2. I think it is wonderful that you spent Thursday evaluating the form that your words should take. I believe poetry requires that flexibility. Yes, we craft the words, but it is the emotion behind the words that first speak to us. Some of the best poetry I’ve written is where I allowed that emotion to dictate the form. Not to say I am a great poet, but I am a lover of words and strive to give them the voice they deserve.

    You’re doing great. This first week was a challenge, but as the workshop progresses we will find it fits more comfortably into our daily goals. (I hope anyway.)


    1. Thanks, Trista. I clearly don’t know what I’m doing writing poetry, but I went with my instinct on the form this week … and next week too. After that, I’ll have to try a form I’ve never written in before. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve used a rhyme scheme since I was a child, so that in itself will be a challenge.


  3. Poetry makes me shudder, but I love the discipline of haiku. The rigidity is freeing somehow; the others frighten me. Then again, I was going to add a clever and simple little haiku here to show how I like to goof with it, but then I forgot whether it’s 4-7-5 or 5-7-4 or 5-7-5 or what.


    I’m glad the workshop’s going well for you. 🙂


    1. Poetry has mostly just bewildered me, though I admired the poems I could understand. I think my decision to try my hand grew from my envy of the poet’s ability to say so much in so few words. Which I suppose is why I have no plans to ever write an epic poem. 🙂


  4. Yay, Linda! Good job this week! 🙂 Looks like you’ve put a good amount of thought into this set of poems – what a creative idea to also include mothering themes with the four seasons. Also, way to go, meeting your goals even though (like you mentioned) you have an almost-polished novel on your hands. 🙂


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