Sunday 18 April 2010
It will protect you
Knowing I'd be away for the first week or more of April, I didn't consider joining Na(or in my case Int)PoWrimo. But when I got home I was delighted and inspired by the daily poems my friends Ivy, Maria and Beth were writing: two fine published poets and another fine published writer, and publisher of poetry, whose own writing is more often in other genres (or is it? All good writing distills words and gives attention to cadence).
I'm surprised, to say the least, to have managed a week of little daily poems, aided no doubt by unwonted post-retreat spaciousness of mind. That's fading, of course, and I've no idea if I can continue. All of these were, ahem, spontaneous and without any forethought for subject or, apart from the haiku, for form - rather obviously, I fear, but you have to start somewhere, and this exercise too has value. If I do continue I probably should challenge myself to write to a form.
Inspired by Dave, I've been reading some poetry too, both well-loved and new to me. I took down the Collected Poems of a favourite poet, Elaine Feinstein, and it fell open at this one. Oh!
by Elaine Feinstein
'Write something every day', she said,
'even if it's only a line,
it will protect you.'
How should this be?
Poetry opens no cell,
heals no hurt body,
brings back no lover,
altogether, poetry is
powerless as grass.
How then should it defend us?
Only by strengthening
our fierce and obstinate centres.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Mortal by Ivy Alvarez
Mapmaker of Absences by Maria Benet
Going to Heaven by Elizabeth Adams
Collected Poems and Translations by Elaine Feinstein