I’ve been up to my ears in poetry these past few days. I have a black, hardbound sketch book where I’ve been writing down all my poems neatly so I have them all in one volume — and it’s a huge sketch book, so it should take me years to fill it up with poems. I’ve written almost half of my collection to date in it so far, and it barely even amounts to anything compared to the book’s full capacity. I think right now, with everything I’ve got, I can fill maybe a fourth of it — and this is all the poetry I’ve written in the past two and a half years!
It’s been interesting to review all my previous work, and to do a little experimenting in how I write it in this book. Right now, I’m using pencil and four different colors of pen ink. I can vary the size of my handwriting in each poem — how carefully I print it, or if I choose to use cursive — I can add space and move it all over the page — neat little things that you can’t do as easily in HTML. And simply the fact that it’s written by hand seems to add an extra feel to the words that you can’t get on a computer screen.
Before, the only previous collection of my work was here online; offline, I had poems scribbled in various notebooks and journals, none of which I put much care into. Now, in this book, I feel as if they’re really coming to life for the first time and expressing what I meant through so many different levels than just the words themselves. I’m discovering things in these poems that I never saw before. It’s wonderful to see how they’re becoming transformed and to work with them like this.
It’s also inspiring me to write more poetry. Along with the two I wrote before finals, “Poem for the Sky #1” and the other I mentioned, “An Attempt to Untangle,” I’ve written six poems in one week! That’s a lot. It’s been almost a month since my last poem before these — I wrote one on November 17, during NaNoWriMo, called “The Forgetting.” Now I also have “Poem for the Sky #2,” “Fall With a Smile,” “Postscript,” and I did one this morning that I’m not sure what to call yet.
Of course, that’s not good enough for me. I’m going through mild creative angst of sorts because I want to do another “Poem for the Sky,” I’m toying with another idea about November, and I want to rework an older poem of mine. Then I want to finish writing those three and six others in the book by Tuesday morning. Lots of writing, not to mention the creative process.
But it’s been good. It relieves a lot of stress for me to get the words out on paper, if I manage to get a feeling expressed close to the way I wanted it to turn out. I’m feeling a lot better this weekend.
And perhaps the most fun part of the writing all my poetry into this black book is getting to choose the order. For example, I was putting in the “Four Seasons” series, four poems which describe each of the four seasons in order — and then I realized I had other poems that were related to the seasons as well, so I started adding those in in order as well. I got through the entire cycle two and a half times: two summers, two springs, three autumns and three winters. It gives a lot more meaning to the poems if they’re in a specific order, I think, than if they’re just alphabetical.
Well, I’m going back to poetry writing now. I’m enjoying this a lot. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: one of these days, I really want to take a class on poetry at Cabrillo so I can polish up my technique. I’ve still got to get that required English course out of the way, though. I signed up for it as soon as we got the catalog this time, and I’m in finally — third time’s the charm! So maybe if they offer the poetry class over the summer session, I can do it in about six months from now.
Though things won’t settle down completely until the holiday season is over and I’m back from the Family Vacation, life is getting better right now and I’m starting to enjoy myself again.