Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Poetry Writing Month?

I'm a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.
                                          William Faulkner

This is an interesting quote, but I wonder if it is true. Writing a novel is hard. Last year I successfully completed the NaNoWriMo challenge, and now I am trying to decide if I should do it again this year. It is a serious commitment, although very rewarding. Anyone out there doing NaNo for the second time (or third, or whatever?)

I am also wondering, what about a poetry writing month? Suppose I challenge myself to write one poem a day for the month of October? By December, I would have thirty drafts of poems to revise. Even if only half of them turned into something good, that would be a lot. My own NaPoWriMo (apologies to Chris Baty.)

What do you poets think? Anyone up for some intense poetry writing? Or is it time for a month of novel writing?


Zoe said...

I truly disagree that poetry is the hardest form of writing. Firstly, is it very varied in topics but also in style. There is something for everybody ranging from sonnets to imagism. Poetry requieres a good vocabulary and of course the certain understanding of the language but unlike prose writing (depending on your prefered choise of poetry) the need for perfect plots, grammar and syntax is minimal in comparison.

Writing a poem a day is not a bad idea, i think you should go for it!!!

Amy said...

I have written a poem a day for workshops, but not for longer than a week. It's tough. But you come home with great raw material to work with, and I love editing.

David E. Patton said...

Amy what is NoPoWriMo? as for poetry month which is April One April I tryed to write a poem a day and it turn out to be harder than I thought it would be. most of the poems was not very good. I agree with you on the first thought best thought and find that I have to revise most of my poems, revision dose not always give me the best poem as you can see in the example on my site.

Peter said...


The waitress with her passing smile, another cup of coffee with yesterday's newspaper and a half-smoked Camel.

I wonder if she remembers the time we spent in Rome, without crossing an ocean to get there...

Amy said...

Hi David,

Sorry to confuse you--NaPoWriMo doesn't exist. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, and I thought I'd be cute by making up acronym for National Poetry Writing Month. National Poetry Month, which does exist, is indeed in April.

I wrote for about 2 hours a day for NaNoWriMo, so I think a poem a day is do-able. Not easy, but do-able.

ericlow said...

i have a book by michael stipe of r.e.m. and several other people in which they wrote each other a haiku a day for one year. it's called the haiku year. it's not a very good book. so i guess while the idea of writing one a day is promising, the actual results may not be exciting. well, that's my opinion.

MB said...


That's precisely what I've been doing, but my commitment for myself is not for a month. It's longer.

And no, it's not all good stuff by any means. And it is at times very hard. But it is also teaching me a huge amount. And some have the potential to become real poems some day.

If you are truly interested in writing poems, I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it takes me YEARS to write a poem. I like to revise a lot. However, if we write a poem each day we would have a lot of fodder for future writing. It's a wonderful idea. Keep us posted:)

MB said...

TL Reynolds, I have poems it's taken me years to write, too. I think a lot of "writing" of them happens when I'm not actually pen-in-hand. Which adds to my perplexity about the whole writing process. And a poem can be infinitely malleable until one decides to draw the line. But daily writing is exercise of another sort, I find.

Amy, if you decide to do this, yes, do let us know what your experience is like!

SilverMoon said...

Amy, We're on the same wavelength. I signed up for NanoWriMo, thinking I could write poetry for it. I was disappointed that didn't count. So, I'm continuing to write for myself. I do write everyday, but the works are often not completed poems. Sometimes, they're thoughts and phrases. Remember, I'm a fulltime artist,too, in four distinct media, not counting the media I experiment in.

It is interesting though, that the I recently felt an urge to break free of poetry and artwork and penned the beginnings of a story in one hour. I often shelve them at home, for drafts to other places and have only posted one other prose piece of similar nature on a blog.

However, before I lost my courage because there was no time for editing, with art deadlines galore. I posted it and now readers expect more. That's a personal challenge I will meet.

Tabitha Dial said...

Excellent stuff!!!

I say we make this a grassroots effort... make April NaPoWriMo!!!

Anyone want to create a blogspot for it? I'll help promote it!!!

We have about three and a half months to encourage poets and others.