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the poetry mini-challenge: time for our own words

February 5, 2010

This is the day in the Read Write Poem February Poetry Mini-challenge when we write our own poems. We find the themes and sounds and phrases that resonate with us from our centos and our poets and go off on our own with those bits of inspiration jingling in our pockets.

It gets confusing to me what comes first (yes, chicken and egg style): does the life come first and dictate what we’re interested in reading, what we seek out? or does the reading put us in a frame of mind about our lives? I don’t know the answer to it, and I am too busy to give my brain over for long to philosophical considerations. It is only a thought I pass by, like the sinking, boarded up house I noticed for the first time today on my drive to the workout studio. I wondered who used to live there and what happened to them, but I probably won’t think about them again.

I mention it — how books influences us/how we select our books — in the context of encountering Rebecca Shumejda’s work for the first time a week ago and choosing her poems to work from in this writing challenge. I heard in her work a toughness and a loneliness that truly resonated with me. I have no way of knowing if those themes are intentional in her work. I do know, of course, that her narrator isn’t talking directly to me. We hear what we hear when we hear it.

So when I get running with a poem or two about loneliness and toughness, and think I’m paying homage to Rebecca, that may or may not make sense. Certainly, don’t blame Rebecca for my hasty drafts and whatever crazy direction they may go. 🙂 The poems I’ll write on my own for the challenge are also going to be inspired by the pacing of the centos I created here and here. There’s something about them that moved slower than my typical narrator voice.

My poem for day #3 is here (I can’t remember if I’m a day behind or if I’m on track), and other poets’ poems for day #3 can be found here in the third forum.

UPDATE: I’ve written my day #4 poem, too, and the fourth forum is here.

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