Hi everyone,

Yesterday went off as expected. Almost. My goal: compose one poem. I was writing it in response to an invitation to participate in an upcoming anthology. I didn’t reread the specs but from memory I knew that it was to be suitable for grades 3-7.

I waited for something to occur to me and sure enough something did. I worked on it for half an hour, didn’t like the way it was feeling, and discarded the idea. I chose a second idea, worked on it for half an hour, didn’t like the way it was feeling, and discarded the idea.

A third idea came along and I liked it. I started it as a ballad, rhyming abcb and using 4-3-4-3 beats per line. But I began lapsing into couplets and they felt better. I discarded the beginning and settled into writing a poem in couplets. I was shooting for six to eight lines and aleady knew my ending. But after six lines, the ending came too fast and needed more preparation.

Eventually the poem was complete at 18 lines divided into three 6-line stanzas. I called it done on the seventh draft. Just before sending it off to the requesting party, I decided to read the specs one more time. The poem was to be for ages 3-7, not grades 3-7. I’d spent the entire day writing for the wrong audience.

Yesterday’s effort now goes into my unpublished file to wait an opportunity to use it. Today? I think I’ll write a poem.


12 comments on “Oops

  1. Ooops indeed. And I know that anthology as I was invited, too.
    Only I read the specs a wee bit more carefully AND I had some unsold poems just perfect for it. (Or so I think. . .we will see.)

    • Yup. Embarrassing to say the least. And I’ll go file diving today, too, before setting sail on another quest.

  2. Oh my…this sounds like something I would do!!! 🙂 Have a wonderful day and enjoy writing for those 3-7 year olds!

    • Thank you, Sandy. It was a pretty good poem too. Sigh. Sooner or later I’ll find a use for it. Bring on the little ones today!

  3. Haven’t I already suggested that everything goes back to couplets? Quatrains with an A, B, C, B rhyming pattern are really couplets with an extra line break. Children’s poetry is often written with the shorter lines to make them easier to read, but they are still couplets.
    Need I suggest that you wrote the poem for an older audience because that was what you should have been doing yesterday? Serendipity–I’ll go so far as to suggest that now that you have the poem written an opportunity to use it will come up within the next few weeks.
    This wasn’t a mistake, it was an opportunity.

  4. Oops, indeed! After all, you’ve only written — is it 300 or 400 — books of poetry? More? So you needed the experience.

  5. Oops! Perhaps your friend’s quote held the clue, David.
    Pooh, Piglet … hint hint.
    I agree with Joy. Your poem would not have been otherwise. It is a winner! Trust your muse.

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