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Yesterday’s effort now goes into my unpublished file to wait an opportunity to use it.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.