One of my biggest problems, when I set out on a new writing venture, is whether to be funny or serious. By nature I tend to pun and quip. During bad times, I sometimes find humor. I’m often serious but rarely for long. Sustaining a somber tone over the prolonged period required to write twenty poems on a specific subject usually pushes me to my limit of self control.
Over the years I’ve rewarded my impulses by alternating between humor and other moods. THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS, CONNECTING DOTS, WILD COUNTRY, THE SOUND OF RAIN, PIRATES, and COWBOYS are examples of times when I focused on dealing with my subject without smiling too much. Okay, a few lighthearted moments sneaked into PIRATES and COWBOYS.
SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, BUGS, THE MOUSE WAS OUT AT RECESS, VACATION, A THOUSAND COUSINS, THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS . . . represent the other me, or the other half of me, or the real me. It might have served me better in the long run if I had established myself as one or the other, but believe me I’ve had fun with every book.
So here I am embarked on another group of poems. I’ve written a few so far, and guess what? I started with a nice, colorful poem meant to give my metaphors an outing, and the next four followed suite. But now I’m in trouble. It’s the same old same old. I mean, could you treat the bagworm seriously? Really? Come on!
I’ll try, but this just isn’t going to work!