Muddling through

Hi everyone,
The poem a day goal this week is on schedule although I admit that today’s beauty struggled mightily to make a decent showing for itself. I seem to need enough words on the page before something finally clicks into place, like one of those Magic 8-balls you hold in your hand, ask a question, and wait for an answer eventually to bob up from the murky deep. Works the same for me whether I’m writing poems or fiction.

On occasion the form itself comes bubbling to the surface. In the early going of today’s effort, I scribbled a string of similar statements about my subject, looking for a path into it. It occurred to me that I might use those similar statements with a different rhyme at the end to introduce each stanza, which would be a nice little bonus for the poem. However there weren’t enough rhymes available that made sense. Instead I ended up repeating the same word at the end of each first line although the rest of each line was arranged differently to move the story forward. I cast the poem in three stanzas.

That arrangement alone, though, was boring, and I found I needed two additional stanzas to tell the story right. By using a different rhyme to end line #1 in stanzas 2 and 4, the final form fell into place and smiled back at me. The end result is a 5-stanza poem. Each stanza has three lines (tercet) rhyming abb/cdd/aee/cff/agg.

Sometimes we just have to muddle through.

Getting set for IRA

David giving brief remarks

Hi everyone,

I’m trying to decide which poems to read at the Poetry Olio this Saturday night at the IRA conference in New Orleans. There are eight or ten featured poets and the program lasts from 7:30 – 9:30 so I’ll probably have time to read six to ten poems. I’ll take more than I think I need but choosing which ones is always hard. If anyone has a favorite of mine, let me know so I can add it to the list of candidates.



It’s official

Hi everyone,

The poets who will compete in March Madness 2014 received a letter from Ed DeCaria, whip master in center ring, explaining some of the requirements and providing a full roster of participants. I’ll get my first word on March 17 while I’m at the Warrensburg Children’s Literature Festival so my first round poem will likely be composed mostly in the car on the afternoon of the 18th while driving back home. I hope I get a word about 18-wheelers and shaking one’s fist at traffic.

My worthy opponent for the first round is Bonnie Bailey. I look forward to becoming acquainted.

The only other contest I ever entered changed my life. In 1963 I sent a short-short story to a Reader’s Digest contest. I didn’t get top prize but placed high enough that I was interviewed in the Kansas City Star. A follow-up conversation with someone who read the story led me to try my hand at writing for children. Were it not for that incident, I might still be writing stories for adults. So, Ed Decaria, the pressure is on. I have big expectations!