Report on NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is finished! I loved April. I think I’ll like May, too, but for different reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed writing a poem every night. I tried out different styles, including free verse, sonnets, rhyming verses, verses with rhythm (you should have heard me pound out the lines on my computer desk!), children’s poetry, spiritual poetry, narrative poetry, non-narrative poetry. I read a lot of other poetry to inspire myself. I especially became better acquainted with Emily Dickinson, Robert Bly, and William Stafford.

What type of poetry do I prefer to write?
I prefer narrative poetry (tells a story), free verse. Rhyming sometimes helped me find my way through an idea, but more often it hindered. Similarly, getting the lines of a poem to scan was often beneficial in helping me find words I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of, but when my poems scan they seem a little forced and unnatural. Free verse gives me the freedom to gather my words in different ways so as to find the meaning.

Children’s Poetry
Is fun but hard. I like challenges. I like children. I like to read poetry to my children. All the same, my ideas come out of my adult-mind and I have a hard time making it seem like it came from a child-mind.

Spiritual Poetry
So much has been written about the Bible and God and everything spiritual. I find it hard to find my own voice in all of that. Easter Morning was a popular poem on my blog (how I ended up with 20-plus followers, I don’t know), but in my opinion, After Easter Dinner is the more honest poem. And honesty is extremely important to me.

My Favorites
Family Beds because it tells a truth about my family in artwork imagery. Poetry and art all rolled together:)
I also like The Recording Angel for the progression of thought from beginning to end. It surprised me.
And I like Grass Fire and Grass Fire Reconsidered as a poem in two parts. I really did rush through “Grass Fire,” hot on the trail of Emily Dickinson. I pushed “Publish,” I reread it, and sighed deeply because I knew I had not pleased God very much with that poem. So “Grass Fire Reconsidered” came naturally because I was feeling contrite and sheepish.

What Next?
Revising! I love revising! I love having thirty first drafts to work with. Hooray for April! And not all of them are destined to be poems. Morning of Life is already being revised into story form. Others will also work better as prose. Some of my poems will get thrown in the Scraps folder. For example, I have no desire to work on The Dance Instructor. It’s a lovely painting by Degas, but I don’t think I have anything original to add other than that first draft, which I don’t consider to be worthy of submission.

Yes, submission! After a poem is worthy, I will find a place (or places) to submit it. Poems ought to have homes. I might start with The Hand. It’s almost ready, I think. Not my favorite poem, but there is something memorable about it.

What I accomplished
I came up with lots of new material. I proved to myself that I can be a very dedicated writer. I also proved to myself that I have lots of things to say. In a way, these poems helped me sift through my thoughts, defined my persona, put the important things in the open. Some nights they became my way to digest what happened during the day, or to refocus my mind after a day of thinking about troublesome things.

Thank you to everyone who read my poetry! I didn’t write them for the “likes,” but I was still encouraged by them. The next phase of my writing won’t be as public, but I will share on Revision 3 if one of these poems gets published. In the meantime, I still plan on writing my bi-weekly posts on art and literature.

Sincerely, Amy


2 thoughts on “Report on NaPoWriMo”

  1. The writing team with which I’m involved also participated in NaPoWriMo. It’s gonna take us forever to go through the list and visit everyone!
    Personally, I rarely revise any poetry that I write. Poetry tends to be a rather emotional experience for me. It’s a bit like writing in a diary. I leave what I was feeling at that moment as a verbal epitaph for an event or emotion in my life.
    The poetry blog with which I’m involved is Poetry of the Netherworld.

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