“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”
To extrapolate from Audre Lorde, I believe that to write poetry is to be an agent of change, and therefore to be a poet is to have little metamorphoses over time. Poetry is a journey, not a destination.
Last year I talked about my journey as a poet, starting from the very beginning. I’d like to continue talking about my journey as a poet. And it counts for Canadian Poetry Month because I’m Canadian and a poet.
Like most writing, with poetry one must read in their genre in order to improve. As I’ve grown as a poet, I’ve been reading more deeply into poetry. I have poems sent to my inbox every day, and I’ve been reading poetry books. My favourite has been Ariel by Sylvia Plath, who I will write about later this month. Ariel really opened my eyes on writing a collection of poetry, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to explore theme in poetry more closely.
“Taking poetry seriously”, as I mentioned last year, has involved sending out poetry to journals, and working towards a poetry goal. My goal has been the creation of a chapbook manuscript around the theme of Greek mythology. I want to have my chapbook completed (that is to say, written and edited) by June so I can send it out to contests and publishers.
As I’ve matured as a poet, I’ve also started to experiment with form and with subject matter. Of course, I’ve written a lot about Greek mythology, but I’ve also written about events that happen around me, biblical figures and paid tribute to a favourite poem of mine. I used to write a lot of poetry about the infamous R., but as I’ve received treatment for PTSD my desire to write about him has lessened. I don’t want to waste any more energy writing about someone who has already taken so much of my life. My poetry is going to be a reflection of me, not of him.
I wrote last year about the forms that I’d been experimenting with, and that list has been steadily growing. I’ve been writing villanelle, and experimenting with traditional Irish forms. I’ve never published any of these pieces online, so I can’t show any examples of my work. I’ve also continued working in tanka and free verse.
Of course, the journey is never over. I will keep working on my poetry in order to become better and better. I will start and end with a quote:
I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was!