Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poetry: 30/30, over and out

I've just about got there.

My final poem for the National Poetry Challenge went up earlier today.

30 poems over 30 days.

Except that, as can be the way of these things, I ended up writing more than 30 poems this month.

I suspect it's one of those, 'ask a busy person to get things done' type phenomenons.

So, thanks to classes, some unexpected inspiration from people and places, and a sharp eye for an opportunity for a phrase, I suspect I've got closer to 40 drafts.

Including a villanelle, a sonnet about account management. And lots and lots of triolets.

What have I learned from the exercise? A few things:

1) Publishing helps: I think the tumblr was a masterstroke for me; the beast needed to be fed - no slacking.

2) As does the supportive feedback and comments of the other participants in the facebook group. You're amazed by the quality of what they post. Then you're inspired to get better.

3) Random things happen to poems when you release them into the world: I wrote a prose poem about Supergrass' final gig. It got picked up and pushed out to the wider world, something I never could have anticipated.

4) Rhyme can be addictive. Maybe I was a rapper in a different life.

5) I've gone a bit bonkers. (I know, I know, was I before etc etc.) But if you're not careful, you can start to see everything in terms of, 'is it a poem?'. It takes some restraint to stop and think that it might be something else.

Will I do it again? Deffo. Just perhaps not this year.

Now, I'm off for a lie down, and a prose bath.



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