kellyrfineman (kellyrfineman) wrote,

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Of poetry and ninjas

Poetry is a slippery thing. In many ways, poetry is ninja-like.

Disciplined and requiring attention, focus, and skill.
Sometimes dangerous.
Able to pierce your heart and mind.
Capable of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, and able to leave you breathless in astonishment at its fluidity and movement.
Lithe and lean, carrying with it no more than it absolutely needs to accomplish its mission.
Here one minute, and gone the next.
Agile, nimble and deft.

My recent poetry-writing experiences have been interesting, in a semi-frustrating kind of way. Last Thursday, I set off on a writing date. After two hours, I had precisely nothing, save for the knowledge that what I needed was not a single poem about Jane's home in Southampton, England, but two different poems - one sonnet, one shorter and more playful.

On Thursday evening, I started my sonnet. After two hours, I had six lines. That I couldn't use.

On Friday evening, I started my sonnet. After an hour and a half, I had two good lines.

Over the weekend, I tried to make some more progress. Nothing doing.

Last night, I wrote three lines, all unusable. And then, just before midnight, I noticed that it didn't seem particularly dark outside, what with it being almost midnight. The sky was completely cloud-free, and many stars were visible even with the light pollution of my suburban neighborhood. And there was a hunter's moon. So bright that it cast distinct shadows. The bare trees made spiderweb shadows on the lawn, and everything seemed washed in bright white light.

This morning, I wrote a haiku about the moon. And then, I met a friend for writing. I started with my two good lines, and wrote six that won't work. And then, I started with my two good lines again, and despite some meanderings and mistakes, I've got eight that really, truly do what I wanted them to do. They sneaked up on me like ninjas. And so I offered them some tea, and they have stayed.

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Tags: essays, fineman, jane project, poetry, process, sonnets

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