A Job Only a Poet Could Manage

I have a “Useless Knowledge” gadget on my iGoogle home page, and I just love it.  Knowledge is never useless, no matter how seemingly “impractical.”  I was so happy earlier today when my Useless Knowledge box contained a list of Generic Terms.  Generic Terms, as defined in my Poet’s Dictionary (William Packard, editor), are “collective names for species or types,” like “school of fish.”  I once wrote a poem inspired by one item on that list: a murder of crows.  The interesting part of that story is that the poem is a meandering contemplation, the subject of which is the loss of a child.  I would rather not say what emotional experience I drew upon while crafting the poem, but I will tell you that I have never, thankfully, lost a child.  Why this poem would emerge from my desire to write something about “a murder of crows,” I don’t know. Continue reading

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“It’s Trying to Be a Sonnet…”

For several years, I have conducted poetry workshops for children in the schools in my area.  Some years I am only invited to do one or two; other years are busier.  Often, I am asked by either teacher or student to explain why I write more free verse poetry than formal poetry.  I suppose the answer is, I don’t know.    As the definition provided above from the Poetry Archive site, as well as the title of this post, indicate, it isn’t necessarily up to me.  From the Poetry Archive:

What free verse claims to be free from is the constraints of regular metre and fixed forms. This makes the poem free to find its own shape according to what the poet – or the poem – wants to say, but still allows him or her to use rhyme, alliteration, rhythms or cadences (etc) to achieve the effects that s/he feels are appropriate.

[emphasis mine] Continue reading

The Tuesday Project: Update with Pictures

The Tuesday Project that my mother and I have embarked upon together is going quite well.  By “quite well,” of course, I mean we are having a blast.  Some things I have learned thus far:  I cannot paint.  My mother can paint.  I don’t knit very well.  My mother knits fairly well.  Knitting makes us both laugh for no apparent reason (of course, when you see our knitting, you may laugh too!).

We are off by a week because the painting took us so long, so we won’t start our next project until next week.  For the next few weeks, my mother is going to teach me the ancient art of Tai chi (we were going to cook, but neither of us really wanted to do that – presumably, there will be no dishes to clean up after we practice Tai chi).

To see some pictures of our efforts, click on “Read the rest of this entry.”  Please keep in mind that we are not claiming to be good at these things we are trying to learn about by putting our hands to them: that’s exactly why I am showing you these pictures.  Maybe it will inspire some of you to try a new process, regardless of the “success” of the outcome.  Continue reading