It is amazing the boulders that fall into one’s path when one (one being me) determines to follow a given path. Robert Frost’s simple choice of a path in the woods – the one less traveled – seems so simplistic when held up against the reality of a modern life.
One example, my “Walking in the Path” self-assigned project appears to have come to a screeching halt. I say apparently, because I believe that I am only temporarily detouring around a detour. I had assumed that I would have an hour or so each evening to spend on that project, poetical exercise, and related activities. However, wham – life placed an obstacle in my path. It’s only temporary and of a very personal nature.
Trying to make lemonade out of lemons (that saying has never made sense to me – I don’t particularly like lemonade and always prefer to have just plain lemon juice in water – I digress): I’m spending more time in the car just now which contributes to the lack of time to TYPE; however, it affords me more time for a related effort which is to LISTEN to poetry. I have downloaded a variety of poetry books to my kindle – free, cheap, and budget-busters. My selection includes anthologies, collected works, selected works, individual books, books about poetry, poet biographies, literary remains, etc…. for poets of all periods. I use the text-to-speech feature of my kindle and just listen to these books as I drive down the road. I sometimes find myself tuning out and tuning back in. I have also downloaded several poetry reading spoken word songs from iTunes. I listen to my “music” set on shuffle each night and these recited poems are interwoven with the music that I have been listening to for years.
I find that when I go back and read a poem after having heard it that even the most difficult poems make more sense. I pick out more sense and gain more enjoyment by using more of my senses.
I consider this absorption into poetry to be an apprenticeship of sorts. I would like to learn to craft poetry myself. Not just write random crap but really work towards learning the craft and executing it in such a way that what I write sings my song. I have what you might calla 7 year plan. I give myself 7 years from now to absorb and practice and then I expect myself to be able to create.
I brainstorm some of the time as I’m driving and listening to poetry. I’ll find myself tuning out slightly to the meaning of the words as I think of something else. Tonight, I thought of a potential poetry project: my large family has a verbal history – stories we tell and retell of ourselves and our past. I would like to capture the sense and feel of some of these stories in an artistic way in a poetical form. To start, I would need to outline the concepts that I want to cover and then begin to work the words into the right phrasing. Sadly, I have no time to work on this right now but I hope I can work on it before I’m the only one left to remember the old stories.