Celebrating National Poetry Month again today, I bring this post to you from my mother’s kitchen table in St. Peters Missouri. I arrived earlier today and we’ve got all kinds of things planned for the next couple days. Lots of food, fun and various entertainment, plus staying up late and solving all the world’s problems by the time I’m ready to return to Arkansas. We have such fun! (I have considered the possibility that we might create some poetry together and post it; we’ll see if that actually happens.)
The free-verse poem below is something I wrote long ago. I was participating in a writing group at the time. Each month when we met, we were urged to come with an original work, usually an assignment for a particular subject or a form (poem or prose). Some people in the group always managed to bring a piece to read aloud for the group; others came mostly to listen to readings by others. We gently critiqued pieces that were read and it was a very helpful give and take experience.
As with many writers, the notion of “perfect lines” is a frequent distraction for me. When I wrote this poem, I was basically chiding myself for swallowing the idea that I could actually find those “perfect lines.” I have since realized there are thousands of ways to write a poem that expresses the same (or similar) idea. More than likely, not one of the poetic expressions would be considered “perfect,” but most would be well-written and worthy communication.
If, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect, a poet must keep writing and working toward relative mastery as a poet. Working at this task, a poet may write what he or she considers some really, really good lines, but achieving perfect lines? No, thank you, I’ve come to understand such a pursuit is just another version of chasing the wind.