Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October Ode Challenge

I have been thinking about the Cliffs of Moher a lot lately (pictured above). This picture exhibits how I feel sometimes about my writing. I'm right on the cusp of some thing. I need to just let go and jump, figuratively of course. Sometimes I work on one line for hours, days, and maybe even months. It helps to know there are other poets who take quite some time to finish a draft. When A. Van Jordan came to Akron last spring he shared that he writes rather slowly. And we all know that A. Van Jordan rocks.

I get more neurotic as I age and I can't put the words on the page until they are ready. I guess I work in my head a lot. I accept my process for the most part, but I do think I feel better when I am producing more.

With that in mind, I gave myself an October ode challenge. Every morning I must write three odes in less than 15 minutes. This has been so much fun. Of course, 99% of what I am writing will not make it into my next manuscript, but the point is, it is a warm-up for the day. It gives me a little poetry buzz. And, it has forced me to narrow in on the tiniest of objects instead of big huge places where cliches fester. Plus, the ode is so much fun. It gives you the chance to spend more time with poets like Neruda. It also has allowed me to be a bit more appreciative of little things.

Happy October ode writing!


Maggie May said...

hornswaggle, balderdash. good for you! the words are gutted up inside me. i need a max power blow vac. to get em out.

Penultimatina said...

Oh my! That sounds a little terrifying. How long are the odes?

Amy said...

It's all in my head until I spew it out. Now I think it's settled on my hips...

good for you on the ode challenge...

Jennifer Sullivan said...


The odes are short...and there is a time limit so I have to work fast.

I write mostly in my head as well.

These odes are fun, but I have not yet written anything that I like.