Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Jelinek: clear sightedness

Because of the Austrian scandal, I've spent the morning re-reading commentaries on Elfriede Jelinek, the controversial 2004 Austrian Nobel Prize winner (Literature).

Josef Fritzl lived out exactly what she portrays in her books - the domination of women in Austria, controlled, over-powered and objectified by men. Jelinek is vilified in her home country for her books and plays. It seems however that she sees clearly.

This is the second case revealed in Austria. Therefore it is likely, statistically speaking, that more women are subjugated and living incarcerated lives in Austria - and probably elsewhere. In Fritzl's case alone, he dominated his wife just as he subjugated his daughter: it is logically impossible that his wife would not have known something, despite her denials.

Elfriede Jelinek portrays a relationship of domination and possession in ways that have been described as pornographic, but I would call explicit, aiming to horrify rather than titillate. The energy sustaining her writing stems from rage and contempt rather than lasciviousness. She links this domination of women to fascist attitudes which are still prevalent in Austria, vide Jorge Heider's fascist party success. While his party was in government, she banned the performance of her plays in Austria.

Which is not to say that all Austria is fascist. All Austria is not fascist, but fascism is more openly acceptable there than in other countries. Fascism and the mistreatment of women exist everywhere. Austria is in the limelight at the moment.

Many of Jelinek's works have been translated into English: Lust (translated by Michael Hulse, 1992, Serpent's Tail, NY) is available from Wellington Public Library.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Ondaatjes Major and Minor

Looked up Michael Ondaatje on Wikipedia - yet another example of how wrong my assumptions can be: because of his Dutch name, and his writing in English, had pigeon-holed him as a South African, - how wrong can you get? And because I did not like The English Patient (film), never read anything by him, not even the original book. Some catching up to do.

Ondaatje is Sinhalese/Canadian, with Dutch ancestry. Wealthy childhood, then father lost the family fortune. His famously rich brother started from nothing and also writes books now. Mysteriously, they both carry the name Philip - the writer is Philip Michael O., and his older brother is Philip Christopher O....One imagines a family tradition, or maybe the ego-driven father called Philip. Also much rivalry between the brothers. Makes me think of the Jones Bros here (Lloyd and Bob).

Ondaatje has written 13 books of poetry (so far). This is a start to my book review, which I need to have done by May 8th. Plenty of time, work on it bit by bit every day. Am engrossed in Bashevis Singer at the moment, shall have to finish that before I can get immersed in Ondaatje.

Some of the clouds on the horizon have disappeared. Relief.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Poetry overkill

Took out several more poetry books from the library and was unexpectedly enchanted reading Michale Ondaatje's The Cinnamon Peeler's Wife.

That's all for now, am taking a break from poetry for a few days. Indigestion.

Am indulging instead in prose with Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Moskat Family. I last read him forty years ago, before any writing courses and understanding of psychology. It's a different story now. Very enjoyable.

I am supposed to write a haiku this week.

Also discovered that to entitle something Ode to... is over the top, over emphatic. Too late. Am pleased with the sonnet, nevertheless. Only six more weeks of the online course and I shall feel less pressured.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

End of The World

Did not continue with Anne Sexton, too much depression /talk of suicide in it.

Read some Mary Oliver (slim volume) last night, Dream Work (1986, The Atlantic Monthly Press). I'd read a poem of hers about roses some time ago and found it overdone, chintzy. This is better.

Today checked out what poetry there is at the local library (Ngaio) and found one volume (slim) of Curnow's poems - The Bell of Saint Babel's - lovely title - Poems 1997 - 2001 (2001, AUP) with neat cover illustration - a detail of a painting by Stanley Palmer entitled Bell - Manaia (1991), the bell is small and held up high by a rickety structure, against a mottled blue sky (diagonally half the cover) with two small clouds, and a rise of massive rocky mountains to one side.
Upon reading: so far, too many cards turned down, unrewarding. Maybe clearer for born-here Kiwis?

In the poetry/literature section, also found a book entitled The End of the World, (1997, L.H. Lapham, ed., with P.T. Struck, St. Martin's Press) beginning with an excerpt from Gilgamesh (3000 BC) by writers through the ages, including at the end the rantings of a nutter predicting the end of the world in '92, '93, 94, with (Biblical) chapter and verse in support, over and over, the last words of the last paragraph being: his predictions are "100% right".
I have a friend who might enjoy this.

Here is a quote, it's the entire thing, entitled Epitaph, the obituary to the Heath Hen, an indigenous bird of Martha's Vineyard, last seen alive on March 11th 1932:

"We are looking upon the utmost finality which can be written, glimpsing the darkness which will not know another ray of light. We are in touch with the reality of extinction."
by Henry Beetle (sic) Hough, editor of the island's Vineyard gazette.

The book also includes a section from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. I thought, ah, but her predictions are true, and wondered - am I right?

BBC doco recently: 90% of bees have disappeared in the US, they import them from Oz. In NZ, many are sick too. In China, a region exists where orchard pollination is carried out by hand.

I'll read this book bit by bit.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I feel a bit exposed since giving my blog address to the class. Dilemma: what's the point of writing if no reader exists, or only one or two?

I often write stuff that I remove upon re-reading, if it's not related enough to the writing and reading I am engaged in. It's interesting how much lighter the text becomes - not a care in the world. Hah.

The Whitireia sonnet is finished, inasmuch as I have put it out for critique on Blackboard. Worked at ten syllables per line. When I looked at it again today, I couldn't wait to clear away all the unnecessary words and pare it down. It's much thinner now, but clearer. Lighter. That's the second time. The unbearable lightness of. I should look it up, what was that lightness about?

The work on the mutilated poem continues, easier than last time. I'm not sure whether I am doing what is required. My verses echo and continue the previous ones, a logic which may not serve well. The author has repeated the same words several times, so have taken the liberty of doing so too, keeping safe. What is new is the feeling of rhythm in the writing, almost physical. Shall look at it tonight again, more objectively, I hope.

Peter and I went to No Country for Old Men, the latest film of Coen Bros, very violent, very well-made. The wonders of under-statement, the pitiless editing, things left unseen, the various murders hinted at, the mind of the viewer deftly manipulated. I am in admiration. The general message is not a good one for us who are getting older. The retired policeman, at a loss, telling his wife his nightmare, dreaming of his own demise. She is unaffected, I have my own life, she says. (She'll be right).

Am reading Anne Sexton, Selected Poems of, (1988, Houghton Mifflin, with an introduction by Diane Wood Middlebrook and Diana Hume George). More about that tomorrow.

Also occasionally reading old copies of The Guardian lent by a friend, good writing and mostly instructive, things one wants to know. It's a boon for us.

I've been writing and editing for close to 20 min. Far too long.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

More Bodil

I went back to the writing bits in The Price of Water - the main protagonist, a Bodil clone, argues with her French friend Madame C about writing and happiness:

Madame C says: "Please taisez-vous [shut up, but more politely] and write. Write your happiness, shut up and write."
They then have a huge argument where the Bodil character says that it is impossible to write happiness:
"Writing your happiness turns into platitudes. Happiness writes white."
"Write it," she says. Curt and hard as a diamond.
"Simile, Madame C., simile is the death of everything, a rose fresh as the dew is a rose fresh as the dew. Everything written is fabricated, wrecked. Only what is, is."

That last sentence is Zen-like and therefore irrefutable-seeming.

Madame C was right: she did write her happiness into the book.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Back to Bodil

A bit of a gap since last writing -Passover is a demanding time. Much cooking and eating.

Have dived back into Bodil Malmsten's The Price of Water in Finistere, (2001, translated from Swedish) to rescue myself. It's like talking to a friend. This is my second reading of it, in only about three months, a pleasure.

I pay attention to what she writes about writing, full of hope.

Am working on a sonnet. In praise of Whitireia. Seriously, it has changed my life.

Have read a New Zealand poet, a Bulgarian woman. She arrived here as a young refugee, after passing through many countries, including France. Her name is Kapka Kassabova, it is called Someone else's life (2003, Auckland University Press). (See www.auckland.ac.nz) I had read a poem of hers in The Listener and been impressed.

I miss the luminous clarity of Waslawa Szymborska's poems. I thought I missed them because I understood them, but I realise that I often do not fully understand them either - there are hints in various directions which raise further questions. Also she writes with tenderness and humour.

I had better get to bed and start afresh early tomorrow.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Not irrelevant

11:00 am - Peter just sent me this from Monbiot's blog. They interviewed him (Monbiot, not Peter) by videolink for the Festival.


He's the expert on food shortages and sustainability. Shall implement my new knowledge about HTML or whatever it's called and paste that under my list of links.

I know, it's got nothing to do with poetry.


8:20 am - Yesterday was Whitireia day, despite lack of sleep, felt fine all day. A poem was praised. Good.

The Purple Bathing Suit increasingly strikes cold in my heart - how could I not see the hate in it when I first read it?

Also back was not the word he had in mind watching her, it would have been ass, always assuming that he is American.:

"...your back is my favourite part of you,
the part furthest from your mouth..."

Have looked up Louise Gluck on the Central Library website, and they have three of her books. A review indicates that she's a Christian poet, given to addressing God. (And avoiding words like ass). Nevertheless, shall give her a try.

I have also just remembered - because of this - Kathleen Norris, who wrote that lovely book Cloister Walk, a book that I've owned for many years now and that I re-read with pleasure. Nothing simpering about it. It occurs to me that she's a poet I should try reading. Also May Sarton, whom I think of so warmly. Only ever read her diaries/journals. Such determination to stay away from poetry, I can't believe I did that.

I have another review to prepare for in a fortnight's time, Norris or Sarton would be good. A slim volume.
Yesterday, took several new books from the library, including Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, - to complete my literary education - the characters are so horrible that I can't read it all in one go.

Enough for today. Am completely back in routine, peaceful. Tomorrow will be busy with Passover. Saturday, so no blog.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Purple bathing suit, late at night

Have just finished writing my 1000 word review, and am on an energy high, not at all inclined to go to bed, though it is

1:37 AM

Hadn't realised quite how late. This is silly.

But: was checking out the difference between tone and voice on the web, and got onto a neat website a poet called??
I forgot to note, and the name of her site also escapes me. Shall go back and find it.
a) she said forget about voice, tone is where it's at, and b) she had posted a neat poem by someone called Louise Gluck which is called Purple bathing suit:

I like watching you garden
with your back to me in your purple bathing suit:
your back is my favourite part of you,
the part furthest from your mouth.

You might give some thought to that mouth.
Also to the way you weed, breaking
the grass off ground level
when you should pull it up by the roots.

How many times do I have to tell you
how the grass spreads, your little
pile notwithstanding, in a dark mass which
by smoothing over the surface you have finally
fully obscured? Watching you

stare into space in the tidy
rows of the vegetable gardens, ostensibly
working hard while actually
doing the worst job possible, I think

you are a small irritating purple thing
and I would like to see you walk off the face of the earth
because you are all that's wrong with my life
and I need you and I claim you.

It makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

A wee bit later - the website is called Blogalicious, dianelockward.blogspot.com. Dianne Lockward is a poet.

I'd like to list it on the side of my blog, but don't know how to do that yet; shall have to wait for R or T to come home and show me. (They're 24 and 23 years old, so they know).
Or be struck by inspiration.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Reviewing Larkin

Have produced 400 words on Larkin's poem This Be The Verse, talked about it with Peter, who said about the title, subjunctive, slightly archaic, and that fits nicely with other things, like the missing Chapter of Chapter and Verse, the bit in the third stanza - Man hands on misery to man, and all the way through the poem, he leavens some of the ghastliness with winks and nudges, absolving some of the blame, and at the end returning to the almost conversational tone of the beginning , with double entendre - Get out as early as you can, / And don't have any kids yourself.

The poem is in Andrew Thwaite's 1988 Philip Larkin; Collected poems, The Marvell Press and faber and faber, p. 180.

Not much extra reading, apart from beginning to re-read The Price of Water in Finistere, by Bodil Malmsten. My recent education helps me look at it differently, I appreciate her writing all the more, I can see the poetry in it.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Hermit poets

This was a hermit of a blog, since the name change no one could access it...have sent the new address to a couple of people who may read it from time to time. The writing feels more purposeful that way.

Shall have to write a progress report this week - the blog is the source.

Today, a lot of Larkin about. Found the poem I want to write about for the short course -

They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

There are two more stanzas. The final line is And don't have any kids yourself, in the biographies they mention that Larkin did not like children. The name of the poem is This Be The Verse, it sounds like a quote, something Christian maybe - I'm not familiar with it. Shall try Peter and if he does not know where it comes from, then maybe my friends at the Quotations website.

I have to write 400 words about it. That should not be too hard. And copy the whole thing. Am tempted to learn it by heart.

He wrote it in April 1971. He died in '85. He was never married, though he had what sounds like a long-term relationship with a woman who was a professor of literature.

He needed time on his own, and suffered from shyness to the point where it might almost be considered a social phobia. He turned down the Poet Laureate-ship when it was offered for that reason - he could not bear to appear in public. Officially it was because he stammered. He managed to record himself reading the poems anyway, so how bad could it be? I think it was all the dancing bear stuff he would have hated.

Some other poets suffered similarly: Szymborska is described as a recluse. I've just read about the novelist Sigrid Undset (Nobel 1949), who was the same - giving only a brief Nobel acceptance speech, of a few lines.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Mutilated poem

Sunday evening, a headache most of the day, read Larkin listlessly. Often the poems pass me by, I am lacking something that should help me appreciate them more.

Struggled with a mutilated poem - one line out of two deleted, we are to replace it. Someone at class said, don't worry about the meaning so much, listen out for the rhyme and rhythm, see what you can do with that. It's a great strain. Hopefully it should lead to a development of a better ear. Because the poem reads so mysteriously- it's hard to tell what it's about - I find myself tending to purple prose. To counteract it, have decided to act decisively: many words reoccur - the poem is long - and lists of affiliated words might help, a la Dylan Thomas, eg with dark, night, back, moon, shadow, star, silence, with cold, ice, snow, white, shard, bitter, freeze, and so on. Shall see whether playing with them will provide more inspiration.

The first lines are:

Glassed with cold sleep and dazzled by the moon
(a missing line)
I looked and saw under the moon's cold sheet
(missing line)

and so on. Tricky and stretching, for me.

Resumed the automatic writing exercise today. Always an effort to get back to routine.

Friday, 11 April 2008

The stuff of poetry

Got Sharon Olds' book The Father; Poems (1999, Alfred A. Knopf, New York) from the library, read it in one go, some of it made me cry.

Here are some of my recently acquired insights into poetry:

- poetry is not only about daffodils.
- poetry does not have to be obscure.
- some of the best poetry packs a wallop.

Poetry about 'wonderfully observed moments' on its own is good, but not enough. The significant poets have something more to say, like Sharon Olds showing how love takes over as a force greater than her rational, everyday self, in caring for her dying father, despite the fear he inspired in her when she was a child.

This is the second book I've read which is on a given theme: the other is Anne Kennedy's Sing-song, which I'll finish today. The narrative link between the poems creates a greater sense of intimacy with the writer. I go back and re-read...

Writing: I'm working on the Soundwalk set of poems - there may be three, I think. Much encouraged by the groups' approval yesterday.

Viv said that one can buy poetry books cheaply on-line via TradeMe; shall check that, and BookHaven which is Wellington-based and easy to access.

I am out of my routine, it is three in the afternoon, not early morning. Too tired to get up early today. No writing tomorrow, Saturday, but shall be back at it on Sunday morning, after Zen.

Oh, and a friend sent me an article by Helen Ventner about the way Yeats wrote poetry. Started with prose and then polished and polished, reading it out aloud as he went, with a particular intonation. Comparison of poetry to music, the text up-front and other stuff happening underneath.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Brief return re the ignorance quote

From Phaedrus, mediator on the Quotations site, here is the source of Petri's quote:

"When you sell your expertise...you have [a?] limited repertoire. On the other hand, when you sell your ignorance, when you sell your desire to learn something, to create & explore & navigate paths to knowledge - when you sell your curiosity - you sell from a bucket that is infinitely deep, that represents an unlimited repertoire. My expertise has always been my ignorance - my admission & my acceptance of not knowing. My work comes from questions, not from answers!" ~Information Anxiety
by Richard Saul Wurman

He has a web-site, typical American stuff, partners, mission statement, 21st century challenges, are you prepared?, sell, sell, You Must Be In on this.
But the quote is good.

Making stock

Timer on.

Checked on the Quotations website if anyone knew about My expertise has always been my ignorance whether there is anyone who said it, and, No, it seems to be just Petri. Still don't know if it is a he or a she. Am also hesitating and wondering whether I should offer to edit some of the English for him, I'd probably get more out of it than they do, reading about authors I don't know. Once every two months or so? It would not take me long to do. I'll email him/her and see what happens.

Almost finished reading the Larkin biography -Philip Larkin, The Marvell Press and Me, by Jean Hartley (Carcanet Press, 1989). Have not yet looked him up on Petri's site, that will be helpful. He was a sad man, wistful, and kind. Jean Hartley was a friend of his. Every now and then some of her thoughts about life are allowed and the book is immediately much more interesting than say her romances or the lack of a romance in Larkin's case. I wonder if other readers would think so too?

I checked that Janet Frame was on Petri's Authors' Calendar, and Katherine Manfeld. Found a raft of Israeli writers - Amos Oz, Yehuda Amichai, AB Yehoshua, Shai Agnon, David Grossman.

Reading poetry is paying off. Unless it was a fluke: the new exercise for the Online course was done quickly and easily, at least the first draft. Not feeling overwhelmed by the task as with the prose poem. Have worked on that one too, amazed at what can be dispensed with, how many words are unnecessary, I love reducing and reducing. It makes me think of when one prepares stock, simmering the broth away, till what remains has a strong taste
Timer went a couple of minutes ago. Took too long editing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

About ignorance and Anne Kennedy

I thought I'd get back to routine, but instead when I got here early this morning (still dark outside), I found an email from Finland which I allowed to distract me and send me happily off in all kinds of other directions.

Petri Liukkonen is the librarian in the small Finnish town of Kuusankoski. He/she writes the biographies on a website entitled Authors' Calendar (see http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi), which I'd quoted in the review of Szymborska's work. I'd emailed a few days ago to say thank you. I had also noticed the absence of two favourite authors from his Nordic Authors list - Bodil Malmsten and Per Pettersen. So I mentioned that too and he/she wrote to say thank you and let me know that they were candidates for the list.
In the email was this wonderful sentence:
"My expertise has always been my ignorance".Have sent an email round the Quotations website to see if anyone has a source.
Did some reading about Petri and the website and discovered that it is famous in Finland - received a prize from a PEN sounding organisation - and overseas - mainly the US - where many universities recommend it as a source for people studying English Lit. And yes, Janet Frame is on the list. Not Frank Sargeson. Or Lloyd Jones for that matter.

Meanwhile have mislaid Billy Collins somewhere, very frustrating, but am reading a Philip Larkins' bio, his poetry which I like more and more, and a book called Sing-Song by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press, 2003), which is about her daughters' exczema and the suffering that resulted from it. First time I've read a book of poems this compulsively. Anyone who has ever had a suffering child will respond to it, that I know.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Billy Collins' Hunger poem

Reading Larkin is not so easy; many of his poems are about death thoughts at 4:00 am, the dark thoughts of the night. The Chinese had something to say about those, how we should protect ourselves against them, I can't remember where I read that.

Reading Billy Collins: an interesting short poem called Hunger, which I don't understand, is lodged in my mind this morning. I've reread it several times:

The fox you lug over your shoulder
in a dark sack
has cut a hole with a knife
and escaped.

The sudden lightness makes you think

you are stronger
as you walk back to your small cottage
through a forest that covers the world.

From Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes, Selected poems, (2000) Picador.

Utter loneliness, how we delude ourselves and the foxy (destructive? malicious? untrustworthy?) ones who get away.
Some of the bitternesses of life.

Reading poetry is making me think in verse. At least while I'm in bed.

No writing yesterday, though did re-read my prose poem. R, a trustworthy critic, said it was hilarious and not to change a word, though he added that it was not a poem, in any way.
Any praise from him is good, so I should be glad. Never mind.

Today is Sunday, the children will be here this afternoon to say goodbye to our guest, whom I will miss.
Writing tonight, I hope. I've cancelled one of the social things planned for this afternoon. From tomorrow I should be back to normal, whatever that is.

Friday, 4 April 2008

To the Library

Yesterday was a Whitireia day, stressful. The presentation of the review went OK, the next one is in two weeks, I might try Philip Larkin. During workshopping - which is what we call the sessions when we give each other feedback on our work - I thought of how Szymborska has a lot to say and says it well.

Immediately afterwards went to the library to return Szymborska's book which I think is the only one in the Wellington region. Two other people want to read it.

I took out a biography of Larkin as well as a collection of his poetry (Collected Poetry, 1988, the Marvell Press, an imprint of Faber and Faber), so that I'd have a bit of background. I always like to know more about the setting in which a poem is written.
I have difficulty with poems that do not make sense clearly. I should try to give the writer the benefit of the doubt.
Besides taking out Larkin, I also got a book of Billy Collins' poems, Taking off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (2000, Picador). Susi said that he was very accessible. I'd like that! Also Glenn Colquhoun, An Explanation of Poetry to My Father, (2001, Steele Roberts) and a collection of poems by Allen Curnow, entitled Selected Poems, 1940-1989, without a clear publication date, published by Viking.
I dipped into things last night, Glenn Colquhoun pleased me immediately. Talk about accessible.

The bell has rung some time ago. A lot of editing.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Lunch with Crocodiles

Thursday morning, so off to Whitireia for the poetry course, after what feels like a long break, but was in fact only two weeks. I shall present a review of Wislawa Symborska's book, View with a Grain of Sand, 1000 words exactly. And if I can finish the prose poem for the online course, I'll be near to catching up what I missed while we were away. Just one more poem to write before Monday, and then I'm on track.

The only reading yesterday was Wislawa's verses, over and over. And a bit of Zen stuff to quieten the poor old mind, before going to sleep. I did sleep well.

Wrote feedback on other people's poems. Lorraine's is entitled Pre Christmas Lunch with Crocodiles, what a hoot, loved it.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Reading poetry

Have reduced the time on the timer still further, to allow for editing, which I always seem to need after I think I've finished.

Late getting up today, lay huddled under the sheets, thinking, thinking, and now I think I've got it: I know what I'm going to write for my review of Wislawa, and I know how I'm going to do my narrative/prose poem. Such a relief. All that is left is to do it. I am also committed to a meeting in town for an hour this afternoon that I cannot put off, so that'll be at least 2.5 hours away from the desk, and not concentrating on the work at hand.

I finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick or Lonesome no more for the umpteenth time (I own a battered copy). That is a prose poem, I realised. Hi ho.
He begins many of his paragraphs with Yes, and .... Someone once categorised him as a Sci Fi writer. That is part of it. In this book, gravity keeps fluctuating, highs and lows, so that on hi grav days, the main character who is a President of the US, is reduced like everyone else to crawl around on all fours. Very funny.

The bell went. So quickly, also: I must must must read more poetry if I am to get the feel of it. Have retrieved my treasury of poems that Ruth gave me, 1000 pp or so. Shall start from the back, the most recent ones.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Panic stations

Have reduced my writing time for this blog to 10 min, remembered the timer today. How long it takes to get back into a routine - yesterday the flowing writing exercise only lasted 5 minutes before I was interrupted, for good. I love my guests, but I can't write as well; I am still having to catch up on writing left undone while we were away.

As soon as I finish this, I'll have to pay the bills, that is waiting too.

Wrote a critique of Wislawa's Yogi poem yesterday - that's not its real name. (This is making me wonder about its real name which is about a 'non-existent expedition to the Himalayas'. Shall have to revisit that.) It was so rewarding to focus on this properly, taking time. Shall review two more poems today, one of which will be Water, which I am sure is a metaphor for freedom. The problem will be to convince an audience/readers of this, or at least to write convincingly enough so that people are willing to consider it a possibility.

Re-read an old exercise - a poem where every line has to follow a dictate. It was so bad, a complete nonsense. I had to go back and check the feedback I was getting for the electronic course to reassure myself that I had anything to offer.

I am supposed to write a prose poem this week, plus a line-break poem. I don't see myself getting there yet. Aaaah, angst!