Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Poem-a-Day Exercise

I discovered many things in the poem-a-day exercise, but the prime discovery was that imagination is like any muscle. As any dancer or athlete knows, the more you stretch and tone, the more articulate that muscle becomes. Writing a poem a day, even a stinky poem, strengthened that muscle to the extent that I don't fear the blank page or the need to write as much as I did at the start of April. I wrote my daily poem, and then some. I did my annual 12 poems for my local school's graduation ceremony -- one for each student -- and I didn't even flinch this year.

Are you afraid of the blank page? Do you shrink from writing assignments and constraints such as the poem-a-day exercise, or any others? I'm curious how many poets and writers feel spooked by the process, as I have. Inspiration (as they call it) is mysterious. But what I discovered was that it's always lurking under the surface. I imagine if one really wanted to, it would be possible to write a poem an hour. Well, not and hold a job. But still.