Sunday, January 25, 2015

Week 47: The Eight of Letterpresses - Seeking Collaboration

A busy day of reading and writing and submissions. I usually reserve Saturday for submissions but having missed yesterday, I mad certain I got it done today.

So, with all of the above out of the way I have gone to my Poet Tarot card deck and selected at random the one to guide me this week.  It's the Eight of Letterpresses.

It appears that the Eight of Letterpresses is not a big fan taking the safe road on a journey. Not very interested in seeing me limit myself. No the Eight of Letterpresses likes to see me exercise my creativity.
Sweat a little. Get uncomfortable. Try something different.

Maybe step out of my comfort zone by contacting an artist in another field - a painter, a photographer and collaborate on putting poetry and picture together.

Now I've done this in reverse. I've supplied poetry that  an abstract artist has painted and the works have been shown in a gallery. But the Eight of Letterpresses is shaking his head. Nice try.  No, I need to use someone else's work to inspire poems.

I need to think about another artist that I know who I could ask to collaborate with, or hope that fate leads me to someone altogether new to try such a project with. This is probably not going to come together in a week, but I need to start considering possibilities this week.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Undoing the Damage of Haste

“Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It's what everything else isn't.” Theodore Roethke

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 46: Roethke - King of Mentors

An so I've drawn Theodore Roethke - The King of Mentors Card this week. A man who was not only a remarkable poet but an exemplary teacher as well. Professor Roethke was noted for taking a special interests in the students studying under him.  He was more than a teacher, his role was more personal and could well be describe as that of a mentor.

As for his own writing, Roethke was a keen observer of the world around him incorporating much of what he took in to his work  and  he displayed and almost magical command of words.

So what is Roethke asking of me this week?

  • I feel like Roethke wants me to be a better observer. To look for every opportunity to develop some theme, some story, some image to bring to life in poetry.
  • Also, to be new and fresh with my approach with language usage but also expand my word knowledge base 
  • I feel like his special interest in student writers/poets also has a special message. No matter what our level of experience there is someone out there who could use encouragement, direction,  be a sounding board, help workshop a poem. Look to be of help to others.
  • Remember those who have helped you in some way with you work. Keep them in your thoughts that good karma will come their way. Form time to time, drop them a note and tell them you appreciate the help they have been to you. Or tell them to their face if possible. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 45: Frank O'Hara - Examining Authenticity All Week Long

It's been several weeks now since I drew a "poet" card. I seem to have hit a run of suite cards. Nothing wrong with that but just the same I was delighted when the Frank O'Hara card surfaced.  I really kind of feel I need an actual poet to commune with at this moment.

O'Hara at times seems too forthright for his own good. Still, you have to admire that about him, I think he wants me to examine my own authenticity. In what ways are I or am I not authentic? This is a bit of a scary request but I promise to journal on the subject this week. I suspect there is a good reason to or this would not be coming up now.

Frank O'Hara was a patron of the arts - emphasis one the plural. What can I learn from him about merging art forms? Or Poetry forms?  How can I bring my own creativity to new dimensions? When I think about exploring and experimenting with poetry do I get nervous or inspired? When asked about my work can I defend it with passion or do I act like I had no part in it?

So many tough questions Frank. We have a week together to explore these.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 44: Three of Mentors - The Critics Role

As artists we create what we are called to and that process at times calls us to tweak or sometime majorly rework a poem. We've all become used to this on one level or another.

We also from time to time seek honest criticism of  something we've written. That criticism is important to each writer but it can sometimes be difficult to accept. It can be a delicate matter for newer writers but with time even seasoned poets and writers find such criticism difficult to keep in perspective.

The Three of Mentors is mindful of both the need for honest feedback on work, be it in workshop or an individual critique.
It's important for us to discern the nature of the comments offered about a particular piece of work. A sincere person making suggestions is offering an opinion about your art and while it may not always be the the changes you want to make you owe it to yourself and the process to consider such advise.  The difficult part is to determine what value to assess the suggestions. The Tree of Mentors reminds me to be of open or receptive mind.

It's okay to consider the spirit in which the suggestions are made. Probably more often than not the spirit in which it is made is indeed offered as constructive criticism. Occasionally there may be other motives that are less honest in intent. Learn to discern who and what you can trust. Always fall back on your own intuitive judgment - it may mean accepting changes suggested, modifying suggestions or changing nothing at all. Remember, the critic is there to help you and not bring you down.