Wasn’t it T.S. Eliot who wrote that April is the cruelest month? Of course it was; it’s the first line, and perhaps the most famous line* from The Wasteland. What’s so cruel about April, T.S. Eliot? He must have known something about National Poetry Writing Month. But there is something considerably less cruel in my estimation (I hope my poet friends are not offended) about NaPoWriMo than there is about the seemingly herculean task of National Novel Writing Month. Again, poets, forgive me, but a poem a day for 30 days seems so much less cruel, so much more compassionate than the requirement for a novel–60,000 words in a single month, which is kind of, if you work a day job that is not writing novels, like Hell. So I’m on. I’m taking the plunge and/or the pledge. I failed miserably at writing a novel in November, and failed again at revising the novel I didn’t write in January, so I’m going to write a poem a day for the next 30 days of April, and I’m going to post all of them right here.
I’m a fiction writer, primarily, and kind of a closet poet. I’m not in the closet through any kind of shame about writing poetry, but only because I feel less “educated” about the formal and critical aspects of writing it. I know a good poem when I see it or hear it because I think I know what good writing looks like and sounds like–but when I look at my own poetry, I have less confidence in determining whether what I have done is a good poem than I do about looking at a piece of my prose and determining its value or worth. I’m not going to freak myself out. I’m just going to do the best I can do in the moment and try to do one every day. Today is April 1. I’ll post a poem by midnight or my name isn’t Michael Jarmer–and that ain’t no April Fool’s gag.
*(because it’s the only one anybody ever reads)**
Notes to the notes:
**I don’t mean that.