Back At It To Celebrate National Poetry Month

Dear readers, fellow bloggers and poets, friends, Romans, countrymen,

Lend me your ears and eyes, if you would. Every year there is a dry spell, a fallow period for yours truly in which almost nothing gets written. The last time I posted, it was December, 2021. This year that fallow period was way longer than I would like, three full months–but just as I might be able to predict a period of non-productivity every year, usually during those winter months, I can also bet that spell will be broken by the advent of National Poetry Writing Month, where I have vowed now for almost a decade running, almost religiously, to write a poem every day for the month of April.

I apologize for my absence to anyone out there who misses my presence. Mostly, I think, it’s a self-apology. I’m really, I think, the only one holding his breath to see when this Michael Jarmer guy will post a blog or a poem or a podcast. To self and others who care: I vow to be more present and productive, and I am pretty certain this is a vow that I will be able to keep–for reasons I hope to go into in the not-so-distant future.

Meanwhile, I have written three new poems and have posted them here for days one and two, respectively, of National Poetry Writing Month. Today’s poem was inspired by the always helpful, always edifying, always playful NaPoWriMo website, which I highly recommend. Every day there’s a prompt there–and I find myself visiting it every day of the month to see if the prompt excites something creative in me. Maybe, about half the time, I find that it does. Otherwise, I rely on my own interests and obsessions and find some way, by hook or by crook, to squeeze out a poem. On the first day of National Poetry Month, I used my classroom practice to generate poetry, as I was leading students through an introductory lesson on a poetry unit by having them write erasure poems, or “blackout poems,” a kind of found poem in which a text is redacted to reveal a new thing. It was super fun to “write” along with them. And it was super fun and naughty to direct students to write inside books and cut pages out with scissors. As I’ve got two more periods of sophomores with which to write erasure poems on Monday, day four of NaPoWriMo might find two more of these.

If you’re reading this, thank you! I hope you enjoy this journey with me, and I hope you’re doing your own writing along the way. And for podcast listeners: hang in there with me. I will return to that venue as well, and soon!

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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