A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

The Meaning of May

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And a bird overhead sang Follow,
  And a bird to the right sang Here;
And the arch of the leaves was hollow,
  And the meaning of May was clear.

 

It’s been almost a month since the last post. The April 2014 Poem-a-Day Challenge left me very weary from writing poems – and in fact – from reading a lot of poetry. My first order of business was to bury myself in a novel, Kinder than Solitude by Yiyun Li. Also, I finally got around to reading books that have been on my shelf for quite some time: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson and The Best American Short Stories 2006. Don’t get me wrong, I did write some poems that were commissioned for a birthday. I wrote five poems, sent four, the person liked two, and I printed one poem as the gift.

For me, May went by in one big fog. I spent most nights curled up on the couch, watching TV shows on Hulu or movies on Netflix. I didn’t have the energy to be creative or do much of anything else (my poor house). After so much output in April with writing poems and attending poetry events, the introvert in me needed an equal amount of solitude and sloth to balance everything out. The funny thing about not doing much is that life and creativity keep moving, even when the only thing I wanted to do was take a nap. For example, four poems from the April PAD Challenge found homes; one will appear in the upcoming “Knowing” issue of When Women Waken and the others will be featured in a future Come Closer post at Luna Luna Magazine. On May 1st, I granted Outrider Press permission to publish two poems in the next TallGrass Writers Guild anthology, “The Mountain.”

The stanza from Algernon Charles Swinburne’s poem, “An Interlude” stood out because the meaning of May was clearly this: even when it looks like I’m doing nothing, something is still happening.

 

Author: poetsdoublelife

Poet and data guru living in Durham, NC.

3 thoughts on “The Meaning of May

  1. It is a treat to read fiction in order to balance out all the poetry! Similarly, I’m in the middle of The Best American Short Stories 2013. :) I think this may inspire a post on “non-poetry books that poets read” or “fiction for poets.”

    • That would be a cool post. I think I just like to get caught up in stories – This American Life and the New Yorker Fiction podcast being my favorites. I can listen to words and let the images dance in my head. When I’m writing poetry, I feel like doing the opposite: listen to the images and letting the words dance in my head.

  2. Glad you had a chance to decompress. Looking forward to the next binge!

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