At the recent CanWrite Conference, I participated in a creative poetry writing session facilitated by JAMES DEWAR, poet, founder and publisher of PIQUANT PRESS. James didn’t waste any time getting us “poets”, if we’re worthy of the name, putting pen to paper. He’d read a published poem, ask us what stood out in it or stayed with us, and then wham, he’d hit us with a prompt and give us 10 minutes to write it. Of course, typically, we’d hold back from sharing what we’d written, silently criticizing our efforts before others could. But of course, reading the poems out loud and getting feedback, no matter how scary, is essential to growth as a poet or writer in any genre. And I heard some wonderful pieces that morning before I headed off to do my book pitch with Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory. And no, before you ask, my pitch session, while a wonderful learning experience with a very nice literary agent, isn’t going to help me get a publisher for ‘No Tears for my Father” LOL.
But, since I want to use this VIANVISIONS BLOG to promote other writers, poets and authors along with myself, and since no-one has yet answered my request for their poems, articles, anecdotes or mini-memoirs, I’d like to share with you the two 10-minute pieces I wrote in James Dewar’s session that morning. I don’t know if they’re any good but I like them. I’d also asked James at the start of that session about rhyming poetry today as I seem to have slipped back into rhyme in the last while. He assured me it was passe. So these poems are back to what I used to write 40 years ago: blank or free verse. Let me know what you think of them, good or bad. After being told by another poet who purchased my book at the conference, that the poetry in it took away from the book’s quality, I’ve been reassessing the wisdom of my pursuing writing poetry. Maybe it’s just not my niche.
By the way, neither of these poems have been edited since I wrote them. I’m presenting them to you “raw”. I thought you should know that. Why edit them if they’re no good anyway LOL? The prompt for the first poem was to recall a kind act that moved us. The prompt for the second was to recall a time when we were ashamed of what we felt. Poem #1 is for my Grade 11 English teacher who’s probably dead and buried by now; the second is for my dear grand-daughter, Samantha, with my apologies.
THE ENGLISH TEACHER