Blog Piece-Start of 2020
Since I last posted here we have survived Christmas and New Years and are ready to face the daunting outlook of 2020.
I want to mention that late in the year the “fall” issue of The Poet’s Touchstone finally came out. The “Touchstone” is the journal produced by the Poetry Society Of New Hampshire. I was particularly happy to see it because I was listed as the first prize winner in both their annual national and member poetry contests. We have some very fine poets among our membership and the national prize is open to anyone who desires to enter. They are blind contests with different judges in each contest each year. I was delighted to read the judge’s comments, and you can probably find the info at the Society’s website, www.poetrysocietyofnewhampshire.org .
By the way, both of the winning poems, Ball of String(national) and Flight of the Owl (member) are included in my new book Ball of String.
At my reading at Gibson’s Bookstore in late November in which I introduced Ball of String I was asked by one of the attendees how I write a poem. I had to confess that it isn’t a predictable process. This last book took ten years to put together partly because poetry comes from a place over which we have little control. I have gone months without writing a poem and then will develop rough drafts for three or four in a weekend. But it can take weeks or years to finally develop a version that I am satisfied with. Sometimes we are never satisfied and a poem we have worked on for months will never see the light of day.
I can’t force a poem and, sometimes, when it reaches a stage that I am happy with the piece, I will look back and wonder where it came from. There is a force within many poets,( a muse?) that seems to work on its own. It rises from the subconscious, perhaps, or visits from an alien world, and just takes charge.
That’s why poetry is art, not science. I can’t just sit down and write for two hours and expect to regularly create something meaningful. It comes from the ether, and often I just feel like a passenger on the ride to the unknown.
Most of us need a little poetry in our lives to open our hearts and let ourselves travel to places far from the hard edges of the world. I hope you will let yourselves flow with the music, the insights, the humor and the discoveries that poetry can bring to people’s lives.
We may need it in 2020.
I am closing with a poem from Ball of String that brings a little humor to the new year. It is accompanied by one of my favorite photos, (which I cannot seem to publish on this blog site). The caption under the photo is “The other creatures of our planet are well-advised to fear us…and to wonder how we survive. Are we a brief curiosity in history, or will we finally achieve wisdom?” The poem itself is called Firefly Wisdom and is written in rhyme with humor and a layer of concern.
I hope you enjoy it.
Glenn K. Currie
No one could be as strange as I.
I dare dispute what you decry,
My tail on fire, your claim belies.
And though we both are odd, it’s true,
There’s some more quaint than me and you.
Birds that swim and put heads in sand,
Fish that fly and walk on their hands.
But upon the Earth the queerest, methinks,
Is the human creature, who should be extinct.
He has no skills that I can tell,
No wings to fly, no protective shell.
Predators see him as a tasty treat,
And he only runs on two of his feet.
He has no claws to fend off foes,
No fur to warm him when it snows.
So keep perspective about your flaws,
Don’t let your appearance give you pause,
Though often we be of bizarre depiction,
There’s one out there who is stranger than fiction.
Copyright 2019 Glenn K. Currie