Freeing the Poet Within

January has proved a fantastic and fun writing month for me. I’ve absolutely loved participating in Month of Poetry organised by Kat (Katherine) Apel. Each poet, or aspiring poet, commits to writing a poem a day throughout January. The more conscientious, confident poets upload their poem/s a day for critiquing and sharing with others.

MoP is a fabulous opportunity to exercise the poetry brain. Even though I felt a bit of a fraud at first, since my poetry brain has been virtually put out to pasture since my teens. I was really excited and eager to bring it back into the home paddock and start cracking the whip. I needn’t have worried, all comers are welcome from award winners to novices.

I wasn’t confident I could complete a poem a day, let alone share it. You don’t have to post. It’s up to you. The “occasional poetry” posting section is a fabulous opportunity for those just dipping a toe.

I focused on simple subjects and those close to me. I was amazed how most of my efforts tried to turn into stories. Sometimes I reined them in, other times I let them go. The thrill of MoP is that you are free to write whatever you want to write. I totally enjoyed exploring some intricate trajectories, and the dark little corners others squirreled into.

Some were great fun to write, like solage poems and limericks, and others more serious, tapping into emotions and memories I’d long forgotten.

I have to admit I didn’t write a whole poem every day. Sometimes I only gathered images, ideas, and words, in preparation. I can go back to these now and develop them. I have a notebook full of ideas, and small collection of completed poems to rework and polish.

I loved taking the time to read poetry too. Learning some of the different forms and seeing how diverse and individual poetry can be. It freed me to write my poetry the way it emerged, but also to try different techniques. I’m converted. Poetry – better than any new whiz bang toy. How can something so much fun be free?

Month of Poetry has unlocked the door and freed my poet within. From now on, I plan to read, and write poetry often. I’ll be lining up for MoP next year too, hopefully confident enough to stand up and be counted with the big kids.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to make a start by being brave. So here’s one of my efforts – a subject close to my heart of late.


Over the road

the tree lopper is chopping out my view,

annihilating the competition of birdsong;

graders shake up the earth,

refugeeing rabbits, and voiceless others

with roars and thumps, tearing

up the solidity of memory,

doorways, pathways and landmarks;

trees groan and creak, unheard, until

crashing to the earth are

silenced into mulch,

and then,

they will come –

brick carriers and truss trucks,

houses and people,

and my street becomes

the same as any other.

CM Bell 27.1.2011

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Angela Sunde

Beautiful. I love how the sounds created such strong images – and then also how the sounds went unacknowledged. – “voiceless”, “unheard”, “silenced”. Thanks for sharing.

February 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm
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Oh Chris. Your post is just beautiful! I am so glad to have helped you on your journey – though I did so little! You did so much.

Next year I hope you’ll join us on the blog. It’s not a scary place to be. It’s fun and friendly – encouraging, supporting, understanding and growing. And we play with poetry – so it’s not all about polish. And besides all that, you’d you’d be amazed how many snuck in sheepishly saying they couldn’t write poetry… but showed they can! Snuck in, but bounced out, brimming with confidence and enthusiasm.

Your poem shows so much – and the title is perfect. Sad about the inspiration. 🙁

Thankyou for sharing.

Kat xx

February 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

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