Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Alchemy of Poetry - Nesdoly

The Alchemy of Poetry

Position the inert element
(any prompt will do)
into the beaker of an empty page
and bathe in the acid of a long stare.

Placing vessel over the flame of thought
heat until surface softens
and breaks into fault lines.

With any writing instrument
organize component parts
into webs and lists.
Use hurried scrawl to freewrite
dissections and reconstructions.

Expand and condense
reorganize and rearrange
the substance that has now
begun to take shape
until the final creation
aligns to your satisfaction.

At this point it will often
appear to be gold
(but don’t be fooled).
Leave it to cool.

Return in an hour
a day or a week to inspect.
Very occasionally
you will be satisfied
you have created
something genuine.

© 2011 by Violet Nesdoly

I wrote "The Alchemy of Poetry" during the April poem-a-day challenge in 2010,  prompts and encouragement supplied by Robert Brewer of the Poetic Asides blog.

Now it's almost November, another challenge month when novelists around the world participate in NaNoWriMo (writing a 50,000-word novel in one month).

For poets, Poetic Asides has its own book challenge (called November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge). I'm not ready to tackle another novel, but am seriously considering joining the Poem-A-Day challenge again this year.

I find this type of writing jag helps me get over the feeling of writing as a 'precious' activity. I know from experience that when I write a lot of poems, not every one that seems great just after I've written it, is. I have to give the writing and myself the cooling and distance of time to see what I've made. That's what "The Alchemy of Poetry" is about.

By the way, the first draft of my novel Destiny's Hands, was written during NaNoWriMo 2009. So if you have a book inside you, why don't you dedicate this November to getting it out!

Poetry blog: Violet Nesdoly Poems
Writerly blog: at (New!)
Daily adult devotions: Other Food daily devos


Peter Black said...

Violet, thanks for sharing your poem and Robert Brewer's link (I took a quickie peek; I like his prompts). Back to your poem:
Great metaphors; they seem to generate movement and stimulate imagination and inquiry. Also your photo of the lustrous fruit fits perfectly.

Marcia said...

Enjoyed this, Vi. I too encourage everyone to try the discipline of these kinds of challenges. I had considered doing Nanowrimo next month but will be doing two speaking tours and two writing workshops so I think that will keep me busy enough! :)
Blessings, Marcia

fudge4ever said...

Hi Violet,

I always love reading your poetry. I like your lines:
"At this point it will often
appear to be gold
(but don’t be fooled).
Leave it to cool."

You're so right about needing to let it cool. Somehow it doesn't look quite as shiny the next day.

Yours, however, is golden.

Pam Mytroen

violet said...

Thank you, Peter, Marcia and Pam!

Marcia, you're wise to limit your involvements. If I had a schedule like yours, I wouldn't be indulging in writing binges either!

Pam, awww, you're too kind. But isn't it the truth that writing of all kinds benefits from a little distance?

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