This was supposed to be a mea culpa. Of sorts.
Now, it’s just words.
My poem, “Cannibal 2,” is in Subliminal Interiors. You can read it here.
This is the “after” version of my “before”.
Alright, this is not the National Poetry Writing Month. That was back in April. But since I was indisposed back then (read: typhoid mistaken for malaria) and didn’t even know about NaPoWriMo, I am late on this bandwagon.
The idea is simple (although, très ambitious). Write a poem a day for an entire month.
HAH. Easier said than done.
Poetry is a tough cookie. It requires whittling down of superfluous bullshit till you have captured the core (the “essence,” so to speak) of what you are trying to convey. It requires soul. It requires commitment. It requires seriousness.
Of course, good writing requires that stuff too, but poetry demands you of it. Otherwise, all you are left with are nonsense verses like “roses are red/violets are blue/if you write like this/I will positively hate you”.
Which brings me back to NaPoWriMo.
The project, started by poet Maureen Thorson in 2003, posts daily poetry prompts on her website for poets to start writing. 30 days. 30 prompts. 30 poems. Or atleast, that’s the general idea.
I, by no means, consider myself a poet (please disregard all that I have published). Even though my first foray into writing at age 6 was through a simple chara (a Bengali haiku of sorts), poetry is still not my cup of tea. Sometimes, I don’t get it. Sometimes, my own stuff disappoints me. Sometimes, I just find the abstract metaphors slightly pretentious. Instead, I prefer the bluntness of fiction.
My sister says, I should abandon poetry as I can never “make money” out of it. But she isn’t a writer, and I have better things to worry about than to ask her to hold her tongue. Also, summer is almost over. And, I have nothing to show for it (an incomplete novel manuscript does not count; nor do the short story ideas I have yet to transform into stories). NaPoWriMo seems like just the sort of experiment I can use to motivate myself for the next month before I become an academic robot. I might abandon it two days into the foray. Or, I might keep at it and come out victorious.
Who knows what lies ahead?
I will not be posting my “results” on this blog. If, however, they were to get published at some point, I would make a note back to my NaPoWriMo efforts.
Here, I must thank poet Krishnakumar Sankaran, who has become an exacting (albeit what one might call “with gentle blows”) critic and a dear friend over the past three months since I have known the bugger, for introducing me to NaPoWriMo through his blog. He has also helped me in writing more than I normally would (more on this in a later post).
Please note: I don’t plan to follow this list in the given order. I will go according to whim/fancy/mood, and cross the prompt off once I am done with it. But of course, no cheating. One prompt a day keeps your poetry book healthy, wealthy and wise.
For now, it’s time for Na-Po-Wri-Mo-oh oh OH!
I read Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of the Sublime and Beautiful in my third year undergrad Romantics class. For the misguided, no, this was not a class on love. The Romantic era refers to a time period in literary history that saw a reactionary revolt against the industrial revolution in the latter half of the 18th century in Europe. Most noted poets who come to mind are Keats, Coleridge and Wordsworth.
But back to Burke. His concept of sublime never quite left my consciousness. The idea of extreme ecstasy coupled with extreme pain. The ultimate moment of sublime. To me, unending longing can create this moment in infinite loops.
So, I wrote a poem. Deconstructed sublime, as I saw fit.
My poem, “Sublime,” is now in Red Poppy Review. You can read it here.