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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Challenge accepted

  • A former coworker tagged me the other day on Facebook. She had been following along with her daughter’s assignments for a college class on writing poetry, and she decided to challenge herself to write a poem every day.
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  • A former coworker tagged me the other day on Facebook. She had been following along with her daughter’s assignments for a college class on writing poetry, and she decided to challenge herself to write a poem every day.
    The next thing I know, I’m among a group of people challenged to join in with her on this poem-a-day excursion.
    I’ve participated in many novel-writing challenges in the past, so I thought, “Well, why not?”
    April is National Poetry Month, after all, so I guessed this was probably a poem a day throughout the month of April sort of thing.
    Not quite. When I asked for clarification on the timeline, she said it was a full year.
    Well . . . OK.
    Writing poetry is not really my thing. I’m more of a novel or short story kind of person. I’ve dabbled in poetry in that past, though, and I figure it might be fun. Anyway, what harm can it do? Heaven forbid I expend some time each day trying to tap into my creative juices.
    And when I produce some truly cringe-worthy poetry? That’s fine too.
    I once read about a photographer (for “National Geographic,” I believe), who said he had to take 100 pictures to get one good picture. Or something like that. But, going with that line of thinking, surely in 365 days of writing poems, I can produce at least one that’s somewhat not terrible. One hopes.
    And if they are terrible, I don’t think it matters much, because I’m not sharing. Some of the others in the group are, and they’ve taken to posting their work on Facebook each day.
    I commend them on their bravery, but I’ll pass.
    I do enjoy their postings, though, and I’ve taken inspiration from some on new types of poems to try. (The six-word story poem was a dismal failure. The longer poetry types I haven’t had the guts to try yet. I have a feeling by the end of the year, I’ll have a large collection of the two types I’m most comfortable with: limericks and haikus.)
    This should be an interesting undertaking, especially in November when National Novel Writing Month begins and it’s a poem plus 2,000 words per day.

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