Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Evaluating My March Challenge

What have I learned from my crazy March poem-a-day challenge? Several things. Most of all, writing regularly gave me a routine and a goal in a dreary month when I was rather short of both.

The most surprising thing I learned was that these short rictameters allowed me to say a lot. I've always been a person of few words. In fact, one reviewer of my books noted that both, especially Seniorwriting, are short, and he saw that as a positive factor. I've never been long-winded, either in person or in writing.

Brief though they are, my poems manage to tell a story, the story of my present life and routine and how I feel about it. There's nothing remarkable there. However, writing about one's life can bring self-realization. "Write your Life!" has never had a large number of readers, yet the managing editor of Chicagoland's Senior News (basically an advertising paper) discovered "Elder Expectations" and asked permission to reprint it in her April publication. The same poem also was reprinted in the Chicago Cultural Center's Volunteer Newsletter, again with my permission. Neither publication will bring me fame or fortune, but I like to see my work--and my name--in print. Egotistical? Perhaps.

No, I'm not claiming to be a poet. I'll never be a be a best-selling author in any literary genre. My point is the same as it's always been: Write for yourself, your family, and/or your friends. You'll be surprised by what you accomplish and what you discover and whom you reach.

Before I go on to other things (soon, a trip to South Africa), here is my concluding rictameter. It probably won't be my last.

My Rictameters

Great art?
No, not these poems
Of mine, and yet if they
Just make you ponder, wonder, think
Or dream, consider your own life or write
A story, draw or paint the truth,
Learn who or what you are,
These poems inspire
Great art.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Lydia said...

This is one of my favorites for the month. How wonderful that two were published. As for brevity, I once read (but have not fact-checked) that the shortest story ever written (for a competition, I believe) was by Hemingway. It said: "For sale. Baby clothes. Never worn."

South Africa - how very exciting! "See" it for those of us who are land-locked in our lives here.

seniorwriter said...

That quote is probably behind the current six-word memoir book and craze (see earlier posts).