Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On Reflection...

I have been looking over the folder containing my poetry, thinking it was time to make more submissions to various journals. I found myself dissatisfied. Should I send these out again, or should I give up on them as not good enough, and wait till I have something better?

Or is there a third way? It seems to me that these poems could do with a dose of reflection. I need to print them out, carry them around. Read them out loud to myself, listen to the awkward places, let my intuition guide me to better ways of saying what I want to say. And then perhaps send them out again.

Each week I watch for the new topics to go up at one deep breath, Poetry Thursday and Sunday Scribblings. The haiku topic for one deep breath is posted usually on a Sunday evening, or perhaps a Monday. I find myself hoping that it will be Sunday evening, which is Monday here. If it goes up late afternoon New Zealand time, I can look through my collection of photos, find one that fits, write a haiku and submit my link. By this time everyone in North America is in bed asleep. By the time they are up, my link will be waiting to be posted on the site, and I in turn will wake to find it posted, and comments from visitors on my blog.

This week I watched eagerly for the topic, but didn't see it before I went to bed on Monday. And then on Tuesday I got up and it still wasn't there. Or so I thought. Later in the day I checked again, and realised I had missed it because it already had such a long list of links attached that I thought it was last week's post. And so every week I rush more and more to post my link early, so that I will be noticed and have plenty visitors. I do the same with Sunday Scribblings - I always used to post on Sunday, because that is the point, isn't it? And then I realised that more and more people were posting early, and I was getting fewer visitors, even though on Sunday in New Zealand it's still only Saturday in the US. I wanted time to think about the topic, but now if I take part I find myself submitting my link on Saturday evening so that at least it will be there before the next morning. Part of me is uneasy at this behaviour. A haiku is only three lines, but this doesn't mean it should be dashed off quickly. The best haiku are the result of long reflection. If I keep rushing everything I write, how will I write something that reflects who I am, deep down? I have time only to skim the surface.

It seems fitting that this week's topic should be "reflections".

afternoon walk
lingering on the shore line
time for reflection


Anonymous said...

Hi Catherine,

On reflection, shouldn't the poem be what we write, not the prompt?

I understand your concern, because I share it.

Very thoughtful poem my friend, thank you.

paris parfait said...

Your haiku describes one of my favourite activities. Lovely photo too.

Mimey said...

Being by water does offer up some wonderful reflection opportunities, both kinds of reflection.

I used to stress about being early with the 'projects' but decided my blog, my rules, I'll post as I see fit. Which was fine til I looked back through my blog this week and realised I don't get half the comments I used to. Boo.

Still, here's one more to you :-)

Regina said...

There is something about walking near water that really does put one in a reflective mood... just lovely, thanks.

Roswila said...

Yes, I have had the same issue with responding promptly (pun intended :-D) to a prompt, and finding myself up late at night crankily trying to get a post together. Little by little, I'm getting more relaxed about it. (I even "cheat" once in a while. I.e., put an old ku on photo to make it a new haiga ... figure that's better than rush off a ku I'm uncertain about.)

As a previous comment says, it's about the writing, not the prompt. However, it's also about sharing/ audience. The final stage of any writing for me is to share it. Then it is truly completed. So it seems (as I ramble on, thinking as I'm typing this comment) it is about balance. The ongoing balance between one's inward focussed writer, and outward social self.

Beautiful photo and thought provoking ku. May you always find the time for reflection.

megan said...

Seems to me that there's no need for one more thing to: 1) collect, 2) rush through, or 3) race toward.

The Beatles always have the answer. This time, it's Let It Be. Write when you write. Get the comments you get.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I really relate to what you're saying here Catherine. Lovely haiku and gorgeous photo. Sunday Scribblings I only post if it the prompt really speaks to me and never post before Sunday. I do though make an effort to post early to Poetry Thursday and One Deep Breath. I try to comment on as many people as possible, though this may take a while!

get zapped said...

This is wonderful. We all need these moments and it's nice when nature calls to us and we listen.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your haiku whenever you post it. Each day I read a few so I can make them last all week.

Lovely photo.

Tammy Brierly said...

I need to refect more too :) I enjoyed your post very much and it hit home!