The great TS Eliot once wrote:”April is the cruelest month”. I’m not one to make facile connections but April is also National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo which is about as un-poetic as an acronym can get and now….
poets are dutifully posting a poem a day the blogosphere is loud with words like babble, ripple, burble, unfurl glow, glitter, shine, glisten winds are blowing suns are setting dawns are breaking waves are crashing on every available shore and birds, yes, birds are chirping, trilling, twittering, even singing, nature is under siege; but I have to admit I’m not up to it I don’t have the diligence, the discipline the creative bandwidth besides it’s the second day of April and I’m one day behind already nothing constipates a poet like a deadline.
Versions of this poem appear every year around this time
The April meeting of the Poets’ Circle was a dry affair in more ways than one. The Serious Poet, at the invitation of The Accomplished Poet, read his 40 verse poem about the Canadian Constitution and afterwards spoke for an hour about the making of the poem and his creative process. The Serious Poet wore, as always, a Mountain Equipment Co-Op black fleece vest, a pale blue button down shirt, a pair of Khaki pants with more pockets than any normal human being could use, and a pair of Merrill hiking shoes. His creative process? He apparently decided at the outset on a six line verse with an ABABCC rhyming scheme and added the restriction that he would only use rhymes that had never been used before in an English language poem; a daunting task, as you can imagine. However, being a professor of literature at a local university, he had his resources and with the help of a few grants, he had a group of his students devise a computer program that would check all his rhymes for originality. This involved compiling a data bank of all the rhymes in English Literature, a process that took ten years and an ever changing band of students. In the end meaning and clarity had to take a back seat and the resulting poem turned out to be a real head scratcher, a masterpiece of obfuscation delivered in a dry monotone. To make matters worse, there was no alcohol at the event; April, the cruellest month, being a dry month for some of the poets in the circle who try to prove once a year that they are not cravenly dependent on alcohol for enjoyment and invariably prove the opposite.
Slim and I got out of there as fast as we could and headed for The Post-Coital Beetle…..to be continued.