Thursday, 5 June 2014

What I Wrote in May 2014

During the month of May, my sister, Olivia, and myself embarked on a poetry challenge. The goal was to write one poem a day for the month of May. (A friend helpfully pointed that the above statement rhymed. How handy!) Seeing as I had only written maybe two poems before, this was an interesting challenge and, admittedly, some of my poems were no more than two lines long. I also quite conveniently read somewhere that beginning poets should not attempt to make their poems rhyme. Unless you are quite practiced, your rhymes will no doubt sound cliché and over-used. (See already cited rhyming sentence) So, needless to say that was a good excuse to ditch pretty much any attempt at rhyming.

So, instead of sharing my usual lessons learned post with you, I thought I'd show case some of the highlights of my poetry journey.

In writing poetry, I was inspired by many subjects.

I wrote about poetry itself:

"I read a book
about writing poems.

I do not understand
Iambic pentameter.

But I know that
words are daggers

To the heart, so:
I writhe and write."

I was inspired by books I'd been reading: (The first two lines of this poem comes from Lois Lowry's "Gathering Blue.")

"'I need all of you.
We need each other.'
The words fairly
jump out of the page
demanding their worth
of my attention.

It's true, you know?
The soldier looks across
the grimy bunker
at his pals,
dragging on cigarettes.

The business man
thanks the butcher
who thanks the farmer
who thanks his mother.

And you
behind me in the pews
I need you all
And yes!
You need me.

Maybe just to give us pain,
make us stronger than we were
before the ceiling fell on our heads.

Maybe to pray,
'Lord, help her.'
Maybe to bring banana bread
to back door.

But, please don't turn you face
to greener facades of life.
You? I need you.
Me? You need me.
Yes. And so the cry goes.
'We need each other.'"

And this based on a quote from "All Quiet on the Western Front."

"We are in a good humour because otherwise we should go to pieces. Even so we cannot hold out much longer; our humour becomes more bitter every month." - Erich Maria Remarque

"Hold hard
and fight mean, boys.
We can't hold on much longer.

The memory is dying
of a life that used to be.

So fix the bayonets, my boys.
And fire the guns all free.
The laughter's getting wild, boys,
I'm losing sight of me.

They've taken away our decency,
our honour and our pride.
They've stamped upon our comfort
Took our futures in their stride.

But you know what will defeat us?
Whether we win or lose the war?
If they take our sense of humour
Then they've shook us to the core.

So fix the bayonets, boys,
and load up your guns.
We'll die with smiles on our faces.
We are the dreaded Hun."

I wrote about events in my life:

A Teacher to Her Students

"So long, my loves,
I send you into the world
as the days lengthen to
embrace the blackflies.
Perhaps you didn't listen
when I gave you homework
for the summer.
Maybe some of you did.

I said, 'This summer
do something to make
the world more beautiful,'
like the Lupine lady.

And with gifts of twigs and twin,
I sent you all off into that great
None of you heard me,
but into the May wind
I called,
'Goodbye. God bless you.
My love to you all.'

I experimented with different forms of poetry, like this acrostic poem below, dedicated to my inner-nudist friends (you know who you are.)


Writing poetry was a good exercise. It was good for my writing and good for me. But, it was hard, too. This is the final poem that I wrote:

"As I struggled to put into
everything I felt
on every subject
possible, I,
quite understandably,
faltered and,
For life, in all
its many faceted magnitude
cannot be fully expressed,
though it can be summarized,
in a few lines.

Thus, instead of poetry,
I endeavour to live
my whole life,
as it was meant to be -
as a poem."

- Millie


  1. I am in so much awe of your poetry! I love it!
    I actually broke into a cough at your introduction to the acrostic.

    1. Thanks for the compliments!

      I tried not to blow any one's cover. :)

      - Millie

  2. Wow, Millie, you're poetry is wonderful! I especially loved the ones inspired by "Gathering Blue" and "All Quiet on the Western Front." They each of an excellent sense of rhythm, and the emotion in them is striking. Great job! I've always struggled with writing poetry, but then, there's a small part of me that's always wanted to write it. This inspires me to give it another go!

  3. I like your poem that rhymed! :)

  4. I especially liked the Teacher to Her Students
    and I liked the assignment too.

  5. Thank you everyone! Glad you approve of rhyming, Margaret! Some of my other attempts were definitely cheesy. Must continue to work on this.