I woke up with significantly less anger today. I felt very comforted by today’s writing prompt: write a poem based on a news article. The post even included links to a few news articles which, thankfully, had little to do with the actual news. I am actively avoiding the majority of those reports. I just read my daily Brookline, MA update each night and then check the latest numbers (you know which ones) in The Guardian. I limit the rest of my news consumption to coverage of the Royal family, updates from Shedd Aquarium, and Bon Appétit content.
Thinking about poetry and news at the same time always reminds me of these lines from William Carlos Williams:
Those lines come from Williams’ long poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” and you can read an excerpt from it here.
So, as you can see, the news and poems can complement each other, and I liked seeing this juxtaposition in today’s NaPoWriMo prompt. I decided to use the article “Researchers Discover Faraway Planet Where the Rain is Made of Iron” as the source text for an erasure, and I found the process of creating this poem very restful. The poem did not demand anything from me or take anything from me. I just let my mind glide over the words, keeping the ones that struck a chord. Is this the best poem I have ever written? No. Is this worst poem I have ever written? Also no. It’s just a poem I made that has the word pretty in it. And that’s fine.
[Jill Hurst-Wahl uses the phrase “And that’s fine” in almost every one of her collection development lectures, and I find it so soothing.]
I was listening to Live Through This by Hole while I did this erasure, which does not sound restful or meditative but, oddly enough, was.