Instead of poem-of-the-week, write about yourself

Recently, I spent an afternoon and evening with an old friend. She’s a writer too (too? does that mean I’m a writer?), having made the kind of commitment I haven’t yet, left all other jobs but that one. (She’s often poor and dependent on her husband, which is the price you pay for that kind of dedication. As my husband is freelance, we depend on my job for the regular (modest) paycheck; though I’m thinking and plotting that kind of commitment, I can’t make it yet. Aside over.) We talked and shared stuff. I gave her a bunch of my latest poetry, much of it NaPo drafts. She read the lot and said:

But I want to see you write about yourself.

Well now. I don’t know if I ever have. Written obviously about myself, I mean. Not even before PFFA. Even in my earliest forays into poetry, which included overmodified efforts like this:

Peonies in the window wet with rain blink lazily out
Together they move wet up the garden path
Slippery from skytears and wormslime
Dead slugs turn bellysideup wet in the rivulets
The path shining slickly like glassed tar
Blinded by the glare they stumble wearily up the wet polished porchsteps
They never see
Peonies in the window.

On the poetry page, the poem(s) of the week are two heartbreak poems, written by Scavella-in-her-twenties specifically in response to stuff that happened to her. There’s also her one-and-only sestina, which illustrates that what she began to articulate seriously about a week or more ago in an exchange with Nic over at Very Like A Whale was never very far away: that the political and the personal for Scavella are very much intertwined.

And for me, too, of course.

More on this, which has opened a door into a discussion I want to have.


7 thoughts on “Instead of poem-of-the-week, write about yourself

  1. Not a bio, no. That wasn’t what she meant, I’m sure. She was looking for a different sort of poem from the one I generally write.

    I didn’t mean to put out a general challenge — I was just thinking about what my friend said. Write about yourself — it’s not something I’ve often done at all.

  2. Oh crap.

    Quite possible. It’s an age-old poem so I could easily have mistyped it. Twenty years ago. I wouldn’t begin to know where to find the hard copy.

    I haven’t revisited it for ages.

    I’m making a line up now.

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