Remembering Ms. Clifton

I’ve recently joined an online poetry community called “Read Write Poem.” I’m still figuring how to use the website, but it seems pretty cool so far.  There are a variety of specified interest groups you can join, from Diasporic Poetry to Haiku and Short Form Poetry, where members discuss their favorite poems, poets, etc. within the subgenre.  I joined a group that posts weekly “Poetry Mini-Challenges.”

A mini-challenge is a poetry-writing, poetry-reading or poetry-process prompt that you respond to with a new poem each day for a set number of days. The idea isn’t to warm up the poetry muscles, it’s to feel the burn. Go deeper. Explore further. Pass the place you may have stopped initially. See what comes next. And as if that weren’t juicy enough, you do all of it with the support and encouragement of the other crazy hardworking Read Write Poem members who take on the challenge.

Here’s the latest one:

Spend five intimate days (or nights) with your favorite poet. Gather your poet love’s work around you and get busy … reading, of course. Highlight your favorite lines. Tired of your current poet paramour? Spend some time with a poet you’d like to know a little better!

I’ve decided to “fall in love” (rather, remember my love) for Lucille Clifton.  Her passing last weekend made me dig through my library for her books, and revisit her work.   I am excited to embark on this “poetry mini-challenge” in honor of Ms. Clifton.

I am realizing that writing poems everyday right now isn’t possible without reading, reflecting, cooking, arguing, teaching and remembering.  Last spring, I was able to write everyday with ease and as much as I’d like that discipline and energy back, this time around feels different.  I’ve been feeling guilty for not writing everyday and posting but I want to let go of that.  I want to live and remember why I fell in love with a poet in the first place.


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Filed under 30 days/30 poems, influences

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