Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Guess I Write Poetry

I'm thrilled to announce that I have won my very first writing contest . . . for poetry.

I wrote my very first poem in March or so, because I read somewhere that the discipline of writing structured poems encourages good word selection and the development of an ear for rhythm in prose. This made complete sense to me, and wanting to write well, I started learning how to write sonnets and other structured forms. I've written about twenty or so poems. Last month, I decided to submit one to a poetry contest on a site called ReviewFuse.

After I submitted said poem, I promptly forgot about it because, well, I don't really write poetry. I guess I do write poetry now though, since a poem I wrote won a contest. This is giggly funny to me. Not because I think it was not good, I'm pretty proud of it. Not because I think the judges were wrong - I have no idea who they were and am honored they thought my poem worthy.

No, none of the usual reasons are why I think this is funny. I think it is funny because it is so typical of me and my life. I am just one of those people who always does things backwards of how I intended, and usually it turns out just fine. What does that say about me? It says I'm pigheaded but grateful, sure of myself but clueless as to what my strengths are (in my writing).

jomicn776 is me, my ID on both FanStory and ReviewFuse.

Here's the link for the poem with great thanks to ReviewFuse:

Update 2015: the site has closed and the link is no longer available. 
Here is the poem:

Unending Thread

Unending thread, between your heart and mine,
awaits the tug of distance to reveal
a purpose borne of using the divine
to loose our forms, yet strengthen soul’s appeal

that we not tarry in the ether mist,
behind a tattered veil for feigned delight.
Sweet nymphs and stirred emotion, lightly kissed, 
are not the true love promised by the night.

The thread pulls back, we reel through space and time
believing all we see is here and now.
Illumination bares the truth in rhyme,
existence rests its head on lover’s brow.

Returning from the dream to find you there,
a halo brume encircling your hair.

Again I want to sleep and travel far,
beyond the earthly bound’ries of my form,
and meet you near the heavens’ blazing star;
the kindly light feels safe and free and warm.

We circle round the azure shrouded world,
the thread has bound us surely down the nave.
Remains of day and night before unfurled
and carried on a crimson, golden wave.

Forever we will journey through this life,
no fear of crossing to the farther plane.
Between the two, the best room truly rife
with charity and love in His domain.

No matter if we wake or if we sleep,
Love’s bond a truer marriage couldn’t keep.

I think I'll continue writing poetry. I think this may make me see myself just a bit differently. I've entered exactly fifty seven short story contests and have won none of them. Even when I'm only up against five other stories. Most of those contests are on another site, FanStory, of which I am a proud member.

Both sites are set up for a writer to submit work, have it critiqued, and critique the work of others. I am light-years ahead of where I was when I started my writing journey in December of 2008, mostly thanks to these sites and the people I've connected with through them.

I personally choose to enter contests, not so much to win anything or to stroke my ego (which is a good thing, because with a big 0 for 57, I may have quit writing a long time ago), but I work best under a deadline and I wanted to stretch with unusual topics. I have my stats as a badge of honor on my profile page to keep me humble. For every "Your writing is great!" I hear, I can look at my win - loss record to be pulled violently back to reality.

Which brings me to the ultimate point I am getting to sometime today: What people like, and what is good work, is ultimately a subjective thing. Is my poem really the best of the 325 submitted? For those judges, that day, it was. Don't rest on that. Do better, work harder, keep going. Write, write, write. I am so appreciative of my work being recognized because it is not easy. I've worked hard. But just as I occasionally rationalize a close loss (mine was better), so I should put a win in the same category.

I should, I really should. But just for today, just this one post: Hooray!

Jo Taylor

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