Reflections on my first week of NaPoWriMo

I’ve written a poem a day for the past week; today was number seven.

I’m surprised at how difficult it is. If it was “National Blog Writing Month” (NaBloWriMo?) I don’t think it would be so hard. I have lots of things to talk about in prose, but I guess I’ve felt that poetry needed to have more feeling attached to it, and there can be restrictions on form. I’ve changed my mind, a bit. What you do with poetry is up to you; there aren’t really any rules.

One of things that’s always bothered me when reading poetry is that I didn’t always understand what the poet was talking about. The words made sense in and of themselves, but the topic wasn’t always clear. I remember listening to a song many times, thinking I knew what it was about, and I enjoying it. A friend informed me that it wasn’t about missing a partner as I thought, it was about quitting smoking. I don’t know whether I agree with him, but I think hard about the lyrics every time I listen to the song now.

So I thought I would explain a little about each poem I wrote. I guess these could be spoilers, so read the poems if you want to before you read my brief explanations. I’m sure most are obvious, though.

April 1. I didn’t title my first poem. It was about writing poetry. Meta, eh? I decided to write exactly seven words on a line (no syllabic restrictions, though). It was fun.

April 2 – “Barter”. It’s about being reflective at the end of a day. That’s all.

April 3 – “Clarity”. This is about the fear of looking too closely at your decisions in case you discover you were wrong. I was thinking about work, specifically, but it generalizes nicely.

April 4 – “Cipher”. I’m looking at the cryptic, topic-is-not-obvious poetry that frustrates me as a reader. Although I’m the poet now. ;)

April 5 – “Go-To Guy”. This is about work, and how I have too much of it, but I still do everything. At a pretty high cost to myself, sometimes. Unfortunately, someone read this and told me they hesitated to ask for my help on a project. Please ask me, folks. I’m going to do my best to say “no” or to send you to someone else who’s competent if I can’t swing it.

April 6 – “Short Run Rhyme”. I tried rhyming for this one, limerick-style (clean, of course). I ran on Friday night, and my calves were still sore from my long run last weekend. I only got about 2.7km and had to pack it in so I didn’t hurt myself.

April 7 – “Secure Your Site”. It drives me crazy when very well-written, useful tools on the web choose not to implement even basic security. I still use some of these services, I’ll admit, but only for low-risk endeavors. Certificates are cheap ($150, I hear – that’s peanuts), and the DB stuff in the background isn’t impossible. If you’re listening, developers, please get this done. You have great interfaces, excellent tools, beautiful icons, and astonishingly weak security. Your swiss cheese service is not for me.

Feedback?

As with most things, I welcome feedback, here or on Twitter. Thanks, and I’ll have another 23 poems before the end of the month! (That sounds like a lot, saying it like that.)

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