Anyone who knows me beyond a casual acquaintance knows I don’t like poetry. Even simply reading this blog should be enough to know that much about me. Last year, nobody was more surprised than me when poetry spilled from my mind onto paper.
Yes, Blacker than Black was the first poem I’d written (other than tripe smeared across the computer screen in college). It was published in the anthology Lost and Found. Since then I’ve written a bunch of poetry, though I’ve not been exactly prolific.
When the first poetry was brought to a critique group I attended, I had nothing to say. I was still caught up in “what does ‘love is like a red, red rose’ have to do with anything?” I thought a writer should simply write what he or she thought. And what can anyone else add to . . . poetry. (Blech!)
Since that first poetry critique I’ve watched how input from others can help refine a poet’s efforts. I’ve been the recipient of honing provided by others. Whispers in a Storm is one such poem, thanks to fellow author Larry Bastian. I’ll never forget “that moment” when a simple word substitution could make that poem (ahem) POP!
Those who are helping critique The Brotherhood will get that joke. Everyone else will have to wait.
Prismatic Blossoms and Granite Boulder followed in short order, and then months passed before the poetry bug bit again. Now The Highway will introduce my upcoming book, The Brotherhood.
Critiques have played a major role in The Brotherhood. Everyone who has helped out know how rough that material was at the start. (Hint for beginners: they all are.) The Highway was no different.
If anything, critiquing poetry is even more vital than in prose. Poems, with the exception of epic poetry, are typically shorter than anything in prose. Every word has an impact, and a simple word substitution can be the difference between good poems and great ones.
The upshot of all this is I’d like to thank those who have helped bring about what I think is a great book which will come out soon, and the poetry I’ve published.
For your enjoyment, here is Blacker than Black.
Blacker than Black
Blacker than black
My soul disintegrates in the onslaught
Hope no longer remembered
Vanished across years