Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days Hath November

It is the first of November. It is getting cold and dark. The winter does not seem like a harbinger of death this year, only an incubator of life-inside. Everyone is embarking on some project or another - whether growing a mustache (or, like my friend Gustavo, half a mustache), following a charming blogging schedule, or writing a novel. If I am perfectly, perfectly honest, I woke up this morning convinced that I should write a novel, myself.

The idea was tantalizing. And perhaps I am just under-confident, perhaps I am stifling myself, but while I sat in bed considering, one half of me couldn't help reminding the other half of what we set out to accomplish this winter: a fat collection of poems. I think there is a place in the creative life for this kind of self-denial, this wrenching back to the plan one knows is good, one knows could be fruitful. There will be no novel. Instead, over the 30 days of November, I will write 30 poems. Yes indeed, that's exactly one poem a day.

And at the end of the month, this autumn's work will be compiled in a felt-covered booklet - some evidence that I actually do the work I constantly mention. (I cannot publish poems anywhere on the internet if I want them to be accepted by a magazine. Hence the closure of my Etsy shop.) I will stitch the covers in scraps of wool, and print the words on creamy paper. The work is already piling up. Before the year's end, it will turn out that the year will not have been wasted.

How are you spending this darkening month?


  1. I will be crocheting snowflakes and sewing things for gifts, and (hopefully) writing some poems as well.

    I did a poem every day for the month of May (and then half of June) in 2010. It was difficult, but rewarding, and I felt good about myself for doing it.

    Good luck! Can I pre-order the November chapbook?

  2. I wish I could crochet snowflakes.

    It's very good to hear that my plan may in fact be possible to accomplish.

    You may certainly have a copy of the little book. It can be a Christmas present.

  3. I will be making pillows, painting my square of a mural mosaic, finishing social studies, knitting a scarf (thanks again for the help!), and reading science fiction novels.

    You're going to ace this project, Lizzy. Poetry is always in everything you do - you simply need to collect it into words. This little book will be fantastic!

  4. I would love to see your painting. Also your scarf. And I need to lend you a science fiction novel.


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