There have been poems I’ve worked on for weeks and one that I’ve been working on for years. Years! You’d think I was writing a novel, but no.. I’m just trying to recount one event in my life.
Then there are the times where I sit down to write and the thoughts are coming so fast they bump into each other and bunch up in my head waiting to funnel down and out through the pen. Then they lay down so intentionally like daisies in a garden once comfortably on the paper. Though, I often adjust them for clarity, repetition and make them more artful, the process is natural and a pleasurable. It’s a bit of a wonder to see your poem clearly have a life of its own and to be, in a way, using you!
I’ve just finished writing one of these ‘wild daisy’ poems. I was writing quickly and continuously with my sense of urgency lying only in my desire to catch all the thoughts as they came before they got lost. Though I had to focus and write quickly, I felt very peaceful. I stopped couple of times to look up some words and references but aside from that it was just one of those poems that wanted to be written.
I wonder how often this happens for other writers. It happens for me every now and then. Usually I have to think more about what I want to say and i’m aware of how I’m saying it. I may have gotten a wild daisy because I wasn’t forcing it to be a poem in terms of format. It’s written as prose in lines covering the full width of the page. Or maybe it’s because it’s a topic that’s been on my mind a lot and very powerfully for the last few months (belief, faith, power and intention).
As for the poems that take weeks, months or years to start looking right, I usually go back to them. Sometimes they’re easier to finish after I’ve stepped away and come back with fresh eyes. Other times they remain stubborn like the one that I’ve been writing for years. To leave it be or to pull it forth? I think I will pull.
But why do some poems or prose seem like they have a lives of their own and others as if you are forcing them into existence?