|by Hugh MacLeod at Gaping Void|
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
From STIGMA to SAFFRON
I subscribe to a free daily dose of these cartoons by Hugh MacLeod. (Sign up here.) It's creepy but wonderful how often they "talk" to me by giving me just the message I need to hear at the moment they land in my inbox.
I used one in a post a week ago, when I was shaking my head at getting the word SCUTTLE in Ed DeCaria's Madness! 2012 Poetry Writing Tournament, and at the crazy improbability that I could even hope to win against the amazing children's poet Julie Larios.
Well, win I did, and the word I got on Sunday night, for a competition against Greg Pincus, master of wit, rhyme and puns is...
I spent 6 straight hours Monday night after school working on a poem that uses the word stigma in it.
The way I looked at it, I had two options: a poem about social disgrace, or a poem about one of the reproductive parts of a plant.
I was totally stuck because I was trying to write a poem about the word. I needed to write a poem that just used that word in passing. That's when I decided to write a poem about saffron.
What do I know about saffron and saffron harvesting? I have a bottle of it in my spice cupboard. I've cooked with it maybe once or twice in my life. Thank goodness for the internet. I Googled "Saffron Harvest," and through the pictures, video, and websites, I created a virtual experience for myself, and boiled it down into a poem I could be proud of.
As agonizing and frustrating as it was to work for SIX hours on this poem, the moment when I realized I was on the right track was an amazing and addictive kind of high. Because of this contest, I am learning that I really do LOVE to write poetry.
I am not that good at writing funny poems, or poems with a regular rhythm and spot-on rhymes. But I am finding out, through this contest, that I am good at near-rhyme, flow, titles, and nailing down endings.