I’ve given up on National Poetry Writing Month. Am I ashamed? Well, at any rate, I’m more ashamed of the quality of what I produced for the 23 days before I gave up. Not only.were most of these very bad, but many of them were haikus which took me about two minutes to write. Beyond the haikus and sub-haikus, most of the poems are basically terrible, with the occasional sincere-ish effort sticking out embarrassingly and raising the awkward possibility that I could actually have been trying quite hard all along. So actually I’m most ashamed that I didn’t abandon the project sooner.
The nice people of Tumblr seem to consider April 4 and April 8 my two best efforts, as a whole two people liked both of them, which was my record. Of the longer poems, these two were the ones which took me the least amount of time, and it really shows, especially in April 8, which is just awful. But as most of these poems do, they both demonstrate a self-awareness which occasionally borders on comic.
I would humbly point out that forcing oneself to write precisely one poem each day is hardly a good way to get quality, and my poems do at least stand as proof that I was fully aware of this point from the beginning. Though, obviously, making most of the poems about the fact that I was participating in National Poetry Writing Month was hardly likely to produce engaging or interesting work under any circumstances. On the other hand, it reflected the selfishness of the whole enterprise, and I do not think that I would have produced better poetry if I’d tried to come up with other subjects for the poems. There is at least a certain kind of honesty in these terrible, terrible poems, even if it is not an appetising kind of honesty.
All that said, the poems are at least quite readable, because they are largely substanceless. I commend them to you if you want to read twenty-three low-quality poems about me attempting to write a poem every day. Otherwise, I guess go to the library or something; it’s basically up to you.
If the idea of reading twenty-three entire poems is too much for you, but you’d like to read a sample of my work, then actually I am quite surprised that this category of person exists. But sure, hello, and I recommend April 12, which is the best one:
don’t want to inflict
on the internet