This has been an experiment. Although I try to write every day, I have never posted my daily scribblings for the world to see.

This year, in addition to my weekly emails and post for National Poetry Month, I took up the challenge of writing a poem each day to see what I could do.

When you are your own harshest critic, it’s hard to post what you know isn’t ready. Unvarnished, at times raw emotionally and in terms of craft, the poems are here to speak for themselves.

I must thank you, my readers, for your indulgence and your loyalty. Some of you have offered comments and feedback for which I am grateful; others have simply “liked” an individual poem or post, which is also encouragement.

Through it all, I must thank my partner Samantha, for both inspiring me and being patient with my almost poetry diary, which put our life and love on public display.

I’m looking forward to printing out these poems so I can look at them on the page — as a group and individually — and see what comes of them. Let the real work begin!

Here is my poem for Day 30:

And so it ends, this Month of Poetry,
Not with a band, but with a whisper.
Although I wanted to kill that mockingbird
This morning, with his incessant trilling,
Which would have caused excitement,
And made our morning a tad more thrilling.
My love held close to me in the kitchen,
As we were making breakfast,
Her curves beautifully accentuated
In her tight-fitting nightgown.
The kettle whistled, as did I,
When she looked at me so longingly,
And curved her body up to mine.
Ah, if only we had the time
This morning, but the month has come
To an end. Tomorrow we begin again,
Perhaps with fewer daily posts,
But no less poetry in our lives.

–Scott Edward Anderson

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Here is my poem for Day 29:

The penultimate day of Poetry Month,
My challenge nearly over.
I’d no idea how much poetry
Would cascade out this month,
Or with so much love therein
Or how easy it would flow–
Of course, time will tell
How much survives,
Revision has always been
The real work to me.
Yet, if one or two live
To tell the tale I have here told,
It was a grand experiment
And one that achieved its goal.

–Scott Edward Anderson

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Here is my poem for Day 28:

Breakfast on the deck in the morning sun.
Spinach-feta-egg-white omelette,
The last of the rosemary bread toasted,
French-pressed coffee, the Times.
Proving to ourselves at least,
Civilized life can continue,
Even with the hoard of kids
(The smallest perfect number)
Looming in their beds.

–Scott Edward Anderson

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adalimonAda Limón’s poetic world is one where dislocation leads to an opening up rather than a shutting down, an unfolding rather than sequestration, and where doors are open, not closed. She isn’t afraid to confront her emotions or to let the reader in to observe her reactions to those emotions.

Yet, Limón’s is not a confessional poetry or, at least, not in the derogatory sense of that word. Limón tells stories and she’s proud of that fact.

“It’s ingrained in human nature to crave stories,” Limón explained in an interview. “We want them read to us as children, to be told around the fire, we want to see ourselves, our lives in these stories, and to have a sense of both escapism and transformation. People don’t know that poetry can do that, because they have the preconceived notion that poems take a tremendous amount of work to even comprehend, let alone be moved by.”

Her poems are not meant solely for the page, but to be read aloud. Her language is fluid, whether describing dreams or reality or the blurring between the two.

As Jeffrey Cyphers Wright wrote in The Brooklyn Rail, “She personalizes her homilies, stamping them with the authenticity of invention and self-discovery.”

Born March 28, 1976, Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California, and now divides her time between there and Lexington, Kentucky. Her first collection of poetry, lucky wreck, won the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She is also the author of This Big Fake World, winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize, and Sharks in the Rivers (Milkweed Editions, 2010).

Here is Ada Limón’s poem, “Sharks in the Rivers”:

 

We’ll say unbelievable things

to each other in the early morning—

 

our blue coming up from our roots,

our water rising in our extraordinary limbs.

 

All night I dreamt of bonfires and burn piles

and ghosts of men, and spirits

behind those birds of flame.

 

I cannot tell anymore when a door opens or closes,

I can only hear the frame saying, Walk through.

 

It is a short walkway—

into another bedroom.

 

Consider the handle. Consider the key.

 

I say to a friend, how scared I am of sharks.

 

How I thought I saw them in the creek

across from my street.

 

I once watched for them, holding a bundle

of rattlesnake grass in my hand,

shaking like a weak-leaf girl.

 

She sends me an article from a recent National Geographic that says,

 

Sharks bite fewer people each year than

New Yorkers do, according to Health Department records.

 

Then she sends me on my way. Into the City of Sharks.

 

Through another doorway, I walk to the East River saying,

 

Sharks are people too.

Sharks are people too.

Sharks are people too.

 

I write all the things I need on the bottom

of my tennis shoes. I say, Let’s walk together.

 

The sun behind me is like a fire.

Tiny flames in the river’s ripples.

 

I say something to God, but he’s not a living thing,

so I say it to the river, I say,

 

I want to walk through this doorway

But without all those ghosts on the edge,

I want them to stay here.

I want them to go on without me.

 

I want them to burn in the water.

 

 

–Ada Limón

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Here is my poem for Day 27:

That’s an unattached male
Mockingbird who sings
At 3AM, hidden somewhere
In the magnolia behind our
Building. He wants a mate.
I’ve got a mate, lying next to me,
And she rolls over and remarks
About the bird, asks why
He is singing now, before dawn.
It’s a strategy mockers have developed,
Taking advantage of silence,
As if in competition with the night.
Waiting will not do for the mocker,
Who has already stolen other birds’
Songs, he now wants to win
A heart of his own–
What he doesn’t realize is
It’s as annoying to the females
As it is to us trying to sleep.

–Scott Edward Anderson

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Here is my poem for Day 26:

Last night’s full moon
Appeared further away
Than usual, reminding me
That it is moving away
From us an inch and a half
Every year. Its pull
Stretches us thin
And complicates
Our emotions.
The “pink” moon angles
Through our window
And across our white
Sheets. Your tangle
Of red hair on the pillow
Reflects tiny lights
Neither high nor low,
As if your dreams
Escape into the night.

–Scott Edward Anderson

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Here is what passes for my Day 25 poem:

Not feeling very poetic today,
The tank approaching empty.
I’ll jot some lines here anyway,
In hopes to replenish the plenty.

–Scott Edward Anderson

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