View Full Version : How many and how long?

January 24th, 2015, 08:02 PM
I've always got a handful of poems going, sometimes they sit a long time.

How many poems do you find yourself with, just waiting for that moment of inspiration or that perfect word to finish it?

Also, how long is the longest it's taken you to finish a poem? For me, it was about a year.

January 24th, 2015, 11:04 PM
often instant and others left and found again

Chesters Daughter
January 25th, 2015, 08:52 PM
I usually only do one at a time because I obsess until it's finished. And by obsess I mean it's in my head constantly and I can do nothing else that requires thought until it's actually written out in words. Then the tweaking begins, and when I get stuck, my mind is again overrun. If I'm lucky, it only takes a few days, usually less than a week, but I've had quite a few that took six weeks or more. I end up hating them because they keep me from moving on to something else. More than one have been tossed in the bin never to see light of day.

Sometimes, when the fodder is ample, I'll have a few battling for top billing in my brain, the most promising win and the others either die or go into hiding. I get up in the middle of the night to write because I've lost a few great ideas waiting for dawn. Nothing worse than having something great in your grasp and losing it to resumed slumber. It makes me sooo mad, lol. I often write down snippets of stanzas that come to me, most are chucked. If I'm not compelled to immediately obsess, then the snippet is crap and I won't waste my time working it. When I was starting out, I'd work the unworkable to death and then throw the whole thing away in the end. I don't make that mistake anymore, it a waste of time. It seems I'm a one poem woman, poemnagamous, if you will, or perhaps I have the attention span of a two year old, lol.

One last thing worth mentioning, which is probably true of a good number of us. When I write, the world does not exist and God help the fool who tries to tear my attention away. I've thrown things at people and the phone, and have chased the bird through the rooms. And, I'm ashamed to say, I've screamed at the mailman for ringing the bell. Never interrupt a lunatic at work.

January 26th, 2015, 01:27 AM
I have several poetry notebooks and I always keep one in my handbag just in case I feel inspired to write. Most of the poems are just scribbles, vague ideas abandoned mid sentence because I can't think of a suitable word for the rhyme scheme or to describe a mood or a moment in time. As for longest time - I've been writing a poem about the sunset for over a year now. I know what I want to express from within me and how I feel, it's just finding the right words to channel on to the page.

January 26th, 2015, 01:57 AM
At times I find myself with too many poems. Some are short, some are very l

January 29th, 2015, 11:55 PM
Like Lisa, I usually write one poem at a time. Sometimes I'll leave a poem that's got me stuck and go on to the other- but I've usually found that the poem that I was stuck on rarely gels . I should have thrown them away but I get attached to them even the bad ones. I constantly rewrite.

The longest a poem took me was three months- it was grueling- my best work (IMO) -but not well received-such is life...

my warmest

January 30th, 2015, 12:15 AM
The longest a poem took me was three months- it was grueling- my best work (IMO) -but not well received-such is life...

I know what you mean, Bob. I have favorite poems, myself, but I think they have deep, personal meaning. They aren't always well received, either.

January 30th, 2015, 03:06 AM
I usually write poetry when I have a hard time expressing my thoughts. Sometimes it will be two or three in a day and I won't be bothered with it for months. It's catharsis for me. The one thing that usually happens with me when I write poetry is that I ended up writing the last line of the poem before I even begin it. I have an idea on how I want to start it, or a theme, but the ending almost always comes to me first. I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to knowing how anything will end so I'm sure that contributes to my poetry-writing process.

I think the longest time I've ever taken on a poem is about two months. Usually once I write something and it's out on that paper or I can see it on my screen, I save it and lock it away. When I really think about it though, I don't think any of my poems are done. Most of them are half thoughts, and struggling emotions about something that I could never fully convey with spoken words. It's definitely something to think about. Makes me want to go back through everything I've written and try and see if they really are finished. Which, they probably aren't to be honest. Hah.

January 30th, 2015, 04:50 AM
Two, usually. One I'm actively working on and one I'm stuck on. And sometimes they swap spaces. The longest was three months for "The Second Witch". If you include minor grammar/capitalization-type tweaks, then some go on for multiple years.

Tristie Frost
May 20th, 2015, 02:33 AM
I usually have one or two going at once. And they can sit awhile, maybe about a month but not any longer because it drives me crazy. If I get stuck on the first one, then I switch to the second one.

May 20th, 2015, 04:17 AM
Fleetfoot took me two years to finish, but it is unique in that respect; it was a massive undertaking. Most of my projects don't take more than a week at most. I don't plot or plan, I turn my music on and just go. The results are atrocious, but it can't be said, I don't try...

May 20th, 2015, 07:05 AM
The types of "poems" [deliberately in quotes as I cannot think of them as 'proper' poetry] I write are either things that just spring into my mind and appear without thinking as something I have read, heard or seen triggers them, or something triggers an idea which leads to the first line of a possibility. Or maybe just a title

I will then type that line/title in a draft form and if it develops all well and good. If it sits for more than a couple of days with no idea how to develop it, then it is not meant to be and I discard it.

But as I said, I am not really a poet.

May 20th, 2015, 11:32 AM
Heck, I've pulled out poems from my old files that I gave up on 30 years ago and re-worked them. Not sure if that counts, heh. I do them one at a time, though, as inspiration comes. Unfortunately, sometimes my inspiration comes when I don't have pen and paper handy, like when I'm mowing the yard - then when I finally get a chance I've forgotten most of it. Dang, I'm getting senile.

June 13th, 2015, 02:09 PM
A very few took many years, decades, to reach a point of moderate satisfaction. Most are the work of an hour or so. Sometimes less. Usually I look at a blank page for a half-minute, then write a line. I ponder where it may lead; if I don't like it within about three lines, I scrap it and begin again. Often within those first few lines I'll think of where I want to take it, and how I want it to end, so I write a final line. Then it becomes how to get from A to B. The lines then rarely come in sequence, like building a bridge and saying this brick will go here, this one there.

Of course, sometimes I do begin with a particular theme or topic, message or line in mind, but most often I just write something and go from there. Every now and then I find a shiny rock - I leave the jewels for others - shiny rocks do me just fine.