Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Poetry Podcast--I'm Full of Surprises

Bright Blue Weather for a Snowy Day

Click on the link above for the podcast--it's about five minutes long.

Poets: Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Cullen Bryant, Helen Hunt Jackson, Thomas Hood.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm Still Still Here

I'm having a sort of existential blog crisis, though. I got out of the habit of blogging while all the bad stuff with my pregnancy and baby T. was going on (he's doing very well now, by the way). Now I've been caught up in Facebook and I begin to wonder: was I blogging just because I wanted people to pay attention to me? Because so far the lure of putting all my best stuff up for the whole world to see and getting 12 readers a day, 11 of whom were searching for "Charlie Brown argh" or "my memory has just been sold," pales in comparison to posting about my television habits and getting five sparkling responses from people I know.

What's more, I've been inspired by Umami Girl, who has a blog with a more focused subject and is committed to a year of...well, read about it here, because I think I know what she means but I can't describe it. Some of my friends experienced the birth of a baby as an attack on their identity as an individual. I never felt that way--at least, not to the point of resenting it--but Umami Girl and I both have new babies, and there's nothing like a baby to make you think "Who am I, besides Mommy?" Or maybe, on a more practical note, a baby makes you think, "In my five spare seconds a day, what can I do that makes me feel like myself?"

So what's my thing? Remember when Dylan chose Kelly over Brenda on 90210 and he said, "It's you. It's always been you."? No? Well, anyway, it's writing; it's always been writing. So here's what I'm going to do:
  • I'm going to commit to revising my book for a certain period of time each day. I wish I could pick a particular time of day, but there's a young gentleman here who, as Anne Lamott so memorably said, is like a clock radio set to go off at random times playing heavy metal.
  • I'll return to posting a Thursday poetry podcast, and that's about all the blogging I'm going to do right now.
  • I will write one poem a week, so when New Criterion and TLS have their contests later this year, I have something to enter that isn't 18 years old.
One more thing: I don't believe in blaming one's parents for one's life. But today I was telling my mother what I had learned about one of my high school classmates (via Facebook, natch), who seems to lead an idyllic existence doing what she has always wanted to do. I observed that it must be nice to be artistic in the absence of academic pretensions, so you can hit the ground running instead of spending eight-plus years worrying about your grades in absolutely everything. She countered that the hypothetical person in question must also be single-minded in pursuit of her art. But, but...who did everything they could to deflect me from any single-mindedness I might possibly have had, and tried to steer me toward something safe? And can I now pursue single-mindedness when my life as a mother and a housewife is so...generalized?

What do you think, those readers who did not come here in search of J. Geils Band lyrics? Discuss.