I am 7 days into my project, which means that I have 7 poets under my belt. I have read John Milton, Dante Alighieri, Emily Bronte, Charles Baudelaire, Pablo Neruda, Lord Alfred Tennyson, and Elizabeth Bishop, and have written 2-4 poems for each of them for a grand total (so far) of 18 poems. I have written 2 sonnets, 2 odes, a sestina, a villanelle, a poem with terza rima rhyme patterns, a pantoum, several free verse, and several generally rhyming poems. My greatest method of experimentation with form was writing poems with the rhythm of a waltz and tango, modified after Tennyson’s composition of poetry to the pattern of his walking.
I definitely struggled with my own writing at the beginning, and as such, most of my response/imitation poetry for John Milton and Dante are pretty mediocre. However, Emily Bronte’s poetry really struck a chord with me, and I was able to write based off of my emotions, which gave the poetry more life. They could breathe better because I was allowing the poetic form to be a skeleton for the content to move around instead of a box to fit the content inside. Since then, I have continued finding my voice, and the quality of my poetry has increased, even after only 7 days. I still have difficulty finding things to write about, but I have discovered that I have found insight even from topics I would not think to be very meaningful. Pablo Neruda joined Bronte as a writer who really inspired me. Theirs are the two whose poetry I have enjoyed reading the most, and Neruda also sparked the creation of not 2 or 3 poems, but 4.
I am quite enjoying my free verse poetry the most, though I also like general rhyme or rhyme patterns that I create myself. I really struggle with writing in iambic pentameter, but I may continue to do so to strengthen that. Mostly I have been reading and writing, but today I went through what I have written so far to separate the merely mediocre poems from the ones that have potential, that I can continue to edit and shape and one day publish in some form or another.