You might agree, or not. You might know it’s true, but can’t pull it off yet. You might disagree with every fiber of your writerly being.
Let’s talk a moment about writing about anything, and by that I mean more like: writing when we think there’s “nothing in the well.”
I’ve been trading a poem each day this month with a fellow writer. We’re close to the end. Having participated in poem-a-day month marathons before, we know the last week can be challenging.
Try this for generating new poems. In fact, if you’ve written thirty or more poems for April, the following strategy is an easy go-to way of writing another thirty if you’re daring enough.
I’m talking about translation.
And not translating your poems into a foreign language as in English to Spanish or German. This is a translation of a poem into another poem by analyzing your work by close reading and going beyond what might be a strong revision. More than simply the moving around of words and the clever use of a thesaurus. This is truly seeing what else your piece is saying besides what you’ve said, what more it brings to mind, how else the brain interprets the message first established by your original work.
Again, don’t approach it as revision. Approach it as real translation. If necessary, step to the challenge as if the poem is not your own. What was this person saying, but didn’t say in the language they used?
You might end up with a very different poem, indeed.
Who knows where the mind – the poem – goes when we go deeper into the word.