On the basis of having written a poem in the last seven days, I have decided to become a poet.
For financial (and probably many other) reasons, ‘part-time poet’ would be a better description, but that doesn’t sound very impressive. And anyway, in the unlikely event that I one day have an anthology published, it would be nice to say that ‘poet’ was my ambition from the start. You don’t hear many people who do the thing they love most for a living saying they only ever intended to do it when they weren’t watching repeats of Catchphrase on Challenge TV.
The one respect in which ‘part-time poet’ would be an accurate description is that I don’t really consider myself a likely poet, and so don’t rate my chances of success very highly. Nor do I particularly like or understand poetry, unless it is of the humorous and irreverent variety (a few rhymes help, too), so it is hardly as though I am aiming to do “the thing I love most”.
But, to use the motto of Top Gear – ‘How hard can it be?’
(Quite hard, presumably. The beauty of asking ‘how hard can it be?’ is that it implies an element of complacency, thereby ensuring a redemptive conclusion when success is finally achieved. Or, in the event of failure, new-found respect for those who do make it look easy.)
Unintentionally, this goal has already been injected with an element of challenge and deadline. It was less than ten days ago that I picked up the promotional card for a poetry competition, the deadline for which is April 1st. The competition has been open since about October last year, so I am very much a horse coming from some distance back with less than a furlong to race (or a metaphor to that effect). How exciting!
“But you have written the poem!” I can hear you cry. “You said so yourself in the first sentence.”
Yes, I have written a poem for the competition. Sadly, one important thing I failed to do was read the rules properly, and my poem is 25% too big (in terms of number of lines). This might easily be remedied by combining shorter lines into one, and less easily by rewriting it completely. Such are the challenges faced by an artist, or so one once told me.
When the competition entry has received a little more work, I will post it for the purposes of enjoyment/amusement…