Poetry by Committee

By December 27, 2017Poetry

There’s a lot to love about the communal aspects of doing Christmas in good company, which is how I feel about doing poetry in good company. The dearth of cricket bats did not prevent the family cricket match from being a main feature of the day.

I am a big fan of workshops that work and the honesty of critical friends. But this Christmas I discovered the value of a family workshopping a poem. The particular poem was Autumn in Tartu which I hope will eventually become part of my Estonian Collection. I was inspired by the photo essays of the Estonian photographer, Tonu Runnel. What a talent, but he captured in image what I had tried for with words but it was my adult children whose eyes and ears were working overtime on this poem. I know it’s better for their input. It interested me how each saw such different aspects in the poem. There wasn’t a lot of agreement in the editing process, in fact there was a lot more volume than agreement.

Next time I visit Estonia it will be springtime, hardly suitable for autumnal research. I guess I can write another poem…or I could take another trip.

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