You know that thing called New Year’s Resolutions? I normally don’t make them, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. However, back in December I had an idea for something like a resolution. I’d written a few poems based closely on scripture over the years,* and I always really enjoy those poems when I’m done with them. I have scripture references or quotes in most of my poems, so I’m not talking about that, exactly. I’m talking about something rooted a bit more deeply in the text over the course of the whole poem, as in my Isaiah 65 poem.
I’d like to write more poems like that, but my poetry writing in general tends to be sporadic – I get busy and don’t put in the time to write poems for a while, then I write several** in a short space of time before getting busy again. I always want to write poetry more regularly because when I’ve done it in the past, I’ve found it beneficial, particularly to the quality of the poems across the board (go figure). And among those poems, I’d like to do more from scripture. So, I had an idea that could combine the two.
I read a devotional just about every day called Faith’s Checkbook, by Charles Spurgeon. It’s awesome – I highly recommend it. I also occasionally read from a devotional on the Psalms and My Utmost for His Highest. I figured that, between the three, I could find a verse and commentary every week to use as the basis for a poem. Now, I was frightfully busy for the first few months of this year, and I didn’t have any kind of accountability or encouragement in place to put my plan into action. But I’m currently between novel-editing gigs, so I have a little more time for writing, and I thought I should strike while the iron is finally hot.
I have a friend named Linda who writes poems all the time. All. The. Time. We’re in a Facebook writing group together, so I posted there about my idea to see if anyone wanted to join me. As I had hoped, Linda was on board with the idea right away. It’s been two weeks, and so far, we’re both on track for our devotional-based poem-a-week project.
My first poem was rubbish and I never finished it, but there are some good bits in it, so I’ll probably come back to it later. My second poem was much better, but needs work. I haven’t written this week’s poem yet (I’m a little behind on my reading), but I am determined to do it.
Just think: In a year, I’ll have written 52 of these poems, plus whatever else I end up writing as I get back into the habit of writing poetry regularly. Yay!
*One on a chapter in Lamentations, one in Isaiah, and even Habakkuk.
**Most of dubious quality.