I have a poetry blog. It’s nothing special, and I am absolutely not being modest here. Pretty much nobody reads it, right now or ever in the past, and that’s quite fine by me, because I don’t write for the readership. You don’t write and post over 1800 poems for readership over a few decades if you’ve never gotten any readership, so I am honest in saying I don’t write for the readership.
On this blog, my 1800+ poems are grouped by collections, with me being obsessive with entropy for my stuff. The collections range from topic themes like Justin Trudeau, to places where I wrote them like on the Halifax Harbourwalk, to what I was doing while I was composing them like running or posing nude for life drawing, and so on. However, with all the poetry I’ve been working on for writing competitions, which I can’t publish online because that would disqualify them, I may have to start a collection called the Rejected Poems.
In this more recent, more serious, writing journey I am on to improve my writing skills, entering writing competitions are a multi-faceted solution for many things, from motivation, to real life deadlines, to just the thrill of awaiting results, even though I’m not expecting to win anything any time soon. However, the stipulation not to have contest entries published anywhere, including online, has held me back from sharing a lot of writings, especially poems that are much quicker to turn out than full essays or stories. It’s not that I am entering that many competitions that I’m holding back a lot of writing. No. Just one contest per month so far, though I have a bunch more with deadlines over the next few months that could see that number go up to 2 per month by half way through the year. It’s my indecision to decide which poem, or poems to go into a set, for a competition, that is causing me to hold back blogging these poems, in case I will want to use them for a competition later and can’t.
When it comes time for me to decide to “release” the poems I have composed because I am certain I won’t use them for writing competitions, I could just classify them in one of the previously created categories. I haven’t changed anything about my poetry writing for me to require new categories. However, I recently thought about putting them together by their common purpose, rather than anything else. After all, I did intend to write them for competitions, and equally intended not to use them for competitions because I didn’t they were the sort of poetry desired to be competition winner these days. I had written a whole post about that, what makes good poetry these days? in part because when I look at winning entries of some of the bigger poetry competitions in Canada, I see very little like anything I write… or desire to write, for that matter, at this time. Examples of what I mean of what is considered outstanding modern poetry could be found in the 32 finalists listed here from the 2020 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) annual competition. I don’t have anything against them. It’s just not my style, not my way of thinking, feeling, expressing myself. I would need a seriously new perspective about poetry to do that. I’d be a fake to try, a bad fake at that, and otherwise would be doing something equivalent to swimming in a running race. It’s still sport, individual sport, distance sport, but completely the wrong sport, the way my poetry compares to the modern poetry being written today. I just write the wrong poetry for the times. That’s all. But that’s also why I’m only entering poetry competitions with small fees, like one with the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia recently where the fee was all of $5, for poems with 50 words or fewer. Regardless of how that turns out, though, I’ll be excited to share that with people when the contest is over as I really liked my entry.
Back to the poems written for potential competitions and not used. I thought it’d be interesting to group them together as “rejected” poems, for a different lens of looking at them later. I do like these poems, arguably more than I typically like most poems I had written before, because otherwise, I would just have just posted them if I were able to eliminate from consideration for competition that quickly. I say “arguably” not only because I’ve liked a lot of poetry I have written in the past, but also because some less than average quality poems have been written for competition consideration so far, kept for consideration only because they supported a theme within a collection of poems, which I am finding many of these competitions allow for, rather than just a single poem per entry.
So yes, I’ve managed to talk myself through creating a set of poems in a new category on my poetry blog called “Rejected”, for poems I rejected for competitions. Now I just have to start rejecting some so I can start populating the category. 🙂