So last month, I participated in National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo. I didn’t mean to, in that I hadn’t planned it at all, until the evening of 1 April, when a poem sort of hit me over the head. Poetry is like that, at least for me, kind of how quilting has knocked me for a loop.
But unlike quilting, poetry has been in my life for ages, even longer than I’ve driven a car. Last year I began again dabbling in that form of prose, and by bedtime on the first of April, I’d committed myself to giving NaPoWriMo another go. The first poem came from the weekly ads circular, a missing child catching my attention. I scribbled down what came into my head, typed it onto the internet, not entirely certain where that initial set of verses would lead.
Little did I know what was in store for me over the next twenty-nine days; quilts and martyrs and baseball and musings into the past. And all of it, including my dad’s fight against cancer and my battle with laundry, was captured within thirty poems ranging from very brief to somewhat lengthy. And as is my preference, none of them rhyme.
But all have been harnessed within one volume, titled A Quilt For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which is now available on Smashwords (and soon enough on Apple, Barnes & Noble and other web retailers). Themes range from faith and fabrics to aging and baseball, with music, noveling, and birthdays in between. What I like most about this collection is how well it came together with little planning on my part. Most of the poems were written off the top of my head, in the later hours of the day, as I was again faced with providing verses to continue my participation in NaPoWriMo. Sometimes photographs were the inspiration, as I chose one shot per day to accompany the poems, all of which can be seen on my poetry website A Poem A Day, Thereabouts. And yes, quilts proffered many an idea. But as I was reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters & Papers From Prison, that German pastor gave me much poetry food for thought, enhancing the month’s output.
I’ve been writing poetry for over thirty years, and this collection, while written on the fly, is one of which I am most proud, and pleased. It’s available in a wide variety of digital formats, so if you’re curious, give it a go. I joked with my family, when announcing this release, that I wonder how many future books will have quilts on the covers. I’m thrilled for the Mijos Quilt to be the first, and ta cheers thanks love to my eldest, for allowing that quilt to be photographed, and her backyard used as the background. Maybe next time I’ll get Buttercup the basset into the act too.