My Themes of 2011

Poets & Writers sends weekly prompts (if you sign up for them). About two weeks ago, this is what they sent:

Look back through the poems you’ve written this year and make a list of images or words you’ve repeated. This list will guide you toward identifying your poetic obsessions. Choose one of your poetic obsessions and write a poem that fully explores it.

I don’t have my list of images compiled yet, but I did take a look at the forms and themes from the previous year.

In forms, the top three were: haiku/senryu (no surprise there), prose, and free verse.

For themes, these are my top ten:

  1. Relationships
  2. Poetry/Writing
  3. Japan
  4. Loss/Grief
  5. Appreciation of Others Works
  6. Tsunami
  7. Winter
  8. Child/Children
  9. Trees/Branches/Roots
  10. Change

This was an interesting, though time-consuming task.  If I’d tagged and categorized  better, it might have been a bit easier.  I wrote more prose than I thought, and I did not write much many months.  That is one of the things I want to change this year.

When I complete that list of most used images and words, I will share them and the new poem.

Anyone else take an inventory of their posts from this past year?  What did you find?

About T A Hillin-Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Prompts, Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to My Themes of 2011

  1. This is an interesting exercise! I’ve been thinking about my tendency to end with whatever the subject of the poem (person, relationship, building…) collapsing, bursting, breaking down. It’s a little lazy of me. It’s a real struggle for me to write something that instead plots toward closure, like in the link in my sign-off, but I think it’s good to get out of my box.

    I’ve stuffed pages of my text into, which is a wonderful site for finding out favourite words — lots of “red”, lots of “little”, lots of family relationships. I’m trying in 2012 to avoid “little!”, to write simpler, more direct and conversational poetry, and to play with dichotomies with a spin (e.g., not sun vs. moon but sun vs. moonshine whiskey).

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on this post. I want to come back to it and “finish the assignment” … and think I’ll finally have the time. It really is interesting, and a little disconcerting, to go back and look at one’s themes. Your wordle idea is a good one. If I can squeeze out a bit more time, I’ll try that too. Best wishes on the changes you attempt this year.

  2. Cara Holman says:

    That sounds like an interesting exercise. I’ll have to give it a try.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I think it’s a good one. I haven’t finished it yet, but I still plan to review those themes to get an overview of my writing. It is a time consuming process, but if I’d tagged and categoried better, it might not have taken as long as it has. Good luck with it.

  3. rdl says:

    Yousei, are the prompts in the newsletter?

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I apologize. I tried to find the exact prompt subscription but couldn’t. It might be the newsletter. What I get from Poets & Writers is titled “The Time Is Now” and seems to be the newsletter (based on text at the bottom of the email). If you try it and it is, let me know and I’ll clarify it for this post. If it’s something else (I wish I could remember what I did to subscribe) please let me know. Such a flake I am.

  4. rdl says:

    interesting! i think i will try this too, thanks for posting!

  5. I enjoyed your post. This past year, images I’ve lived with for years found their way into simple poems, influenced by haiku and tanka. Readers seem to appreciate my poems of remembrance for my parents and other loved ones. Grateful. Happy New Year! Ellen

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m both anticipating and dreading what I find in reviewing the images and words I most used in 2011. Still, I think it an excellent writing practice. I’m looking forward to my virtual visits across the lake. Happy New Year to the Poet and Engineer from the Poet and Engineer over here.

  6. fivereflections says:

    a peaceful new years day – look forward to your creative poetry this new year

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