Friday, April 26, 2013

Poetry Friday: To a Frustrated Poet

I believe the technical term for what I'm doing today is Freaking Out.  I started the day with twelve things on my to-do list, and I'm talking Big Things, like three different events at which I have to speak, and fifty-one timed writing prompts to grade.  At this point, five thirty in the afternoon, six of the things are crossed off my list, which I would feel pretty good about, except that there are still six more, and one of them, you guys, is that I have to add a line to the Progressive Poem tomorrow!  Look at it here, and see how Robin casually tosses it to me at the end, saying, "All yours, Ruth!" As though I know what I'm doing.


So anyway, I was looking in Garrison Keillor's anthology Good Poems for Hard Times, and I found this great poem to share today.

To a Frustrated Poet
R. J. Ellmann

This is to say
I know
You wish you were in the woods,
Living the poet life,
Not here at a formica topped table
In a meeting about perceived inequalities in the benefits and allowances offered to employees of this college.
And I too wish you were in the woods,
Because it's no fun having a frustrated poet
In the Dept. of Human Resources, believe me.

Read the rest of it, and find out what happens to the frustrated poet (and what I really don't want to happen to me, no matter how daunting my to-do list) here.

Here's what I've posted since last Friday in honor of Poetry Month:  on Saturday, a Shakespeare sonnet, on Sunday, a Sarah Orne Jewett poem about staying home from church, on Monday a whole mess of excuses, on Tuesday fangirl babblings about meeting Poetry Friday poets at IRA, on Wednesday a celebration of my blog birthday a day late with another Shakespeare sonnet, and on Thursday a Ted Kooser poem on what I later found out was his birthday.

Now off to hyperventilate some more.  I hope to have some time later this weekend to read  today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Tabatha said...

Rooting for you, Ruth!! Wish I could help out with a cup of tea or something.

skanny17 said...

Ah yes, Ruth, breathe. 3 speaking events in one day? Or just planning for those.....Phew!! this is a very busy day. I will be eagerly waiting to read your line for the poem. My "to do" is to fulfill my duty as the Poetry Chair of the 58th Poetry Contest run for ages Kdg. -Adult in Central NY by the Central NY Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. Our Awards Ceremony is tomorrow morning and I have all the awards (27 winners) in a box, with all the rest (programs, etc.) ready to roll. Yet, I keep thinking of something else to do. Well, I can show Caroline Kennedy's new book and gush about how great it is to have it as #1 on the Bestseller List (except it is #2 now....) but good enough! I'll be checking the PF round up this weekend, too. All the best to you!
Janet F.

Linda at teacherdance said...

How did I miss this poem, Ruth? I'm going to print it out & post it by the computer! And, by now, you may already have finished your other six things, including the line, & I'm sure it will be wonderful! Can't wait!

Bridget Magee said...

You gave yourself the best advice...breathe. Crossing six items off your to do list is quite an accomplishment. Enjoy those six successes. =)

Anonymous said...

I am here out in the blogosphere cheering you on. I love the frustrated poet poem. I could change a few of the lines to faculty meetings in elementary school or duty in the cafeteria. And I sit at the computer staring at lesson plans for the next week and wish I could be in the woods writing poetry.
Good luck with the line. When it was mine, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily it came to me, so just let go and it will come.

laurasalas said...

Great poem you shared--love that! And now, I can sympathize, because I am in the same boat. Long list, missed deadline, freaking out about my line. So...I hate to add pressure, but get your post up, girl, because I need all the time I can get to figure out a line. Aaaacckkkkkkkk! OK, I'm breathing now. We will both be fine. And the poem will be fine. Or not. The group effort is the key, so all we can do is add one line and pass it along...

Ruth said...

Laura, there you go! Just posted it!

Janet, not all in one day, just three events coming up. Hope all your stuff goes well!

Doraine Bennett said...

What a great poem! I love it. One thing at a time, Ruth. Just do the very next thing. And breathe in between.

Mary Lee said...

LOVE the poem! I took a day off of to-do lists, but that was likely a mistake, since I'm probably not leaving myself enough hours to accomplish everything that needs to be done before Monday Morning.

Taking your advice to -- BREATHE --

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I love this post, Ruth, even though I'm several days late, and I also have learned your last name, which was missing from my 30d30w contributor list! Going now to see what all that breathing led to...