I am currently working on a trilogy of thematically linked books from the Sailor Poet period of my writing. The first book will reflect the journey of a man who recognized he was not following the path he was called to follow. The second book collects poetry that talks about how he broke free from that wrong path and began searching for the way back to where he believed he was called. The final book resolves this journey home to healing and recovery.
In addition to these books, I will continue to explore my own writing back story through the ‘Into My Own’ series of essays discussing my juvenilia poetry as well as how I learned to believe in myself as a writer. Early drafts of new poems will be posted on Mondays in conjunction with the ongoing Go Dog Go Promote Yourself Monday program (https://godoggocafe.com/category/promote-yourself-mondays/). In the subsequent weeks, I will spend time with these new poems, analyzing them, crafting them, rewriting them and will post the results with a background essay on what went into this process.
My hope is that all of these projects will encourage writers, old and new, to dig into why they write, challenge themselves to tap their own depths, explore the wonderful breadth of poetry around them, write even better poetry, and live the passion they find within for writing. It took far too long for me to choose this passion and to believe that I can do this, but I am grateful for the chance to now do so.
This effort is inspired by Rilke’s first letter to a young poet: “There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, “I must,” then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.” (reference https://poets.org/text/letters-young-poet-first-letter)
I went within, looked for the cause and found the impetus to write in the deepest places of my heart, and now I am not just grateful for the chance to do this… I MUST do this. The silent hour of my night is over.