Reviving An Old Resolution

Well-wishers have been urging me to pick up my pen and write poetry with it rather than prose. Would-be poems lie neglected in some unknown crevices of my sub-conscious, the poetry pen turns rusty, the ink gelling into a semi-solid. "The world isn't going to get better if you sit here glumly, Noor," one friend scolded. "Go and write some poems - that's something you can do!" It was good advice. 

Yesterday, I decided to pick up that wretched pen and shake it awake from its long dreary slumber. It's game time, pen, I thought. So, I revived my Chai and a Poem series, which was my resolution to write a poem every day. I was not going to pay attention to the writing, worry about how good a metaphor was, fret about what the structure said about a poem - I was simply going to write for the sake of writing. I started the Chai and a Poem series last Fall. At that time, I was posting all poems for this series on Desi Writers Lounge, an online writers workshop. (I edit poetry for DWL. We also release a bi-annual magazine by the name of Papercuts.) Once the poems started coming with some regularity, the content improved, the technique started to shine, and some of my later poems in the series have been selected for publication in the upcoming issue of Papercuts. 

This time, I wrote my first poem for the Chai and a Poem series last night and sent it to my good friend and inspiring writer Usman Malik. He panned the poem. His comment to me, quite simply, was "This just isn't good enough. These are superficial phrases that do nothing for the reader. Show me more. Where's Noor?" His words were brutal, but true. My pen sure was rusty! This morning after getting ready for work, I sipped water in front of the kitchen window and saw the city scintillating below me. Smoke emerged from the chimney of the house across the street from me and dissolved into the fog that hung like a blanket in the air. That image struck something, so I wrote another poem and sent it to Usman. He immediately wrote back "Now that's what I call a Noor. Barring a couple minor nits, this is quintessential Noor with her power to surprise me." I was delighted! Chai and Poem had rescued me again. There's a lot more land to be covered, but at least I am not lost.

More poems to come.