At the last meeting of the poetry group I attend, a member likened the writing of a new poem to the beginning an adventure. I thought this to be a wonderful and appropriate description of the unknown path our words walk down as each poem unfolds.
As the group writes to a monthly theme, or word, it is like being handed a destination without a map, where each must find their own way, using their unique voice and style to arrive at the one port. For some, the journey may be short, summed up as senryu or similar, while others take a more circuitous route through worlds of colour and shade, fighting battles and inner demons, exploring relationships and offering reflections on what they see, touch, hear, smell or feel.
It is this sense of adventure I love about writing poetry. Sure, I may groan inwardly when the topic for the month is revealed (and sometimes groan outwardly) at the seemingly impossibly journey ahead, yet it is the difficulty of the challenge that excites me, the possibilities for adventure and the people and places I may meet along the way.
At this stage I have no idea what adventures this will take me on, needing first to shuck off the prevailing image I have of a macaque monkey, which has become – well – the monkey on my back. Maybe this is part of the adventure, for me to step out with the macaque for company, until a natural parting of the ways.
And that is why writing a new poem is always and adventure.