Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Where are the Sunset Poets?
Last year at this time I had probably three people who read this website. And I was one of them. During April of last year I posted loads of poems, many about Brooklyn or by Brooklyn poets. This year, I'm hoping to get some participation from actual Sunset Park residents or people who work, play, pass through Sunset Park. Okay, so basically, I'm hoping for ANY participation. What can I say, I'm an optimistic yet realistic public high school teacher.
In my classes, I can bully people into participating with grades and promises of glowing phone calls home. Here, I can only offer you a brief moment of glory on the fleeting electronic tightrope of Blogger's whimsy.
So here is my proposition: Send your original poems (preferably about Sunset Park) to firstname.lastname@example.org, or put them in a comment. Feel free to take part in the Poets.org free verse project (which looks very cool) with Sunset Park as its focus; you can add photos to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool. Even if you've never written a poem before, just try it. You'll like it. Attempt a haiku, or challenge your syllabic skills with a Petrarchan Sonnet or a Shakespearean Sonnet (student favorite due to its simplicity and ease at being amusing/raunchy). You could even try a limerick, what the heck.
Schoolmarm Alert: Most people think that anything goes in poetry, and that may be true on your website. However, I've been teaching too long and love language too much to go with that flow. Salty language is fine if it's not gratuitous. I say this not because I'm shocked or offended by naughty words (have you walked the halls of a Brooklyn high school lately?), but because it lacks in creativity and effort. As I tell my toddler, "Use your words." (I have to remind myself of that sometimes as well.)
Anyway, let's see what comes of it. My naive hope of hundreds of submissions won't be crushed if it's not a reality by Thursday. But it would be great to see what people create.