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  • Carrie Etter

Forms of failure


On 3 January, I received an email from my university unexpectedly increasing my workload significantly for second semester. I still hoped to write a poem a day for a while, but ultimately gave up. As spring break occurs wholly in April this year (Americans, the Brit spring break is a gorgeous full three weeks), I'm hoping to pick up again with poem-a-day for U.S. National Poetry Month as I have before, but sometimes I have to concede I have limits. A poet who wanted a blurb for his next book, who already had a good blurb from another source, saw my overload and said he'd take a blurb for the next one instead. I declined providing feedback for a book manuscript. I wish I could say "and so on," but that's all I've managed to pass on so far.

So I've failed at my plan to write a poem a day for the first month of this politically crazed year. And I've failed not to have a thorough reconsideration of my next book manuscript, which I'd hoped to have done now. And and and. It often seems easier to find shortcomings than successes.

At the same time, I love my teaching, my university students as well as my further education students. Each group presents its own challenges and rewards. If I could dispense with admin and marking....

Tomorrow I'm going to draft some poetry. It may be a short poem, only single-digits lines long, or it may be the beginning of something larger. That's the best action I can take sometimes: recommit. Poetry. Poetry. Poetry.

#BathSpaUniversity #ScottishPoetryLibrary

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