My son asked me what new thing I had done today. Yesterday, we dared each other to do one new thing a day. I signed on for 30 days. He, always the ambitious one, thought it would be worth doing for year. I was sitting on front deck in the evening sun, plucking grapes from a little branch after eating my dinner, when he rode by on his bike as he headed off to work.
I scrambled for an answer, especially considering the day was nearly over and there was little time left to find my one new thing and do it.
“I started reading Darwish today, ” I called as he rounded the big pine tree on the corner. “That’s something I haven’t done before.”
A copy of The Butterfly’s Burden arrived today, a collection of poems by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, in translation by Fady Joudah. The collection is at the heart of our most recent Poetry Dare, which we are calling the Follow Your Dream Poetry Dare. Sandra Heska King, someone who makes herself open to trying new things, has participated in one of our previous Poetry Dare adventures, reading a poem a day from T. S. Eliot for a month. We’ve upped the ante for this latest Poetry Dare, asking Sandra to not only read Darwish every day, but to venture out into writing poems, even trying some forms. Here’s the official Follow Your Dream Poetry Dare:
For 30 days, read a poem a day from Mahmoud Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden, a dream-like collection of poetry that focuses heavily on the power of the image. During the same 30 days, write 1-3 of your own dream poems per week, based on real or imagined dreams. Try out the dreamlike poetry forms of villanelle, pantoum, sestina, and rondeau at least once each during the 30-day period.
You’ll hear from Sandra a couple of times as she dreams along with Darwish. But there’s something we’ve learned in our years together here at Tweetspeak. Sharing poetry together in community is another way of opening—opening ourselves, and opening the poems. Darwish’s poems are in some sense influenced by the time he spent in exile; we expect that exploring inside-community poems that were written from the outside will add another dimension to our experience of both the poems and the concept of community itself.
So we’re inviting you along on Sandra’s dare. Read some Darwish with us, every day. Write a few poems each week. Play with a form you haven’t before. And be ready to join in when Sandra brings us her Poetry Dare field notes.
Browse our previous Poetry Dares
Photo by Susan Etole, used with permission. Post by LW Lindquist.
Get your own copy of Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden and join us for the Follow Your Dream Poetry Dare.