I'm doing this thing of writing 750 words in the morning, free writing, on a site set up for that purpose. You can google it if you are interested. Anyway, I decided to do it in heroic couplets this morming. I apologize for their badness. One couplet is not closed: there is missing line somewhere. Oh well.
The absence of constraint makes writing hard:
I'll write in verse although I am no bard.
To get it done's the thing, no doubt of that.
Although my lines may turn out rather flat,
To give my brain a rest, I turn to rhymes.
Hoping that prose will happen other times.
In other centuries this form was used
For prose-like functions. Many poets mused
With no conception that they should use prose
When couplets were a vehicle for those
Subjects that held most interest for them:
(Subjects we might now classify as STEM.)
I've now attained the mark of ninety words.
Seven-fifty is the goal I've set. The birds
Can now be faintly heard outside my panes.
I hear a crow as answer to my pains.
It's 8 o'clock in this apartment. Star-
Bucks coffee is what's taken me this far.
If I did this each morning, I would be
Adept at writing, in a form for me
As natural as breathing. What's the point
Of exercising, if the elbow joint
Never will bend the way you want it to?
If this will work for me, why not for you?
I've reached one-ninety now, my word-count shows.
I'm hoping that by now you know that prose
Is not the only way that writing flows.
To fill a page with some alacrity
Not agonizing over every cee
Or dee you have received in college classes.
To keep on going, til the sweat forms beads
On neck and shoulder, til this writing leads
To some epiphany that rivals Joyce.
That would be cause for us to now rejoice
And note the word count is at two fifty.
The way it's taken shape is truly nifty
If you will pardon me my lack of modesty.
By any measure, what I write's a travesty
But reaching seven-fifty is a way
Of stimulating prose another day.
To publish articles or books, a burst
Of creativity is not the first
Thing one must have. I advocate
A different method. In a state
Of quiet meditation, born of strong
Persistent writing all week, all year long.
I'm at three-fifty now, I'm getting tired.
It's almost nine, and very few are wired
For verse as I am, this I recognize.
To stick to prose, for most it would be wise.
And yet I've learned from this brief exercise.
Something about the way my brain might work:
Some cruel constraint might help me not to shirk
My duties as a writer. Write as much
As you feel comfortable with writing. More
Than this is not advisable. Before
You publish, you must write it down on screen
Or paper. Make your writing shining, lean
And tense as finely muscled athletes are.
In academia you'll be a star.
Few write that well. For most it is a chore
And readers will regard it as a bore
To plow through horrid swaths of plodding prose.
Write well, you'll come up smelling like a rose.
I know that is cliché. At many times
You'll have to go back later. Many crimes
Against good writing in a draft that's rough
Will never see the light of day. It's tough
To look at what you've written yesterday
And know you must start over. But to say
That all your work's been wasted is not true:
The average person will improve with time
And practice. Now I'll find a decent rhyme
(A thing you will not trouble you in prose)
And try to make another couplet close
As though I were a poet of another age.
(That line contains six feet, contain your rage:
I'm trying to get it done before it's nine
A.m, not work on it all day, until it's time to dine.)
I'm at six-hundred now. Or twenty four.
Those last few word I typed make even more.
I only need to eke a few lines out
Before I claim to lay to rest the doubt
That I can write each morning as I wish
In verse or prose. Not good or bad: a dish
That satisfies an appetite for work.
I've reached six-eighty now, to shirk
At this point would be writing suicide.
I only need to stem the mounting tide
Of laziness a little while, until I'm done
With what I promised. Whether rain or sun
Outside my window, I will finish this
And reach a state of academic bliss.
A few lines more, for now I'm at seven-thirty.
I've written this, to get my writing dirty:
Filled with bad rhymes, and doing worse than ever.
But reaching the goal, as was my sweet endeavor.