Every summer, I tell myself I will not worry about composing any new poem drafts. And, usually, I stay true to my word. I focus on the outdoors, planning fun outings for my daughter during the week and helping come up with family fun ideas for the weekends. I don't do very much in way of submitting poems to journals. I try to not even think about ordering manuscripts.
But, for the past three summers that I've attempted this "break" from poem-ing, July has surprised me with an idea or two that simply must be written down. The past two days have been like that for me. I love when that happens.
What I realized this year, looking at what I wrote and thinking back to the poems that came about the previous two summers, is that the tone of all of my "summer poems" has been one of weariness. The voice has a melancholy about it, and a sense of surrender.
I think this mood-shift in my poems correlates to my feelings about the heat of DC summers. By mid-July, I just admit to the defeat and hole up either in the blessed cool of the air conditioning, or head to the swimming pool. I do only what is necessary.
And sometimes, what becomes necessary is writing. Whatever it takes to get me to September.