[Pietrzyk] I had noticed that J.P. Dancing Bear wrote and posted “birthday poems” every week or so, along with artwork. Yes, click-click, I “liked” his work--very much. And then it was my birthday…and there was a lovely birthday poem for ME! I had assumed the poems he wrote were for people he knew beyond the Facebook sense, but no…so I invited him to tell me more about these beautiful birthday poems of his...
[Bear] I’d been a member on Facebook for roughly six months and had tried to send a birthday greeting to all the people who had befriended me leading up to that point. But sometimes I missed some, or they missed it. So originally, my plan was to use other people’s applications to send them a birthday poem. I had some 1000+ friends on Facebook and I wanted to give something I’d created in their honor to them. This is something I’ve done all my life, either a painting or a drawing and/or a poem.
[Bear] At times I was writing anywhere between 1 to 9 poems a day, with the average around 3 a day.
[Bear] So I try to spend no more than twenty minutes on each. After everything is written, I spend a few minutes reading everything aloud, just to make sure it sounds right—so a very cursory editing process. And as I pick these up and submit them to magazines, I will do another reread/rewrite/editing at that point. The other thing I try to do is make references to other arts like film, music, novels... and/or science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc. etc) and/or sometimes (philosophy/theology/mythology).
[Bear] So far, I’ve written about 850 poems, which is far more than I had imagined when I started the project (because not everyone likes to publish their birthdays). I still have about 5 months left and the average has risen to about 4 or 5 poems a day.
[Bear] Last year, I wrote possibly twenty poems for the whole year. I was making excuses for why I couldn’t or wouldn’t write and I had overburdened my editing/writing process to slow down the process. So the project has been an eye-opener for me.
Read the full article here.
Poems written for particular occasions are examples of occasional poetry.