Cobourg Poetry Workshop
feature poet

Carol Ward


How Do I Procrastinate? (A Parody)

How do I procrastinate? Let me count the ways.
I procrastinate to the depth and breath and height
My soul can reach, when feeling lethargic
For the ends of Boredom and ideal Laziness.
I procrastinate to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by neon and halogen-light.
I procrastinate freely, as men strive for Progress;
I procrastinate purely, as they turn from Television.
I procrastinate with a passion put to use
In my old excuses, and with my childhood's justification.
I procrastinate with an energy I seemed to lose
When faced with work, - I procrastinate with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if the Muse choose,
I shall continue to procrastinate until death.

I understand you will be making your public poetry reading debut on August 19th. How does it feel?
This is my first public reading and I have to admit I was feeling a little intimidated at first, it's one thing to read your poetry in front of a roomful of friends, but another thing altogether to read in front of strangers. But then I realized that probably half the audience will be friends, and the other half will be people who enjoy poetry, so that takes a lot of the pressure off.

What brought you to writing poetry?
I've always written poetry. I can vaguely remember writing a poem in grade 3 about my cat Tobey and how I couldn't sit down without her climbing into my lap. I don't remember much else about the poem, but I know it rhymed.

In grade 8 we had a wonderful teacher who had us writing poetry on a weekly basis. Then when I was in highschool my cousin in New Brunswick and I used to send each other our poetry. It's probably just as well that not much of it survived, a lot of it was pretty bad - full of teenaged angst and unrequited love.

I write a lot of other things besides poetry, but poetry is always there for me when the other words just won't come.

You write many interesting forms. How did that come about?
About a year ago I took part in the PAD challenge, which was to write a Poem A Day during the month of April (National Poetry Month). One of the prompts we were given was to write a sestina. I'd never heard of this form before, and at the time I thought it was the most difficult form ever devised. I started wondering how many other forms were out there that I'd never heard of and started doing some research. When I saw all the forms out there I'd never seen before I challenged myself to learn a new form each week until I run out of forms. Along the way I've learned the sestina is far from the most difficult form ever created.

How would you describe your work?
I'd have to describe my work as eclectic. I work in a variety of forms, some rhyming, some not, and a wide range of subject matter.

Working with different approaches, do you favour one over the others?
I started out with a strong sense of rhyme and rhythm, so I think that will always be my mental default. It's pretty much hard wired into my brain. Of all the forms I've worked with, I think the Japanese forms with their strict syllable counts are my favourite. They say so much in so few words - it's so beautiful.

So, What is poetry?
Poetry is words from your heart. Whether it's a form or free verse, a structure or unstructured, it's a thought or feeling that can be expressed in no other way.

Who are your favourite poets?
There's so many of them! Keats, Byron, Shelley, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Blake, Spenser, Coleridge, Longfellow . . .

Will you be reading any new work on the 19th?
This is my first reading so most of what I'm reading will seem new to the audience. I think there'll be a couple of poems the rest of the CPW hasn't heard before.

What are you reading these days?
I'm a voracious reader, I've always got several books on the go. I've been reading Not A Muse for a while now, just a few poems a day to make it last, and I just started reading Dante's Inferno, it's a little slow going. I also read copious amounts of paranormal romance and contemporary novels. I'm just starting the Sookie Stackhouse series because I can't wait until season three of True Blood comes out to see what happened to vampire Bill.

You are a fairly new, recent member of the CPW. Your thoughts on that.
I love the CPW! From the very first meeting everyone was warm and welcoming - they made me feel right at home. You have no idea how great it is to be part of a group that does so much for the creativity of our town, from the monthly poetry readings to the annual Poetry'z Own Weekend.

Anything you'd like to add?
I really can't think of anything, other than to thank you for featuring me as this month's poet.

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