Writing the End of the Year

day 1 post

I made it.  Tonight I will post my 365th ronka poem for this year. It wasn’t painful. I enjoyed it.

I expected there would be days when a poem just wouldn’t appear, and I was right. But there were days when two poems wanted to be written, so I kept drafts for the dry days.

Most of the poems were written at night with the rest being early morning poems. Somehow, daytime wasn’t conducive to writing ronkas – plus I was usually doing non-poetic work during the day.

I discovered a few writing tricks along the way that help with the form.  Titles can have 7 words too and that gives you an extra line.  Sometimes when I ended up with 8 words in a line, I found that a hyphen gave me a nice compression like a “new-blue sky” and “cafe-writing.

The busiest day of the year here was February 10th with the most popular post that day being Pillow Book. I don’t know why some post connected. perhaps, they were the best, but more likely someone posted a link to it somewhere that brought additional traffic.

The home page gets the most hits and the newest poems generally win the day in statistics, but overall for the year, these were the top poems for views:

Nothing Is the Force That Renovates the World
Finding a photo of her
Giotto Blue
The Ronka (nice to see that the post about the ronka form was popular)
The Scent of Old Poems
Geronimo [after Gary Snyder]
America’s Pastime
Might I but moor – Tonight – With Thee
Only Two Seasons

Since all the poems had keyword tags, I discovered some themes in these poems. I can understand all the references to “poetry” and big themes like “death” but 26 poems tagged with “Moon” surprised me. The Moon, stars, planets and the sky in the daytime or at night are definitely big topics when you are observing the day.

Here are the most common tags: aging astronomy autumn birds children clouds coffee death depression dream Earth father flowers God history home hope life love maps memory Moon morning mother nature New Jersey night ocean past poet Poetry rain river seasons sky sleep snow space spring stars summer sun tea time trees water William Shakespeare winter woods writing

Would I recommend trying a daily writing practice? Absolutely.

What’s next? I’m not sure. I don’t think I will attempt the daily poems, though I will always be writing poems.

Choosing a form was important to this daily discipline. The short form and requirements kept things under control. I couldn’t get lazy and just write a prose paragraph with some line breaks. I also couldn’t get lazy and just keep writing. Though I like my ronka form and will probably still use it sometimes, I have too many ideas for poems that don’t fit into the form.

What to do with this site…
It will stay online and, knowing the nature of the Web, people will continue to find the poems. But I know that new content is what brings people to sites. Perhaps, I will continue to post poems here – ronka or otherwise.

I am also considering going through the 365 poems and trying to get a manuscript from them.  I suppose it could be a “book of days” although I would probably want to reduce it, perhaps to months or seasons. I like the illustrations, some of which are my own, some that are not. It would be interesting to try doing some as drawings or watercolors and reactivate that lately-dormant part of my brain.

Any thoughts on what I should do?  Did any of you try the ronka form? Did you try a daily writing practice on or offline?  I’d love to hear from you.

2 thoughts on “Writing the End of the Year

  1. Hi. I just got caught up on the past two weeks of Ronkas. Congratulations on accomplishing your goal and in doing it so well. I think you should select some of your favorites in a manuscript. Since not all readers ‘like’ poems or postings here on WordPress, you might ask some poet friends which entries they particularly loved. I know I have my favorites. In answer to your questions for your readers, I did indeed try writing a few Ronka last January. After a half dozen attempts, I abandoned the form since it really was your special form for this writing practice. You inspired me to keep a weekly writing practice all year, but at the very end of July I was inspired to create my own weekly writing practice blog here on WP, too. Thanks for that inspiration. I’ve loved doing this although I deviate from brand new poems sometimes. I’m sure many of your readers have been inspired to do a lot more writing. Congratulations and thank you for sharing all these poems with us. Best wishes for the new year.


  2. Thanks Mary! The ronka form is out there for the world. I want people to say in a 100 years “Oh, there was actually a real Ronka person.”
    I think I may continue the site on an occasional basis but stick to the form. There was a cardinal in the snow this morning that would have been today’s ronka poem, but now both have flown away.
    I’m also thinking about the manuscript. Out of 365 poems, there should be at least a chapbook. It’s interesting to look at the stats of what ones continue to get hits, although perhaps titles and keywords have more to do with that than liking the poem.


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