Poetry: The Philosophical Brooding of a Wannabe Poet

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I joined this group after hearing about it from a few different sources. Finally, I decided it was a great way to find support and other struggling bloggers/writers. If you’re interested in joining, take a look at it HERE.

I don’t write about writing a lot. In fact, the first time someone I knew personally read a creative work of mine (to critique) was just last year. I hate it when people read my things. I’ve still never worked up the courage to show my parents something I’ve written. I actually wrote a memoir piece about my sister, something very personal. It got published in my school’s literary magazine for strangers to read. I’ve never shown it to my sister however.

But once a month now, I’m going to try to write about writing. So…here goes nothing.

I’ve always enjoyed the act. I remember sitting down at restaurants with my family and scrawling down little ideas for grand high fantasy novels on dirty napkins at the age of 12. Now, a senior in college, I’m taking my first creative writing class. A poetry class. After three weeks of class, I’ve learned one thing: POETRY. IS. HARD. (…and that I shouldn’t be taking this class because I’m AWFUL at poetry.)

For some reason, I thought I thought it would be an easy A. But I hate reading poetry, and I hate writing it even more. I finally managed to get an A on a poetry assignment, and I stayed up until 3:00 am to finish a sixth draft of an 11 stanza strict ballad. But writing it wasn’t the worst part. I had to READ it in class…in front of 18 other poets. I almost threw up.

After seeing that I got an A on that assignment (which was a HUGE step up from my angsty sonnet I had written before the ballad), I decided to branch out. I’ve been reading more poetry to get an idea of “how to poetry.” I’ve been taking what I know about writing prose and trying to make my poems my own. I’ve been learning about the different types of meter and how meter changes the mood of a poem. A poem isn’t a short story…but it is. Poetry is music, and I can relate to that. I’ve discovered that I actually like Emily Dickinson and John Keats and Robert Frost. We’re reading poems by a contemporary poet named John Brehm now. I’m actually enjoying his humor. Who know poetry could be funny instead of torturous?

Perhaps I don’t actually hate poetry, but it frustrates me. I can tell a story in 1,200 or 50,000 words quite easily, but a poet can tell a story in 14 lines or even fewer. That is the ultimate skill: to make a reader know everything with a few words. I’ve learned a lot about word choice and meter in just a few weeks. But I have a long way to go before I can even begin to consider myself a poet.

“And miles to go before I sleep.

And miles to go before I sleep.”

Does anyone have experience writing poetry? I’d love some advice or even recommendations for reading material.

 

 

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4 responses »

  1. I haven’t written poetry since high school and I don’t know if I could do it again. Beyond reading poetry and writing/editing/repeat, I got nothing. (But I kinda remember that feeling strongly about the topic helps a lot.)

    Howdy, I’m a co-host this month.

    Like

    • It’s nice to meet you! I know the writing process is similar to writing prose. Always edit. You’re never done editing it seems. By the end of the semester I should have lots of practice under my belt. Whether I keep it up or not… I don’t know.

      Like

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