Writing Poetry

Poems! We love to read them, but how do
you feel about actually writing one. You may say I can’t write one of those! They
are too complicated! Many people feel this way because they have been taught
very strict rules and feel they must follow these rules. But poet e.e. cummings
said, “Write poetry for God’s sake. It’s the only thing that matters!” Why did he
say that? Well, that’s the question. Probably because poetry shows our
humanity, it shows the experiences we’ve had, and
it shows our joys, our fears, our regrets, and everything in between. Getting
started may be the hardest part. Normally in writing, we like to have a
good plan, and then make the plan come together on the page. The poet Robert
said, “I have never started a poem yet whose
end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” Poetry may start with a single image, a
single word on a page, or a strong emotion. However you start, just start!
Remember that poetry is art and you are the artist! What is on your artist
palette to play with? First, you have your meaning. What do you want to share? A
reflection, a lesson you’ve learned, a passion you have? Emotion. Poetry is
emotional. Show it in words and images. Figurative language. Don’t say things too
plainly. Make it figurative and creative. Imagery. The poem should make
the reader see, hear, feel, taste, or smell something. Compression. Look for ways to
compress the items above in a concise way. Okay, so let’s get those journals out,
find a place to think and reflect, and put words on the page. Remember you can’t
edit or revise what isn’t written on a page. Happy writing!

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