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I love to read poetry. It makes me feel in a way that little else does.
I also love to write poetry. If I am honest (and I believe I am an honest person), I think I mostly write bad poetry. Sigh. But every once in a while I get an internal “YES!” from something I’ve written. I wish I could get more of those.
Writing poetry is an interesting thing. If you ever want to stop a conversation in its tracks, mention you write and read poetry. Most Americans (in my experience) steer clear of the neatly-wrapped packages we call poetry. Even very successful poets rarely become rich or famous or widely read. (Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in line getting coffee ask the person in front of you who the current US Poet Laureate is.) And getting published can be challenging – it is often a matter of whether or not the particular poem is a good fit for a publication … or maybe even that issue. Did you just finish a masterpiece on running shoes that elevates this everyday item to the level of the gods? Great! Celebrate your genius! But if the journal has already accepted (or published in the recent past) a poem that mentions shoes, running shoes, running, etc., etc., etc. … keep hitting “submit.”
You may find yourself asking, What’s the point? Why bother writing poetry at all?
There are many answers to this question which come from the physiological to the philosophical arenas. The bottom line for most of us is that we can’t help it. We write it even when we don’t mean to write poetry. Or, you could be in an MFA program and find yourself in a class that requires you to write poetry (eh-hem… present company included). And as I’ve mentioned before, if you’ve never written poetry you can find plenty of reasons to start.
Here are a few articles I read this weekend to keep me motivated and excited about writing poetry.
- Five Reasons to Write Poetry by Vic Vosen
I love things that are short and sweet but full of interesting information. Plus how could I resist an article written by an author with such a cool, alliterative name?
- Improving Your Writing through Poetry by Melissa Donovan
This author explains how doing the work of poetry will help you improve your ability to connect to readers on multiple levels…
- Five Ways How to Write a Poem by Robert Lee Brewer
Another shortie and sweetie. What I like about this article is that it offers concrete jumping-off points to get started…
- Un-think Your Poetry: How to Write Better Poems from Writer’s Relief
Ahhhh… I feel a great weight being lifted just reading this article. This is how I tend to approach poems, and find that when I let go a little I tend to write better …
- Ten Tips for Being a Successful Poet from BBC News and Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion
I was taught that if you want to be successful you should learn from the best, so this weekend I sought out tips from Sir Andrew Motion, poet extraordinaire. His fifth tip especially resonated with me…
Remember: Sharing Is Caring
With that in mind tell me … do you write poetry? Have you read anything that gets you excited about poetry? Or do you detest poetry – please tell me why! Of course, if that’s the case you probably didn’t make it this far. 😉