Writing Poetic: Finding Resonance

(Status update: Well, this was partially written for posting on Thursday, but then I got sick. Today’s the first day I feel almost decent again. Hope all of you had a better weekend than I did! Then again, laying around and doing absolutely nothing for awhile might have been a good reset for me.)

This is part 2 of 4 in my April poetry series for National Poetry Month! Check in next Tuesday for part 3, and if you missed part 1, you can find it here: What’s in a name?

The writing we love the best is the writing that resonates with us. It might be the message we hold dear. Or perhaps it’s a character that reminds us of ourselves or an old friend. Maybe it’s something about the world in which the writing is set. We all have our own reasons for reading whatever it is that we read.

Reading Poetry by DA artist Valentin-Stanciu

Last week we talked about getting past the stigma that a poet is different from any other writer who chooses to work in a certain genre or style. This week the challenge is to find poetry that resonates with you. The key to enjoying poetry, or anything else for that matter, is finding something about it that you love, that speaks to you and entices you in.

In the spirit of the challenge I want to share with you two of my favorite poems. These were written by different people, but have always felt to me that they were two halves to a whole. Both of these poems read easy for me and I love the playful sound of their banter.

“The Town of Don’t-You-Worry”

There’s a town called Don’t-You-Worry,
On the banks of River Smile;
Where the Cheer-Up and Be-Happy
Blossom sweetly all the while.
Where the Never-Grumble flower
Blooms beside the fragrant Try,
And the Ne’er-Give-Up and Patience
Point their faces to the sky.

In the valley of Contentment,
In the province of I-Will,
You will find this lovely city,
At the foot of No-Fret Hill.
There are thoroughfares delightful
In this very charming town,
And on every hand are shade trees
Named the Very-Seldom-Frown.

Rustic benches quite enticing
You’ll find scattered here and there,
And to each a vine is clinging
Called the Frequent-Earnest-Prayer.
Everybody there is happy
And is singing all the while,
In the town of Don’t-You-Worry,
On the banks of River Smile.

I. J. Bartlett

“The Town of Nogood”
My friend, have you heard of the town of Nogood,
On the banks of the River Slow,
Where blooms the Waitawhile flower fair,
Where Sometimeorother scents the air,
And the soft Goeasies grow?
It lies in the Valley of Whatstheuse,
In the Province of Letterslide.
That Tiredfeeling is native there,
It’s the home of the reckless Idontcare,
Where the Giveitups abide.
It stands at the bottom of Lazyhill,
And easy to reach, I declarre;
You’ve only to fold up your hands and glide
Down the slope of Weakwill’s toboggan slide
To be landed quickly there.
The town is as old as the human race
And it grows with the flint of years.
It is wrapped in the fog of idler’s dreams,
Its streets are paved with discarded schemes,
And sprinkled with useless tears.
The Collegebred fool and the Richman’s heir
Are plentiful there, no doubt.
The rest of its crowd are a motley crew,
With every class except one in view-
The Foolkiller is barred out.
The town of Nogood is all hedged about
By the mountains of Despair.
No sentinelstands on its gloomy walls,
No trumpet to battle and triumph calls,
For cowards alone are there.
My friend, from the dead-alive town Nogood
If you would keep far away,
Just follow your duty through good and ill,
Take this for your motto, “I can, I will,”
And live up to it each day.
W. E. Penny
Poetry, like any other writing, means the most to us when we can relate to it. What is a poem you can relate to and love? And if you don’t have one yet, my challenge to you is to try to find one. Poetry is extremely diverse in style, voice, and subject. There is something out there for everyone!
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6 thoughts on “Writing Poetic: Finding Resonance

  1. I think what I love about poetry is that it doesn’t have to follow any rules. It’s all about playing with words and making them do things they otherwise would not. Granted, some modes of poetry have some pretty strict rules, but I love how they prod me to break them.

    • Very well put! Poetry has so much to it when it comes to the realm of possibilities. Even though I have styles I prefer, I love learning the “voice” of each poem as well.

  2. I love the poetic license held and dealt by poets. I like the poems above. they really seem as a reply to each other.

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