Writing Poetic: Experimenting Isn’t Just a Science

This is the 4th and Final part to my Writing Poetic series in honor of National Poetry Month. If you’ve missed any of the other 3, here are the links to take you there:

Part 1 — Writing Poetic: What’s in a name?
Part 2 — Writing Poetic: Finding Resonance
Part 3 — Writing Poetic: Art

Experimenting isn’t just for science class, it’s how we learn what we do and do not like in life. One of the things I love most about poetry is how much I get to experiment with it. There are dozens of formal styles I can play with or I can try out my own styles. I get to experiment and learn how to say the same thought or phrase in 20 different ways until I find the most effective one. I get to experiment with content. The list goes on.

My final assignment to you this month is to experiment, especially if you’ve never written poetry in your life. You don’t have to publish your attempt anywhere. You don’t have to edit it. Just give it a try.

Poetry is an outlet for me that I use to express emotions, observations, and personal experiences that I could probably never write down otherwise. I love being able to write a poem, give it to a reader, and hear them respond with both the type of emotion I wanted to convey and the message I wanted to express… all the while knowing deep down that that single poem expresses a very definite moment in time for me and while the essence is pure and translatable, the deeply personal memory is still secret. Continue reading

Writing Poetic: Art

This is the 3rd of 4 posts in my Writing Poetic series this month. If you missed the first two, you can visit them here:
Writing Poetic: What’s in a name?
Writing Poetic: Finding Resonance 

Creative writing of any kind can be considered “of the arts”. I personally think it should be. But poetry especially is an art.

Think about it for a moment. When we read a novel or a short story we look for flow, coherence, world-building, sense of characters, overall plot, voice and tone of the author, and those sorts of things. When we look at a poem we are drawn to both the word play and the image those words paint.

“Painter” by DA artist andre2886

The man in this photograph is creating an image on canvas with real paint. But a poet who looks at this same scene will paint an image of his own. Just like a painter who uses color and brushstrokes to evoke an emotion, the poet will use his words to evoke the image. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Writing Poetic: What’s in a name?

First up… I have my very first guest post up today! You’ll find me over on Rena J. Traxel’s blog discussing poetry contests and the do’s and don’ts of them. Please visit and support this wonderful friend and writer!

Now, on to the post.

This is part 1 of 4 in my April poetry series for National Poetry Month! Check in next Tuesday for part 2.

Nearly all of us know the line from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that says “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But what does that mean? It means that no matter what we choose to call something, it is what it is. Think of this in terms of language. It doesn’t matter whether I call the building that lends me books a ‘library’ or if I call it ‘toshokan’ (which is the English word ‘library’ translated into Japanese). They both mean the same thing.

So where am I going with this?

As writers we are familiar with certain outside stigmas that follow our job description. And yet while we complain about those comments and try to change the rest of the world’s perception of us, we continue to propagate some of the very outside stigmas we so dislike within our own circles.

Example: “I’m a poet.” Continue reading