Lesson 5: What Are We Looking For?
What are we looking for in a poem?
When we read it: An experience.
Perhaps we long and hope for connection or to have our hearts touched. Maybe we seek a picture of what is or what could be that resonates with our souls in a deep place- often beyond explanation. We are possibly looking for mystery or identity.
When we write it: Expression.
What makes it different from other writing is how it is condensed into portraying a certain picture, feeling, struggle, epiphany, sensation, etc. in a very few words.
We embody a story in one savory morsel.
We create a channel where we do not direct the reader's imagination, we give it a hidden path to explore.
- What are you looking for?
- What are you expressing?
Journal about this through a stream-of-consciousness exercise. Write for 3-5 minutes, (or longer if you wish.)
Your First Assignment:
What can you express through poetry that might be difficult to communicate otherwise? Think about it.
Make a list of these things
- I dream of pilgrimage: labored treks down a well-loved path. Poetry can help me express the story behind this longing.
- Special needs in the family carry an emotion all their own, and maybe this can be expressed through imagery in a way that allows others to understand and connect.
- I can share about the times where entering the forest seems to open a window to another space and time.
- I can observe the many facets of love, trust, hope, and grace, and how they are woven into relationships.
- It helps when wrestling with a story that doesn’t quite make sense in everyday language .
- Sometimes a conversation needs processing.
- It's a way to put something down that the heart has been carrying: wish it well, and let it go in peace.
Now it's your turn!
Your Second Assignment:
How can you leave a little mystery in your words to create curiosity for the reader’s journey?
When you write down your thoughts, consider arranging them according to the pattern discussed earlier:
Begin a new line with each sentence or after each comma,
so your lines are arranged like a standard poem.
Tomorrow I will speak.
I feel words building, burning,
gnawing their way to the surface.
I must, I must be heard
no matter how hard it is to use my voice.
I long to break the silence.
Now you try it!