Lesson 3: Where Is The Poetry?
I have some food for thought: Open your journal/file and prepare to jot some things down!
First of all, the world is full of poets! Some are fully aware and some are just being who they are and not caring about any titles.
Some begin with curiosity, and some begin with ferocious passion. For whatever reason we are drawn to it, there will be as many reasons we find to stay and explore.
What we know for sure is we live in a world rich with imagery, and it's begging us to taste its wild and succulent flavors!
I believe everyone has a poet resting inside until the moment we choose to cultivate the art. Yes, it is a choice. Even for those to whom it seems to come naturally: it is still a choice. (And often there is a lot of work happening behind the scenes in order to give the poem its most natural appearance.) The goal is to satisfy the artistic longing within: sometimes this can be fun and games, andother times it can be a mud crawl. The trick is in learning to transform our vision of the work: when it feels worthwhile, even the mud crawl is a win!
And here's the most beautiful thing about it: We all have unique perspectives and experiences, which means there is always something to learn from each other. Can we just stop and marvel at this for one golden minute? It's inspiring.
So let’s not give up simply because we feel we are not ______ enough. With some heart, some practice, some ideas, and some grit we are well on our way to creating a thing of beauty.
We don’t have to be experts.
We just have to believe in the glory of starting something good and worthwhile.
YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT:
Today, I want you to plumb the depths of your memories:
First, see if you can recall some lines of poetry that have shaped your picture of life. Make a list.
Try to dispel the walls of judgment between awesome and nonsense. Maybe an old proverb or commercial jingle popped into your head. Maybe it's from a jump-rope chant, a song or a greeting card. Each influence has filled a spot in our thinking.
Choose one of the lines from your list that jumps out at you.
“Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you”
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger”
“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight” ⬅
“Now I lay me down to sleep…”
“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”
Make your list as long as you wish or stop when you've found a line that inspires you. Follow the inspiration and don't let it slip away while you "just finish this up."
Note: You can save your list on a separate page in your poetry file or create a new file titled "Poetry prompts" or a label of your choosing. Add to it whenever a new one comes to you.
YOUR SECOND ASSIGNMENT:
Try this pattern:
Begin a new line with each sentence (or after each comma),
so your lines are arranged like a standard poem.
Example of pattern:
From this -
I wish I knew the way forward. I like the idea of poetry, but it is not so easy to write. How will I find words that fit? Will I ever figure this out? I must believe in possibilities.
To this -
I wish I knew the way forward.
I like the idea of poetry,
but it is not so easy to write.
How will I find words that fit?
Will I ever figure this out?
I must believe in possibilities.
Now, take the line you chose in the first assignment and use it as an inspirational writing prompt!! Serious or silly, romantic or gritty. Write down all your thoughts.
Examples for assignment:
Free verse -
"Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight..."
I love when the first star appears in the sky.
It sparks and sings and calls to my body, yearning.
It begs me to laugh, dance, twirl myself off balance.
And look further, deeper, for a brightness within.
“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight...”
Hello starlight, you’re a surprise!
I’m so used to smoggy skies.
You’re the first in a good long while.
Your brightness makes me smile.