Do you write poetry? If so, what inspired your first poems?
Most writers will tell you they’ve been writing in some form since they were young. For me, I was a teenager and while I wrote a few short stories during that time poetry was my main focus.
My first poems were about the angst of growing up, broken hearts, unfairness, misunderstandings and general “I don’t know what the hell is going on.” Some showed promise, but for the most part they weren’t stellar examples of poetry.I haven’t written much poetry since my creative writing classes nearly eight years ago. There’s nothing like reading the creations of others to make you aware of your own failings. Form poems in particular battered my self-confidence.
Something happened to me recently that inspired me to write, but it wasn’t suited to a story. It cried out to be expressed in poetic form. So, I put pen to paper and haggled with a few stanzas for days trying to get the emotion and words to connect.
I always send my poems to my friend Tonya to read. She’s honest in her appraisal. Her feedback was crucial in making this poem work. I’m proud of it and plan to enter it into contests. After I let it simmer a while. One needs to put a bit of distance between themselves and the work before committing.
The success of that poem emboldened me. There’s a contest for a poem about nature and while I’ve never written about nature, I decided to see if I could come up with something. It began wobbly, like a newborn colt. Ultimately I scrapped the first stanza because the rest of the poem took on a life of its own.
Again, Tonya helped me. I struggled with the theme, wasn’t sure my skills were up to writing about nature. Here is an exchange between Tonya and myself when I expressed hesitancy at my abilities:
Tonya: “You are a genius to poetry…it will work out fine.”
Me: “Genius is a bit much.”
Tonya: “You know you are a writing whiz and poetry has ALWAYS been your forte.”
Me: “My college experience with poetry made me realize how average I am.”
Tonya: “Your style has changed quite a bit compared to your high school days. You still have always had a knack for poetry.”
I finished that poem and it is good. It’s simmering along with the first.
I’ve created a Poetry Journal in Evernote and have started collecting ideas for poems. They are now my weekend projects. As I blogged earlier in the week, taking a short break from my novel refreshes my creativity.
So, tell me, are you a poet? What inspires you to write poetry?