Part of the fun of poetry is putting pen to paper, staring at the blank page, and not knowing what may appear. Oh, did I say fun? Perhaps the most frustrating part of writing poetry is putting pen to paper, staring at the blank page, and not knowing what may appear!
What is the joy of writing poetry? Putting pen to paper and seeing it fill with all those tiny symbols that come together to finally having meaning–seeing something actually appear!
There’s a very good chance that what you see will be a bit of a mess that must be cleaned up, refreshed, refined, and maybe, just maybe, turned into something you love…okay, love may be a little strong. Maybe you’ll just think it’s acceptable… it’s tolerable… it’ll do. Well, maybe I can make it better. And so it goes.
Many of us find the most difficult part of writing a poem is deciding on a topic. What shall I write about? (Except for those times when something inside drives the pen..) That’s where some real fun can begin. The Challenge – and there are many different kinds of challenges to get the word juices flowing.
Given one such challenge (five years ago) I was really stumped. The challenge was to write a quit doing what you’re doing poem. What?? Well I wasn’t doing anything but looking at that ugly, white, blank page! But then I thought about it, and this was the result.
How does it help?
Does it stop wars,
Does it prevent the drought
Or stop the seas?
Does it keep a child
From foolishly erring?
Does it stop the moron
From drinking and driving,
Destroying too many lives?
If worry could heal,
If worry could change the tides,
Still the winds,
Stop the ground from moving.
If worry could protect the child
From harm and suffering,
Keep fools from causing pain,
Is this great poetry? Oh, hell no! But it served a purpose for the poet. It brought a moment of clarity. She was satisfied… at least for the moment.
Want to give it a try? Can you write a quit doing what you’re doing poem?
I’d love to hear about it if you do. Happy writing!