Thursday, April 12

Oh to wax with eloquence

I tend to write more simply, more directly, more to the point. I think I write like a man, but with a me style to it. (Which might in part mean that I make certain jumps in logic, thinking those dots don't need to be connected. ...Did that make sense? Hm.) Well, my voice is and will always be attached to me, after all. But, oh to wax eloquent, and not simply think I am where I fail. So, I'm turning to poetry to learn a little more and see if I can improve my language skill.

It helps that my student in the Write Start class is highly interested in poetry. It seems to be her favorite style of creative writing we've explored. And it's something I've been interested in for a long time, too. When I'm bothered, really really really really bothered by something, or possibly very excited and happy about something, I write poetry about it.

But poetry...doesn't come easy to me. I like the flowery poetry for its use of words, but most of the time it's little more than that, flowery, pretty words. I have a hard time making sense out of it, even if the person sitting next to me follows along line for line, no big deal. If it's simpler, it makes sense easier, but I don't always like it as well for its simplicity. Alas.

I love imagery, but I need something to connect it all together. What? It flows perfectly. What am I talking about?

I guess I'm talking about my brain, but I didn't want to get gooey on you.

If I can feel or hear the rhythym (rats, I just can't spell that word) or hear a rhyme (yes! got that one!) I have an easier time connecting the current line with the previous line and remembering content from one verse to the next. Over all, I get a better picture of the intent. So that's how I usually think of and try to write poetry, even though there isn't only one set of acceptable rules and patterns can be picked and chosen as the author desires.

Enter this wonderful book that Rebekah found: Write Your Own: Poetry by Laura Purdie Salas. A children's book introducing some basics of poetry writing. Local library gold! I'm about halfway through reading it and I got it today. But I'm far from halfway through trying out the things it explains.

Here's to never ceasing learning and one more way to improve my overall writing!

Chime in! What's your favorite style of poetry? Does it make sense or come easily to you, or are you like me and left behind without a hope to cling to?


  1. The most important thing my poetry teacher ever taught me (and this was in an analysis class, not a writing one) is that poets make every word count, and if possible, they make every word count for more than one thing. This idea can even help with writing prose, because it helps you edit out the deadwood.

    1. Most definitely, Rachel. But I find it easier with prose than with poetry. Maybe I need a bigger vocabulary. Any tips?

  2. I'm with you -- my writing is very pithy and to-the-point. I've written poetry for various classes in my life, but I never really liked any of it. Every now and then I can come up with a half-decent haiku. But as you know, my favorite form of poetry is the Road Trip Limerick. :-) But limericks are more like jokes than they are like poetry -- they have punch lines!