Poetry efforts so far…

For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to learn poetry. My editor thought it would be a good homework assignment for me, to teach me “how to get emotion in a single line,” and branch out a little more. That’s fine. I’m geeky, I like assignments.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been struggling with this. Not with writing the poem. That comes pretty quickly. I look at the photo prompt on Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam (the Facebook site I’ve been asked to look at on Saturdays where they put up a new picture prompt to give you some ideas for the week), and then think about it and write whatever comes to mind. I spend a little bit of time on it, but not more than ten minutes. You see, I don’t quite know what makes up a poem. There are so many kinds. Haikus, ones that rhyme, those with rhythm and cadence, some that, to me, make no sense at all, yet are still considered poems.

This is a really cute site because they are so supportive – they just want to spread the love of poetry, so I’ll continue the exercise each week, but at some point I’d like to actually understand what I’m doing.

This week’s photo prompt had a gothic looking woman standing on a ceremonial platform with fire, symbols and all these mystical things around her. Go to the site here and you’ll see it…

So, this is what I came up with:

I dance around the firelight,
And move along the wind.

I’ve heard the names, the uttered cries,
But none can see within.

Sybil, enchantress, witch and shrew
Are names spit out with hate.
Their fear so deep, it stalls their hearts
Against nature’s untainted plate.

But I am of the earthly realm
Mother’s lifeblood seeps through my veins
Her beauty calls and takes me home
And Wicca is my name.

Is this a poem? Is it written correctly? I have no idea. I’m a fiction writer, so to me, I just write a story around the prompt. At some point I’d love some technical advice about the above. If any of you would like to chime in, by all means!

And come over to the site here: https://www.facebook.com/pbandpoetryjam/?fref=ts and like the page. There’s quite a few of us that leave poems each week. On Saturdays they post the prompt, people post their poetry all week, then the admins choose one on Thursdays and Friday discuss it. It’s not a popularity contest, or a win/lose scenario and you can comment on all of them.

I will say, I am seeing the connection with emotion. Some have given me chills, so I know that’s the feeling I need to impart with each poem. A way to create an emotional response.

Do you like poetry? Do you write it? Come on over!

20 thoughts on “Poetry efforts so far…

    • Thank you so much – I’ll check it out. My editor just told me to stop worrying about the technical aspects, and write from the heart. That poetry can’t be wrong. Really appreciate you commenting!

  1. To me, poetry is self-expression of the deepest variety. With poetry you can reveal your soul, your inner being, the rawness that is inside you. Many good writers do that exact thing while writing but the poet does it almost constantly. It is movement. BTW, I love the Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam site. I even left a poem for this week. Enjoyed your poem, too. Keep up the good work.

  2. You wrote a poem since it was concise and gave us a vision of your thoughts. I loved writing poems in school, so I should check out the site (in my spare time). The shorter the poem the more difficult it is to write. 🙂

  3. There are a lot of poets using WordPress and they write all kinds of poetry. I judge a poem for how it makes me feel. If it is so complex I have to read it multiple times, I leave that poet to those who understand and enjoy the obscure.

  4. Sometimes I like poetry, but I’m no experts. I’ve written some terrible poems, and a few that (I think) are pretty good. It’s a very different skill from writing prose. That said, I prefer poems with rhythm and rhyme, and I liked that one of yours that you shared.

  5. Like you stated, there are all kinds of poetry but not all have rhyming verse. I’ve been using methods that I learn in school but I cheat in addition just to get my point across. Thanks for sharing this page with me!


  6. Gosh, what is a poem? Nothing like taking the little ones first. This is a poem, of course but I guess it is what you want to make of it. First I guess is to write with and from emotion. It isn’t story telling. The best poems tend to be layered meanings, hidden and often elliptical. Rhymes can enhance but should never be the reason for a poem. The discipline of say a sonnet does create beauty only if the substance is right. My best poems come when i feel the need to write them. I can write fiction when prompted, pretty much any time and of course i could craft a poem from a prompt but real poetry only comes when i need to write it. Fiction isn’t like that. Not for me anyway. This works for me but, hey, everyone is different and your poetry is splendid.

  7. As soon as someone puts rules on or formulizes poetry, they will lose the point. You are painting a picture with words specific enough to express an idea and vague enough that others can apply it to their experiences. You set certain guides of rhyme, measure, etc, with each new peice but, with the intention of throwing them out at the slightest whim. You can also play games with layers of rules but, again, the idea forges the path, not the rules. When the rules navigate, the story suffers. This piece is good and it is poetry. I think you feel that but want to have a logical measure of it. The only measure isn’t logical, it’s quite simply whether you feel it. You feel the piece is complete. You feel the emotions and imagery. You feel it conveys a message. The message could even be incomplete as long as it conveys the incompleteness. Welcome to the messy world of poetry. It’s a satisfying ride of absolute uncertainty.

    • That is a very freeing description. I think that’s been my exact problem – thinking I had to follow “a rule” when emotion rules the roost for poetry. Thank you so much. I think I’m just going to “go with it” and throw caution to the wind! Really appreciate the comment.

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