Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary
I know, you still aren`t sold on this whole poetry making thing. Yes, you may have found a poem you liked, you may have even bravely made a whole line, but you are not going to be able to expand that line into a whole new poem. It just isn`t going to happen.
Sure, I meet all kinds of people who hate poetry, just like you. They read Edgar Allen Poe, they struggled through analyzing the classics in school, and now they want nothing to do with it. Well, I think almost everyone hates analyzing everything literary. I happen to be particularly good at it, and I still hate the exercise. But you had to analyze novels in school as well, many of which really were terrible, and you still read, right? The fact that you are here is kind of proof of that. Well, the same can be true of poems. Just because someone twisted and tortured them when you were young doesn`t mean you have to sever ways.
I know that you still have dreadful nightmares about those terrible poems you had to dissect like a science experiment in English class. I know you still wake up in the middle of night drenched in sweat and fear, remembering that day your teacher did the unimaginable and asked you to write and present a poem in front of the whole class. Believe me, I get that that`s terrifying. I still have those same fears about the one time my hated Math teacher made me do sums on the board in front of the whole class and laughed every time I messed up. (My other Math teachers were always lovely people, though, and were very encouraging.)
Not the twisted and complicated stuff you plodded through in highschool, but something truly wonderful that will inspire you, push you, and teach you about, well, you. Don`t think poetry can do all of that for you? Maybe it`s because you don`t actually know what you can do in poetry.
I get that you are scared of the complex maze of thought and unwritten rules that seemed to make up those poems. But! We are not making anything like that. No, we are focusing on a type of poetry called the freewrite. What does that mean? There are no rules. No matter how weird, how random, how un-rhyming your poem is, it`s absolutely perfect the way it is in freewrite! This is sort of the hippy of poetry, where absolutely anything goes. Want to write a Halloween poem?
That was a poem! I know, an exciting and freeing thought, right? You really can write whatever you darn well please, and it will be a poem! Though, um, you don`t have to do a ton of punctuation. I mean, you are free too, but you don`t need to feel like you have to put periods and commas all over the place. They are kind of optional.
So, here is the challenge for today:
I know, it`s a scary thought. When you add another sentence, you might feel stressed that you`ll have to make it rhyme with the first one, or make it some how ‘perfect’. First of all, I`m sure every perfectionist would be happy to cry to you that perfect isn`t possible. Not in poetry, not in cleaning, not in Math. N0 matter what you are working on, you can only ever achieve really good. Or even just good enough. So, instead of wasting your life away bemoaning your lack of perfection, you can now feel proud that you tried something that was hard for you, and kept going no matter how scared you are of the task. That`s a sign of good character! Your Mother would be so proud of you. Or she is proud of you, in the present tense. Or your Aunt is, or whoever is like a Mother to you. You catch my drift, right?
So, go forth with bravery and write that next sentence! Even if it isn`t perfect, the fact that you braved it is something to be proud of. That`s really my only goal for this week, to get a few people to try their hand at penning some poems out this week, and maybe even eventually finding that they like it.