Poem #2: End on a question


I’ve read the greats as well as the unknowns
Gobsmacked at the similes, metaphors, synecdoche, metonymy
Inspired by the diction, the imagery
I swoon, I weep, I ponder—the depth and breadth of human emotion
Present in the lines and stanzas of good poetry
All of it leaves me to wonder:

Why add one more voice?
Why add one more verse?
Does the world need one more poet, when it barely pays attention
To the ones who already inspire?

April and Poetry: “How to Write”

When I taught English, I loved April, because April is National Poetry Month and I loved teaching poetry. I loved reading a variety of poets with my students, discussing form, and letting them loose to write poetry.

Stueve told me today about NaNoPoMo, and since I’m in the process of rebuilding parts of my life, I figured I might as well try writing 30 poems in 30 days. Most days I will likely use the prompt, unless I’m feeling extraordinarily inspired.

I do not consider myself a poet, not by a long shot. So I make no guarantee to the quality of the poems I’ll write. But I know this much: this project is the ultimate exercise in practicing what I preach.

I tell my students all the time that to become better writers, they need to practice writing. They need to play around with form and function and language. And even if they think the writing isn’t great (and most of the time it won’t be), over time they will start to see flashes of brilliance–a word here, a sentence there–just from the cumulative effect of practice.

All of the poems I post this month will be first drafts–if you read one that you think is worth salvaging and working into something better, leave a comment and let me know. If you read one that is weak or trite or saccharine or angsty, talk about it behind my back with your friends.

Today’s prompt was “instructions on how to do something.”

April 1, 2019
How to Write

Sit on comfy gray couch, open the laptop
Stare at a blank screen, blinking cursor taunting—
“Write something. I dare you.”

Close the laptop, stand up
Look around, look for options—
Movie? TV show? Podcast? Piano? Or heaven forbid: clean something?

Pick up laptop, walk to desk, sit in oversized black office chair
Open the laptop, stare at a blank screen, breathe deeply—
Click away on black keys.

Don’t edit, don’t stop, just write.

One Day…Maybe…After I…

It’s April! That means the thermometer might actually get past 40 degrees (though I’m not holding my breath), baseball has started (more on that tomorrow) and it’s National Poetry Month! Huzzah!

I haven’t been very good about posting poems the past couple of years, but I am resolved to do better this year. Which will probably last until I go to Utah on Thursday…we’ll see…

Today’s poem is all about waiting. Which I’m actually pretty good at doing. Which really isn’t something I should be proud of.


About Those Poems…

We’re past the halfway point in this National Poetry Month, and I’ve done a lousy job of promoting poetry on my blog. But Stephen Colbert did a decent job on Thursday night:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Caroline Kennedy
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Running update: I have two concurrent goals: Run 12 times by May 9, and each time I run, go .10/mile further than the time before. Tonight: 2.3 miles. I’m on track for the May 9th goal…

Good Poems

This year throws me for a loop almost daily. Today, it was a group of high school students telling me that free verse poetry wasn’t “real poetry.” Poems MUST rhyme, they said.

It was the first time during a poetry unit that students balked at free verse poetry. Teens usually embrace the lack of restrictions and relative freedom that accompanies that style of poetry. But this group. They wanted boundaries. They wanted constraints.

It made me a little sad. Yet again, I see repercussions of constant testing. There is one right answer: a haiku is three lines, 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Free verse poetry is just too…free for them.

Today’s free verse poem.

Since I can’t find a snazzy widget to track my running training on the blog, I’ll do it long-hand: 2.02 miles. Not yet ready to post times. Distance will suffice for now.