Although I am still working (at home) I am trying to find little ways to put creativity into my life that falls outside of just writing.
Writing, especially when you want to be a published writer, can be stressful, and we all know that the world is especially stressful – so if you’re like me, you’re writing in small chunks because that’s all you can handle, but you’re still wanting to be creative.
And I’ve been doing that with poetry.
I know. I was shocked too. But April is National Poetry Month and poetry is the one form of both reading and writing that I can just…consume. I don’t intend to be a published poet so any poems I write are 1. bad, and that’s okay, and 2. really great free-writing and emotional outlets for me. Poetry is also the only form of writing that I can read and not treat as research, or something in which to compare myself.
But reading (and writing) poetry has been extremely helpful to my emotional and creative process.
Let’s visit my absolute favorite poem of all time:
This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
You have probably seen this poem a billion times. If you haven’t, and you liked this one, I suggest you check out other poems by William Carlos Williams.
I think about this poem a lot and why I love it so much, and most of the reasons I like it is because 1. it’s easy to understand. It’s not a ‘deep’ poem. 2. It tells a story. It’s a small story – but it is one. I’m going to come back to that part and 3. It just sounds/reads nice. The words flow and although they are simple words – they just sound so good together.
Just to express how much I love this poem – I once challenged myself to write ALL my emails to my professors using this format. Is it obvious I studied creative writing at a liberal arts college?
Reading poetry has helped me a lot through this weird time, and has even inspired me to write some of my own! Like I said above I’m not going to share all of my poems with you (trust me, it’s for the better), but I will share some prompts that I’ve been working through.
- Write a poem similar to the William Carlos Williams poem above -you can write a note to a loved one, from the POV of one of your characters to another, or just come up with something out of the blue. This one I will share with you.
This Is Just to Say
I have thrown out
the jar of jam
your mom made
that was in the back of the fridge
you were probably
you love your mom
but it was old and
so moldy and
Now, was that poem great? No. But sometimes giving yourself some rules or a strict prompt can make your brain churn out something a little easier than it would if you were just staring at a blank screen or a blank page in a notebook. Will I use this in my WIP? Nah. BUT I wasn’t excited to write today, but now that I created something I feel like I can create more.
If rewriting poetry isn’t your thing I have another option.
- Remember earlier when I said that the original poem is like a story? Then use it as a prompt to continue the story. No poetry writing required, but what does the person he is writing this poem to do after reading that he ate the plums? Whose plums are they? A significant other? A child? Your main character? How would they respond to this?
Celebrate National Poetry Month and self-care by reading some poetry this month. Just consume it and see what happens. You might be surprised just how much it helps.