I’m in a writing club at my school, and in today’s meeting, we talked about poetry.
I know, I know. You novelists out there are probably groaning at the idea of putting so many ideas into so little words. Or you might respect poetry, but think that you don’t write it.
Personally, I’ve always loved poetry. Not just poems that are in textbooks or in three or four stanzas. Also slam poetry and things like that. I’ve always taken thousands of words to write out a story that I’m thinking, but there is something about the complexity behind a poem. In a “less is more,” kind of way.
Here’s what I realized today, and I hope this helps you in your writing too.
I noticed that I kind of do write poetry. Any novelist does. When most think of poetry, they think of all of the lines and stanzas. That’s not really what poetry is about. It’s more about the way you describe the things we don’t have language for. It’s when you word something in a way that it wouldn’t usually be explained, so that way it puts a unique image in your mind. An idea.
What we don’t realize is that when we write, we are doing just that. It’s the thing that make writing so mesmerizing, so symbolic and just good writing.
Like if you described the highlighted dust in the air as dancing in the sunlight, that puts a completely different than if you described them as stuck, suspended in the air. Just those few words can completely change the way you read it and how the mood is set for the rest of your piece.
I also noticed after the meeting that there is poetry everywhere. Literally, everywhere. Even the smallest of things that you see or hear can be poetic, depending on how you describe it. Like right now, I’m next to a lamp. A lamp gives off light, which can represent hope. And we use lamps to see, so hope helps us to see the possibilities ahead.
Okay, that’s a stretch, but you get what I mean.
Even just phrases that you hear people say in conversation, or the bits and pieces of what you say too. Those things, if used in a different context, can mean something completely different.
My challenge for you is to try and use poetry in your writing.And by that, I don’t mean that you have to use stanzas and lines, just sensory details and imagery. Or maybe try taking something that you wrote and try to turn it into a poem. It will help you understand what you wrote better than you did before, and it may even be better than your original piece.
Also, there are two spoken-word poems in particular that are extremely inspiring and I actually have them memorized from how many times I’ve watched them. The first is Look Up, by Gary Turk. Click HERE to watch that one. And the second is If I Should Have A Daughter, by Sarah Kay. Click HERE to watch that one.
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!