April in the United States is National Poetry Month– for wonderful resources, see the Edublogger post April is Poetry Month. Many participate this month in NaPoWriMo: National Poetry Writing Month – write a poem a day for the month of April.
While many people study the archives of classic poets and forms, remember that poetry is from the heart and of the everyday: moments and emotions of our essence as humans.
While there are many poems to enjoy, our own choice and play with words are just as pleasing, popular, and proper as are the classics of our “poetic” elders of the past.
While there are many long poems, short poems are just as piercing or pleasurable.
While there are many strategies for writing poetry, a simple one is:
- Start with a moment of the day
- Capture it in sketch or photo
- Think of its emotion, importance, season, memory
- Draft specific ideas of imagery [sights, sounds, smells] and action
- Draft in phrases of imagery
- Revise your choice and play with words.
- Share your poem aloud to someone.
Here is a poem I wrote for April 5th — written for the recent loss that has slowed my blogging and my mind and the hallway I walked through away from home was my “moment” of thinking of my changed life and my emotions. I wrote it as a memory of my confusion and sadness. And it follows the strategy above.
Just a few days before, my first NaPoWriMo using this strategy was a short thought, a haiku, of a moment with my kitten.
Poetry is personal; it is not perfect nor does it need to rhyme: it is emotion and memory and meaning from your heart about what’s simple and yet important in your life. That’s what makes them profound, especially to the author– you. As you can see from my two examples– they can be fun or serious, long or short, and any kind of moment in time.
Go ahead — try a poem every week, or maybe every day for the rest of NaPoWriMo.
If you’d like images to inspire your poetry, consider these ideas for choosing photos from Kevin Hodgson: Random Access Poetry.
You can do it!
A Few Forms to Consider
Still want more to guide you in writing poetry. Try these:
Online Inter-actives from Read/Write/Think: Theme Poems, Acrostic Poems, Diamante Poems [require FLASH]
or learn from poets:
Kinds of Poems by Kathi Mitchell
Reading Rockets Writing Poetry
April 18th is Poem in Your Pocket Day !
Who knows! Perhaps you’ll carry one of your own poems in your pocket! Read more about April 18th here.
About Writing Every Day
As I mentioned above, my life took a little turn which prevented me from blogging here about topics and issues that require a longer bit of time to prepare and write.
But for writing poetry every day, I’ve made it through the first 15 days of National Poetry Writing Month– the featured image at the top shows each post from this blog. How did I do that?
email! Each early morning or late night I found a picture I’d taken and wrote a poem around it using my little strategy mentioned above with my iPhone.
In an email, I drafted my poem, then inserted the image above my written poem. Then sent it out. But you need to set up the email to do so.
Here’s how to set up email posting:
- Edublogs Post by Email Directions
- WordPress Post by Email Directions
- Blogger Post by Email Directions
Poetry is Soothing
For me, my poetry this April each early morning or late at night was soothing. It can also be silly, sensational, and serious.
What will your poetry be?
Help…I’ve been trying to find the poet to whom JFK refers at the end of his speech to Loyola alumni, Feb 1958.
“…Let him answer to his name
Call the roll…”