Wander Back to the Wonder My pencil is weary, my neck muscles cramped, my brain’s in a fog, for ideas I’m stumped. I believe that it’s time for a good writing break. But how shall I spend it? What route should I take? I could tackle the ironing, vacuum the floor, scrub all the
I’m all for respecting the rhythms of the year. When it seems that the whole world is on vacation, I feel like going on vacation too. Working this “logic” into a writing life can be tricky, especially if the summer is your main time to write.
Here, on the doorstep of April, I’m celebrating because it’s almost National Poetry Month! What better time to think and talk about how to improve our writing in general, poetry-writing in particular? And so, I’m excited to share eight resources that have helped me in writing about poetry (as a many-year online and FellowScript poetry columnist) and in writing poems themselves.
A wonderful way to remember someone after they have died is to write a poem about them. Such a poem of remembrance is called an elegy.
The Poetry Dictionary defines elegy: “A poem for someone who has died; also called a lament and threnody. Elegies are love poems for the dead, tributes and offerings to loss” – John Drury, The Poetry Dictionary, p. 88.
The interesting thing about elegies is that though they’re written about someone, their subject will never read them. So we write them for ourselves and others left behind.
There aren’t any rules for writing elegies. “They come in all forms—rhymed, free verse, even prose paragraphs whose sole purpose is to soothe rather than impress” – Michael Bugeja, The Art and Craft of Poetry, p. 134.
If you’re a crafter you may have gone to a craft fair, admired items on display, picked up one or two that especially appealed to you, and examined them closely. Why? Chances are you were trying to figure out how they were made and whether you could make something similar.
Growth in any skill is often rooted in admiration and the desire to copy what we admire. Writing is no different.
Please note that Violet sent this post to me quite some time ago. I (Steph) then promptly lost track of it and didn’t post it when it was originally scheduled. My apologies! Regardless, it is always a wonderful time to express our love. Let’s learn more about how we can do so by writing an ode . . .
In the month of February, our thoughts turn to love and poetry. Perhaps you’ve lately picked through racks of Valentine cards, browsed the books on your shelves, or asked Google for suggestions—all in search of words that expressed just right sentiments. Of maybe you even wrote an original sonnet—the poetry form most often associated with love. There is another type of love poem to write that’s every bit as old and perhaps even more versatile. It is the ode.
Dictionary.com defines ode: “A lyric poem typically of elaborate metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.” “Expressive, exalted, enthusiastic emotion”? Sounds like love to me!
Unless you’re a poet laureate of some kind, you’ll probably not get an assignment to write a poem anytime soon. Writing poetry is very much a self-initiated activity and easy to postpone till later. Even after you’ve taken a summer break and are fresh again, unless writing poetry is the main type of writing you do, it’s easy to let that saddle gather dust.
Welcome to our newest contributor, Violet Nesdoly.
I’m delighted to be re-entering the world of group blogging. Though I enjoyed my hiatus, I’m happy to get back into this saddle. In my posts here, I plan to talk about a genre dear to my heart—poetry.
It’s a huge topic with a history as old as humanity itself. As well, it’s constantly changing. If there’s any type of writing that allows one to break established rules, make one’s own rules, and express individuality, it’s poetry. So, perhaps a good place to start is to ask, “What is poetry?”