The moment I say the magic phrase, “I write poetry,” people stop and stare at me. Their eyes, their mien – everything about them screams: Wait? What did you just say?
You write poetry?
Aren’t all poets pretentious old gits who fart discombobulated words and weave them into barely understandable verses? Don’t they always walk with their heads in the clouds? Are they even human at all? And you’re saying that you are… a poet?
Well, yes. And no. I write poems, and recently published my first fantasy poetry bundle Night Song, so I guess I can call myself a poet. There’s nothing special about that. I’m not high and lofty on my golden throne. In fact, I’m really quite down to earth, and so is my poetry.
Judge for yourself.
scribbled in ink poets are extraordinary types the brunette at the bar said to her friend they live in their own world and never leave their homes I put down my glass of Chardonnay grabbed pen and paper and wrote this
You said fantasy poetry
I did, indeed, say I write fantasy poetry. That happened more or less organically. I had already finished the first draft of my fantasy novel “Night’s Reign” when one of my poet-friends lured me into participating in NaPoWriMo. I chose a theme – the Magic of Thirty. Next, I chose a form – the American cinquain. From one thing came another, and I ended up writing thirty poems that tied in perfectly with the story of “Night’s Reign”.
It didn’t stop there. I wrote even more poems to accompany Night’s Reign, and ended up with the forty-six fantasy cinquains that found their way into “Night Song.”
Why I write poetry
Poetry is fun to write. Not easy, but that’s part of the attraction. I like a good literary challenge. Writing poetry is quite different from writing prose. In prose, every word has to earn its keep. In poetry, this is even more true. It’s less forgiving, and that makes writing poetry a good exercise for every writer. My prose benefits from my little forays into poetry.
But there’s more to it. Although initially wrote mostly free verse, I eventually switched to writing mainly form poetry. Form poetry is both harder and easier to write. My autistic mind enjoys the structure form poetry offers me. It allows me to explore new ideas without fear of getting lost and overwhelmed.
Last but not least, poetry is relatively fast. Writing a novel can easily take years. The first draft of a poem – especially a short, structured one like the cinquain – can be done a a matter of minutes. There’s still revisions, of course, but it’s nice to have such quick results.
Yes, I write poetry. How about you?