It’s April 1st! Yes, yes, yes, it is April Fool’s but it is also National Poetry Month! It is a month set aside to honor and celebrate poetry and hopefully garner attention to this most beautiful and soulful form of writing. You don’t have to be a skilled poet to write a poem. Just pick up a pen or sit down at your computer and start writing. Write about anything – one word after another – see where it takes you! I heartily encourage you to give it a try. You never know what could come of it.
There are many types of poems, check them out and see what works for you!
I’ve always said that poetry is the language of the soul. For me, poetry is one form of writing I personally do not like critiqued. And the reason I say this is because for me, some of my poetry is so intensely personal and raw that I am not sure I could handle having it ripped apart or having others see that dark side of me that is very evident in some of my writings. Maybe that’s wrong? I don’t know. Maybe I am too concerned that I would take it as a personal attack on my innermost thoughts and feelings. It is probably something I really need to get over. I don’t necessarily feel that way about all my poems – just certain ones.
Poetry is a form of therapy for me. When my parents went through their divorce, poetry was a way for me to vent my rage at my father without lashing out and hurting anyone. That poetry is not poetry I care for anyone to read – hence the statement that I don’t care for it to be critiqued. I keep it as a reminder but it is mainly for me. It is painful yet very cathartic. Then there is the other poetry I write that is more nature-based – which is my preferred topic to write about. I also write silly poems/thoughtful poems for family/friend birthday or other holiday cards that I make. Those come easily to me and are fun.
I read a news story the other day about a young woman who died of cystic fibrosis just last week. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and wondered about those moments where she took her last breath. What was I doing at that very moment? In an instant, another poem came to me. It’s not finished yet. I’ve set it aside for a few days. It is a poem about life and death. It is about taking a moment and giving recognition to someone I’ve never met and will never meet but also realizing that this person impacted my life in some way. She touched many people over the course of her life and illness. I am but one very small, insignificant portion of that.
Still, she lives on.
What moves you? What touches your soul? Is it the warmth of the sun on a clear Spring day? Is it the way the waves lap the shoreline? Perhaps it as simple as your baby’s first smile or their delicately wonderful baby scent.
If it is important to you, it matters. Write about it!
That is the power of the written word. We all have that power. And that we choose to recognize it-honor it is what matters.
I worry that poetry is not regarded as highly as it once was but celebrations such as National Poetry Month help reassure me that there are plenty others like me out there who truly appreciate this lovely form of writing.
So dive in! Take the plunge! Try writing a poem a day during this month of April. Remember, it doesn’t have to be Virgil’s Aeneid or John Milton’s Paradise Lost. It can be just two lines long. Start with that and see how that feels. The important thing is to give it a whirl and see what comes out of it. We are all walking encyclopedias of knowledge and memories. Show us a little bit of your soul.
I guarantee that you are interesting and unique. Let your inner poet be heard.