your poetry journey thus far

When you read someone else’s poem, you don’t see all the work and tears and laughter that may be behind it. You don’t see whether it spilled out all at once without any editing, or whether it was edited, revised and changed slowly over the course of months or even years. You don’t know what inspired it — pain, beauty, strength or weakness. All you can see is the finished poem.

This is how it is when an outsider reads a poem, but to the poet — to the one who actually wrote it — a poem is so much more! When you read your poetry you feel the weight of all that went into it. You remember the process of putting thoughts into words, words into phrases, phrases into stanzas. You remember whether you cried or laughed. You remember the feelings of pride or shame when you read the poem you had created.

What do you feel when you read the poems you’ve written during the past two weeks? Consider the high points of your journey thus far. Re-read the poem that you are most proud of. Think back on the process of writing it, and take that with you into the rest of this month. Be encouraged; even if you aren’t very happy with anything you’ve produced, remind yourself that you have produced something and you have another two weeks to improve on that.

{today’s exercise}

Look over the journey you have taken these past two weeks. What has been your favorite moment so far? What was your favorite exercise? Today is a rest day. If you’d like to write a poem, though, review your favorite exercise and write another poem using that prompt.

{my process & my poem}

To be honest, when I look back at what I’ve written in the past I am sorely tempted to pick it apart and focus on where I’ve fallen short. But I choose to keep writing, even when it results in poems like this one…

words are usually my medium of choice
I’m told I’m skilled at using words to create art
but often, words fail me

when emotion runs deep
words feel so shallow

when reality is rich
words seem so dry

I write to try to ascribe meaning to emotions
to understand experiences
but often, words fail me

the prose falls flat
when describing fascinating feelings

the poetry seems stale
when attempting to show sentiment

still, words continue to flow out
because without an outlet, they stagnate inside
yet often, words fail me