Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Inspiration for Poems

I've never taken a class on writing poetry nor read a How-To book on poetry either, But every now and then I dabble in that field. My poems would probably send the Poet Laureate of our state or the USA to the nearest bar to drown his sorrows. I probably break a lot of rules, but I write what I feel and if it sounds all right to me, it's a done deal. Most of the poetry I write is free verse as there's more leeway in that than in rhyming, metered poetry.

The bigger question is why I write poetry, or why anyone does. For me, it's usually because something I've seen has inspired me. The picture above was taken in the Flint Hills area just outside our town. When driving through those hills, or on a hike, scenery like this can inspire me to write a poem. I did write one about this area once, sent it to our state authors contest and lo and behold, it won first place in the theme division that year. I knew very little about poetry, but I did know how the hills around us made me feel.

Think of some of the breathtaking scenery you've happened onto when traveling. Didn't it make you wish you were a painter so you could capture the moment? Not everyone can paint a picture, but you can write a poem about it. It doesn't have to be one for publication; keep it for yourself to read and bring back the moment. It might even be one perfect rose in your garden or a bird sitting on a fencepost.

Another time I write poetry is when I'm overwhelmed with emotion. When our oldest granddaughter was a toddler, we had been to Dallas to spend some time with her, our son and his wife. The morning we left, I felt so overwhelmed with the wonder of this sweet child that I felt compelled to put my feelings on paper. The poem that resulted has been published two or three times.

So, you don't have to be a professional poet to be able to write poetry. Do it because you want to or feel the need to. Maybe I should add that along with several successful poems, I've also written some pretty awful ones. Those would be the ones a professional poet might read and begin to rant and rave--or order another drink!

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