Tuesday, March 2, 2010
More on My Poet Friend
When Elaine spoke about poetry at the writers conference I attended in the fall of 2008, she made it sound so simple. Anyone can write poetry just by using the things you see in your everyday life, she told us. And she read samples of her work. Then she said something that struck a chord with me. She suggested we use our dreams to write a poem. If you remember a dream when you wake up, try writing a poem about it.
Because I'm a person who remembers dreams and has what my husband terms "really weird" dreams, I kept thinking about what Elaine said. One morning a couple weeks after I returned from the conference, I woke up and lay in bed thinking about a strange dream I'd had that dealt with gypsies on a speeding train. Old women sewing and young girls playing and dancing in the aisles. Wow, where did that come from? But as soon as I got up, I went to the computer and wrote one line and then another and on and on until I had a lengthy poem about the gypsy women and girls. When I read it over again, it surprised me. Somehow, I felt like it had almost written itself.
Next, I submitted for critique to my online writers group, telling them it came from a dream as per Elaine's suggestion. They liked it and so I sent it on to Elaine to thank her for the inspiration and to ask if she had any suggestions, for I knew it needed a little polishing. She sent back a most encouraging message and a few suggestions as to what might be added or changed in a few spots. I worked on it a little more and then sent it to a poetry website. And another but found rejection in both. It didn't upset me at all, as poetry is difficult to get published, and I was not an accomplished poet. I put it aside for several months, but one day I decided to send it to an ezine called LongStoryShort.com. It's one where I've had some of my nonfiction published and a lot of things rejected. They are quite selective in what they publish, and because of that, they've gained a good reputation in the literary cyberworld.
I was thrilled when the poetry editor of LSS wrote me that my poem "play gypsy girl, play" would be published in the March issue which will come out on March 7th. Of course, Elaine was one of the first people I told about it. After all, it was because of her suggestion of writing a poem from a dream that was made possible. Because most of my published work has been prose, it's especially gratifying to have some poetry published.
So, if you remember a dream one morning, grab a pencil and paper and start writing or sit down at your computer and do the same. You might be amazed at what you write.