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What I love about writing poetry

For National Poetry Month, I thought I’d share some thoughts on my most favorite and least favorite parts of writing a new poem:

My favorite part of writing a new poem:

  • The idea that invades my mind like twining ivy and won’t let go until the entire poem has been put to paper
  • Making messy lines and blot outs and squiggles with my colored pen on paper as I play with ideas and words
  • Typing all that mess into a fresh, new document on my computer—that feeling of chaos becoming somehow ordered
  • Rereading the poem, feeling both its wholeness and its incompleteness in my mind and body
  • Editing the poem, fussing with words and line breaks, challenging myself to see what can be more specific or fresher
  • Reading the poem for my writing critique group to see my creation through new eyes, discovering where the poem can be improved

My least favorite part of writing a new poem?

Making the final edits and being “done” with the poem. To me, finishing a poem feels like when your best friend visits after too much time apart—you talk and laugh and cry as if it hasn’t been months since you last saw each other. For those moments you feel whole and connected and in the flow of life. Then she leaves and you’re happier for her having been there, but a little piece of your heart goes with her, and you long for her return before the door has even finished closing.

Finishing a poem is a little like that. I am happy for its completion while longing for its return—which is really a longing for the return of the feeling it evoked in me. Maybe this is why I love giving poetry readings, so I can visit my poems one more time.

What are the favorite and/or least favorite parts of your writing experience? Please share in the comments.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. My favorite part of writing fiction is the outlining and editing part. I actually don’t enjoy writing the first draft as much, because I feel so frenzied to get it all out! But once it’s out, then it’s fun to go back and see what I created, and tweak it to improve it.

    April 10, 2017

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