National Poetry Month

poetry month.pngWhen I was in grad school, some of the poets challenged themselves to write one poem every day for the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. They called this WriPoEvDa: a nod to the more popular NaNoWriMo.

I struggle with poetry. I’ve asked poets for reading recommendations, I’ve taken poetry workshops, I’ve tried to get it–but I guess I don’t.

Now, if you’re a poet reading this, you might be about to laugh at me or grit your teeth or start drafting a stinging comment, but I mean no offense when I tell you my theory of poetry:

No one “gets” poetry because there’s nothing to “get.”

Hear me out, poets:

Poetry is probably the most subjective thing I’ve encountered in my life. It seems its main goal, or what most poets agree is its main goal, is to resonate with its readers, to crystallize some thought or feeling.

You need only log on to Facebook to know how unreliable and ever-changing thoughts and feelings are, and more importantly, to see how much they vary from person to person.

There is no one thing in this world that everyone loves or hates. NOTHING. We can’t all agree on anything and we never will.

Of course, the group of people who actually read and enjoy poetry is going to have some things in common. Love of language, perhaps a certain sensitivity. Still–whether we show it or not, there is so much inside each person that will never match exactly with anyone else.

All this is to say that, though I might not understand poetry in an academic sense, that doesn’t mean I can’t write it and possibly write it well (I even have one published poem to my credit).

So this month, I’m going to write some poetry. I might even (gulp!) share it with you. In fact, I’m going to force myself to share, and if you feel like ripping it to shreds I can take it. Because here’s the thing about writing: it’s not designed to happen in a vacuum. It’s communication. It’s sharing. Sometimes it’s oversharing.

If nothing else, you might get a good laugh out of it, and I’ll get to stretch my writerly muscles.

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7 comments

  1. No wonder poetry confuses me! Though I read poetry (I think of it more as something to read than something with a hidden message), I stopped writing years ago because it just made no sense to me. Can’t wait to enjoy your poetry this month!

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