Poetry in literal motion

In college, I took a class on writing poetry—I needed another creative writing course to graduate, and this was the only one I didn’t have credit for already that was offered that semester—and it only served as confirmation about something I already knew. Poetry and I don’t get along. The final for that class was to describe who we were as a poet, and I believe I summed it up best by saying: “I am a reluctant poet.”

It’s not that I believe poetry is a lesser art form, it’s just that it doesn’t click with me. I like things straightforward most of the time. If I read a poem about a dandelion, to me it will be about a dandelion—not the intangibility of life.

I spent an entire semester writing poetry and having far more meaning read into it than I’d intended to put there. My usual response to “What were you feeling when you wrote this poem?” was “That it was due in less than an hour and I still hadn’t started it.”

When I was younger I wrote poetry all the time, but it was the poetry of a teenager—overly emotional angst driven crap. And like a teenager, I was absolutely convinced that it was spectacular. In fact, I would have belligerently argued with anyone who dared to suggest otherwise. I personified poetry in motion. That is to say, I wrote a poem down the leg of one of my pants and walked about. I really felt like my English teacher should have given me extra credit for that… maybe if the poem had been decent he would have.

But it was my poetry, and it was angsty crap.

At least there isn’t a national poetry writing month… because I know somehow I’d get guilted into participating… and then I’d have to write poetry about how much my poetry sucks.

At the age of six, Eliza was certain of two things. The first was that she had stories to tell. The second was that she had no talent for illustrating them herself. Talent or no, she still wrote and illustrated her first book, one that should be located and locked away if only to prevent her parents from embarrassing her terribly by showing it off alongside baby pictures. Now she spends her days writing stories that she isn't embarrassed to show off after a little bit of polishing.

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