Reckless Writing!

You never know in what dilapidated eyesore corner of your mind you’re going to find a store of sweet ideas for your poems.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a brief hiatus from Hearth Bard these past few weeks. A technical writing contract and a convergence of familial special occasions drew me away  for a while. What Hearth Bard musings have been floating through my mind while I’ve been eyeball-deep in the real world?

Write with Wild Abandon

My last post explored the benefits of placing restrictions on one’s writing in order to develop it more fully. Now reckless writing deserves its moment in the sun. There is a time for writing without assessing. When you are generating ideas, you should check all logic at the door. Allow yourself to pour those random mental meanderings out onto the page without restraint because you never know which ideas will prove useful later, even if they only function as stepping stones to more useful ideas.

Grow Your Intellectual Capital

Until I started studying the craft of writing in earnest, I never realized how valuable all those ideas flitting through my brain could be. Those scraps are my intellectual property! If I capture them and build a collection, some will gain value and force as they mature. Thoughts need not be edited or “final” to be of value. Some thoughts simply provide snapshots of the writer at unique moments in time. Others add to the great dialogue of human experience.

Don’t sell your ideas short. Collect them on ragged envelopes, crumpled notepads, sleek (or toddler-gooed and fingerprinted) iPads or Kindles, stained napkins, and trusty laptops, and you will build a treasure trove that you can dip into any time in the future when you have the urge to produce something powerful.

Today’s lesson? Those gnarly ideas that well up from within might shine when polished, might stun when made over! You can always edit later. Get it down before you forget it!

Exercise: Reckless Writing

  • If you could write about about anything at all, without reservation, what would it be? Make a list of the poems you are afraid to write (you can list them as topics, titles, themes, etc.)
  • What are you really into right now? What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Write about it for five, ten, or twenty minutes. Do not edit yourself as your write. If it moves you, it most likely moves others, as well. You can always make it more crisp, unexpected, and coherent later. Now is the time to see what you’ve been wanting to say by letting yourself write unencumbered.
  • Is there some zany topic you’ve been keeping in the wings for a while? Get it on paper. See how it plays out when it’s actually written out in front of you. Maybe it’ll come to nothing, but what do you have to lose but a half hour of your time?
  • Make a list of things that are dearest to your heart. Make a list of things you think would be hardest to write about. Make a list of things you think would be easy to write about. Now pick one item from each of these lists and try to write a poem about it. Do not edit yourself as you write. This is the creation stage! Let your creativity do its thing!
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Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…and Disciplining Your Poems

Laws flutter out
from groaning joints,
can be netted,
pinned, and framed in
angles, spaces.
Adhere to them
to channel them!
Steel a path. Fill
an unlikely
expanse. Draw out
a breathless span—
functional awe.
Forge a flight path.
Freed by shackles!

More on the thematic thread of laws and constraints in a moment…first:

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Approaching!

It’s time to start brainstorming ways to celebrate the beloved parental-types in your life this year. Might I suggest a few little poems? What a meaningful and personal gift poetry can be! You can spend as little or as much as you like on the presentation. You can craft one piece or a small collection. You can have a book made. If you choose to arrange the poems with photographs in your booklet, check out sites like Shutterfly and Kodak Gallery for features and pricing.

Poetry Prompts: Commemorate a Parent in Your Life

Need help getting started? Consider each of these prompts to be a launching pad for your imagination:

  • What does your subject do to lift up and empower those under his care?
  • Often parents go sorely unappreciated. What truth can you highlight about this parent – and the way others perceive her – that will make her feel valued?
  • Get inspired by a line from a song that is special to you and the subject of your poem.
  • Write about a time you realized his heroism.
  • What is her secret super-power?
  • Write about your most treasured down-time together.
  • Create a verbal dimension to a treasured photograph – express what is going on behind the scenes, what happened just before or after the picture was taken, or why you love this picture.
  • Meditate on the ways you have seen this person grow and flourish over time. What gifts has parenthood bestowed on him?
  • If you are writing for someone who is helping you parent, show the many ways he supports and aids you.
  • Make her laugh about parenthood’s adventures and misadventures!
  • If you are writing for someone who raised you, express gratitude for a time she disciplined you as a child and reveal the strengths and wisdom you gained from that discipline in the long run.

Speaking of Discipline…A Challenge to Welcome Formal Restraints

It is one of life’s great paradoxes that restraint often begets freedom. Consider the key role discipline plays in mastery of a skill – athletes will themselves to move their bodies according to the rules of their sports, musicians force themselves to repeat scales over and over until their muscles learn to speak the language of their instruments, and scientists (should) follow strict guidelines to ensure that they reach accurate conclusions through empirical research.

People accept these restraints because a skill or knowledge, once acquired, offers a kind of liberty. It gives its possessor freedom from difficulties that hold others back. Elite marathoners are free to run faster than others. Those who learn multiple languages communicate more widely than others. Musicians are free to express themselves in songs that connect with their listeners in ways that others can’t. We are held back by many factors, but most of all from lack of training and practice. When we have not applied discipline to a pursuit, we are bound by clumsy ignorance and inability.

Other kinds of restraints have other rewards. What we choose to put into (or not put into) our bodies affects our overall physical health and emotional wellness. Willingness to say no to individual desires—when appropriate—contributes to the success of our relationships. (Although excessive deference can lead to unhealthy relationships, too.)

Set Boundaries in a Positive Way

Anything can be taken too far, and discipline is no exception. As with most goals, the goal of restraint has to be paired with vision, compassion, pragmatism, and enthusiasm. When you restrain yourself for some worthy purpose, don’t focus on what can’t be done: “I can’t eat this. I can’t go out tonight.” Don’t let guilt paralyze you, either: “I should have worked out an hour today. I should have volunteered more hours at the old folks’ home this month.” When you apply some restraint to your life, you should be excited about and actively engaged in your endeavor, focused on what you are learning and achieving. You should be in tune with your progress. Otherwise, you’ll burn out and think yourself incapable. You’ll remain shackled by what you think you cannot do, by the static way things appear to be.

How Restraint Manifests in Poetry

What does any of this have to do with writing poetry? I found that writing poems according to formal guidelines taught me more about the art than any other single practice. When I talk about formal constraints, I refer to poetic “rules.”

Free-verse purists, before you hiss and cower like vampires shrinking from sunlight, consider this. You don’t have to choose a poetic form as strict as a sonnet, at least not right out of the gate. Start with a simple limitation, and you might find yourself opening up to increasingly more complex requirements over time. See the exercise below for ideas.

How Formal Constraints Can Free Your Words

As you restrain your poems in various ways, you will become more concise. The words you choose will become more effective. You will weigh each choice more carefully. You will consider the many ways of saying something, of making concrete an idea, of framing an image. You will also become more aware of the cadence of the language you use and the ways it can affect a poem. And you will become ever more capable of crafting masterful free verse poems because you will know which “rules” you are breaking – and why.

Exercise: Practicing Poetic Restraint

Try these formal restraints on for size:

  • Write a poem with six syllables in each line.
  • Write a poem with four words per line
  • Write a poem that makes an argument and shows an action in only three lines
  • Write a poem in iambic meter
    • The rhythm should sound like this: ba BUMP ba BUMP ba BUMP ba BUMP ba BUMP – and so forth
    • Look at this example from  John Keats‘ “To Autumn”
      • “To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells”
  • Write a triolet
  • Write a limerick
  • Write a sonnet
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Write of Renewal

Spring! And even the bristling desert sweats grace.

What’s New for You?

Have you been tending the plucky new buds and shoots in the garden? How about braking for baby ducks bobbling across the street? Questing in search of a cure for a fresh outbreak of the travel bug? Inviting spring’s perfume in through the open windows to chase out last year’s stagnant air?

Good! Channel that energy to create some word art! The seasons can inform our writing, and inherent to this time of year is the concept of renewal. Use this motif to celebrate all that is new, awakening, returning, and fresh in your life. Write about that which breathes life into the stagnant spaces!

Write Short

This is the perfect time of year to write a collection of snappy little poems instead of laboring over something longer and more weighty. Let your short pieces decorate your journal or home like spring blooms.

Consider writing haiku or small stones. I see you curling your lip at the word haiku! You may have residual gut repulsion to those cheesy 5-7-5 syllable doodads your middle school English teacher forced you to pen. Don’t let your childhood prejudices against haiku ruin the fun! Check out the guidelines and sample poems at The Heron’s Nest, as well as those at Modern Haiku. This form’s essence lies in presenting two separate images, without commenting, in a way that intuitively highlights some extraordinary aspect of ordinary experience. It’s great fun to keep cutting away at your words until you have the most concise, crisp, clean-cut images possible. When you’ve hit on the right combination, those three short lines can ring with unexpected resonance. Give it a try!

Poetry Prompt: That First Step

Whether you choose a short or longer form, you can incorporate renewal into your poetry by merely suggesting it with images and word choice. You might choose to write about the first step in a new direction. Use a small act, item, or scene to signify an abstract “rebirth,” like that resulting from forgiveness, a brightened attitude, a rewarding choice, a courageous leap, or the achievement of some desired discipline. Your inspiration can come from a fresh start you made in the past, one you are currently making, or one you’d like to (or need to) make. The change can be personal or familial, secular or spiritual, small or great. Choose details, words, and rhythms that communicate your feelings associated with this renewal.

Whatever you do, let joy have its way with your words as you write!

Seasonal Crafts and Activities

If you have any egg hunts to plan this year or decorating you’d like to do around the house, consider the following fun ways for incorporating your poems–and those written by others:

Poetry Egg Hunt

  • Create some age-appropriate poems to include with other goodies in the eggs for children to hunt.
  • Include a single line of a traditional poem in each egg. At the end of the hunt, have the group work together to piece together the lines in order to recreate the entire poem. Have a short reading that includes the final guess version against the original version.
  • Have children write short poems earlier in the week and place them in one another’s baskets. Hold an informal reading while the young ones enjoy their treats.

Word Art Decoupage

  • Write some short poems or lines of poetry and use them to create decoupage eggs. If you need inspiration for designs, check out some of the beautiful products artists are selling on Etsy.com.
  • You can, of course, apply the decoupage concept in various ways. If you celebrate a religious holiday this season, you could decoupage spiritual poetry onto a religious symbol.

Poem Nest

  • Cut lines of poetry into strips of paper. Use the paper to create a nest in a basket. You can lay eggs, spring animal figurines, etc. on the poetry nest. Use this as a centerpiece or gift basket. Alternately, you can create smaller nests with little eggs to use as place settings at a meal.
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Write in Admiration

Her footholds the pockmarks of old rotted wood, she strides, trailing green sequin sparks in her wake.

“One does not simply describe a barn, then. One describes a barn as seen by someone in some particular mood, because only in that way can the barn–or the writer’s experience of barns combined with whatever lies deepest in his feelings–be tricked into mumbling its secrets.”

-John Gardner in The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

Enough piddling around with exercises for now. Write a little something this week to begin your collection in earnest. Why not start by paying tribute to a loved one?

Poem Prompt: In Admiration

Pick someone important to you. Consider traits you admire in this person and choose one to provide the foundation for your poem.

Now think hard: how do you know the person actually has this admirable quality? No narrator in the sky speaks to you about it in a resonant voice-over. You ascertain people’s characters by their actions and words, demonstrated in patterns over time.

Pinpoint one gesture, habit, choice, saying, or other concrete example that reveals the strength you want to highlight in your loved one.

Describe the example in vivid detail. He wipes the crumbs off the counter methodically. She punctuates the apartment with those bright, blaring flea market treasures. He plunks the keys for hours, lips pursed, shoulders hunched, neck stretched like a turtle’s, until he works out that earwig melody that’s got under his skin. Her laugh plops out with a loud wheeze and a witty zinger at just the right moment to melt all the stress in the room.

When you write, take great pains not to directly mention what it is you admire – just show it. Note the details that bring the moment alive and, if appropriate, show the effects of the action, but don’t analyze within the poem itself the quality you’re studying. In the example above about the woman with the infectious laugh, I have stated that she has the ability to lighten up tense situations. In the actual poem, I wouldn’t say this; I’d show it through telling details instead. Her laugh plops out with a loud wheeze and a witty zinger. A beat, then the ladies abandon their pursed-lip glances for chortling and whooping.

Variation

You may wish to correlate your poem with a photograph or video as a way of communicating the significance behind the  moment already captured visually.

As You Write…

Work to convey your message intuitively. Choose details instinctively.

Select the following with care so that every element of the poem works together to point to the quality you want to highlight:

  • Form: A specific number of syllables per line or not? Stanzas? Formal or free verse?
  • Diction: Lilting, chipper words? Crisp and neat? Soothing? Mellow? Energetic?
  • Sound: Long or short vowels? Hard or soft consonants?
  • Rhythm: Verse or free verse? Feel like a waltz, a punk concert, or a Sunday amble through the neighborhood?
  • Pauses: Break for effect at a significant moment using punctuation, sentence structure, or a line break?
  • Details: Unexpected, authentic, and useful to the poem’s cause?
  • Compression: Spartan and terse language or more expansive style, with plenty of adjectives and articles?

Have fun, and feel free to ask for clarification in the comments section.  As always, you’re invited to share what you write!

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Dance to Your Life’s Pulse

“There is no more subtly powerful compeller than rhythm.”

 – Baron Wormser and David Cappella in Teaching the Art of Poetry

Grapefruit blossoms after rain. Stillness after storm. A shadow of the rain's rhythm.

Yes, poetry involves recording details and implying our reactions to them. But that is true of most writing. Poetry grips us differently because it rides so heavily on rhythm. It emits a pulse. The words fall in such a way as to evoke our innate physical response to rhythms.

In Teaching the Art of Poetry, Baron Wormser and David Cappella note the deeply rhythmic nature of our world. The pulse of our mother’s heartbeat surrounds us in the womb. We carry our own heartbeats with us throughout life. They signify vitality in the most literal sense. Day and night, ocean waves, musical beats, train chugs, nursery rhymes, footsteps, dance moves…rhythm animates the stuff of our existence.

How Poems Get in our Guts

Good poems tap into this rhythmic power. We can feel the words move. Poets arrange them in a way that makes the most of the stressed syllables (the ones we emphasize in a word) and the unstressed ones.

Examples of stressed and unstressed syllables:

ba·LOON             AF·ter           con·tin·EN·tal

 (The stressed ones are capitalized. Words with more than two syllables have syllables with smaller stresses, but I’ve only capitalized the main accented syllable here.)

Not All Rhythms are Regular

Poems don’t all follow a regular pattern of accented and unaccented syllables. When they do, we call them metric poems – or verse. The rhythm is the poem’s meter. Robert Frost once said that writing free verse, or unmetered poetry, is like playing tennis with the net down. It’s true that every poet can benefit from writing verse. We’ll play around with verse some time soon, so stay tuned.

So what about free verse – poetry without meter? It does have a rhythm, just an irregular one. Free verse moves like a leaf caught up in gusts of wind. It amplifies the natural rhythms of everyday speech. Creating gripping free verse rhythms takes extra care.

Exercise: Make Your Words Dance Like Fire

This week, listen for the rhythms around you. Choose a moment that you’d like to capture and write a few free verse lines that express the moment’s unique pulse.

If you want to convey a high-energy, fast paced, epic sports struggle, for instance – say your daughter versus the opposing team’s scary bruiser 5th-grader on the soccer field – use words that are short, stressed, with strong vowels and consonants. Rake, flight, zip, soar, crush, pain.

If you want your words to capture a sleepy afternoon on the couch, use softer consonants and longer, drawn-out words. Snore, warm, huddled, wish, breathe.

The words you choose are only part of the equation. (We refer to word choice as diction.) Try to arrange them so that the stresses mimic the innate rhythm of the subject matter or mood you desire. Is it parUMP parUMP or bub UP buh bub UP buh? Or BAM BAM BAM BAM BAMBITTY BAM? Keep in mind that free verse mixes things up from line to line — and even within lines.

You can even play around with combining rhythms. Create a few lines of mellow rhythm that feel like falling asleep on a rainy afternoon, then intersperse the drips, drops, plings, and caws from outside that jolt you from your slumber and hint at the energizing effect of the rain on the natural environment contrasted with the drowsy stillness inside.

Play around with free verse rhythms this week. Perhaps pick a photo and try to give sound to the rhythms the image implies. Feel the pulse of your life and dance to it with words on the page!

As always, you are invited to share in the comments section!

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Get New Eyes

Beware the Mooning Poet!

People often view the act of writing poetry as somewhat self-centered. Don’t poets moon all too much? Aren’t they either morose or sappy? Don’t they get wrapped up in how deep and moving their words sound? Frankly, this kind of indulgence makes people uncomfortable.

Young and novice writers do often use writing to sound out their thoughts and emotions. It’s simply easier to write what we know. I have been guilty of this on many occasions. To express the unfamiliar with honesty and insight…that is a much more complex task.

Although producing only therapy-style writing is not our ultimate goal, we can’t be afraid to write trite and self-indulgent stuff sometimes. That’s how we learn – by making mistakes and constantly working to improve. Maybe we just need to choose our venues for sharing this kind of work carefully.

Think of honest but supportive close friends and loved ones, as well as certain comfortable workshop settings, as great places to gauge the me-me-me-factor of your early work. Ask specifically if you think a certain piece might be borderline — or full on — mushy or ranting.

Get Out of Your Head

Ironically, great writing – like true love – really draws us outside of ourselves. Master writers are adept at seeing from perspectives other than their own. In fact, writing should connect us with others in several ways:

  • We learn to take on the point of view of a rock, a bug, a monarch, and everything in between.
  • We consider the needs and yearnings of our audience/readers.
  • We get feedback on our words and ideas, which we can use to improve.
  • We can witness our own growth through the development of our writing over time and the ways it impacts others.
  • We see ourselves as part of the human community, our job to voice the universal.

The Poet’s Aim: Fresh Eyes

A poem moves us when it topples and re-forms our perspectives. Great poets make that which is common alien to us. And that which we have never seen before they make as familiar as the living room couch.

To gift us with the eyes of a newborn – always with a flutter of human recognition – that is the poet’s job. When we read a well written poem, we think, “Yes! Yes! How true! I feel like I’ve always known that! But I never ever would have thought to put it that way!” It seems effortless, even simple, but this kind of perspective comes with practice.

To see a breathtaking example of a poem that dons another’s viewpoint, along with an article detailing a great “selfless poetry” exercise, check out “Monet Refuses the Operation” by Lisel Meuller and the accompanying article, “To Arrive at the Vision of Gas Lamps as Angels,” by Daniel Godston in Teachers and Writers.

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Hunt for Treasure in Your Moments

Conjure one of your most crisp memories. I suggest a positive one — I’m not looking to send anyone into emotional turmoil here. Pick a moment that seared itself into your mind so vividly that you can travel back to it anytime and still feel absolutely present in it.

The moment you choose does not have to be dramatic or particularly emotional. It does not have to be high-action or suspenseful. I can be any of these, but most importantly it must be clear and detailed, must live in your gut.

I bet the moment stays with you first and foremost because of the sensory inputs associated with it. This is why travel impacts us so much – it exposes us to brand new sensations. When we travel the unfamiliar reigns. We lose our complacency and regain a bit of our childhood awe at life’s possibilities.

Something valuable lies hidden in your vivid moments. The moments stuck because they bore revelations. They helped direct your growth.

Unearth a Revelation from your Moment

What did you come to understand in the moment? What became clear to you? Why has this stayed with you? Even a small awareness of the world sparked in your heart merits identifying and treasuring.

Make three columns. On the left, list several of your vivid moments-in-time. In the middle, describe as many specific concrete details as you can remember about the moment. In the right-hand column, try to put into words the revelations hidden in each moment. Did you figure out something about yourself? Others? Time? Relationships? Fragility? Sacrifice? Discipline? Colors? Food? Play? Letting go?

Feel free to share one of your moments – and its associated revelation – in the comments section! (Stick to comments that would be acceptable in a professional environment. I won’t authorize anything uncouth.)

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By a Hair

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page from the start. What makes a piece of writing a poem? When I pose this question to a class or workshop, a similar set of answers usually surfaces.

“Poems rhyme!”

“They use fluffy words.”

“The words follow a regular rhythm, like song lyrics…only without the music.”

How bleak that last one is! Those poor lyrics, sitting dead on a page, kept from their music. Many a school kid has faced a poem’s lines on a textbook page and seen nothing but the lifeless skeletons of speech. Don’t let yourself approach poems this way. Remember the inherent music of the human voice. Poetry is a performance art, with all the movement, breath, resonance, and connection performances carry. We’ll talk more about performability in a future post.

Let’s return to the common “What makes a poem?” answers. Actually, none of the above-mentioned elements makes a group of words into a poem. Poems can rhyme…or not. They are sometimes metrical…but often run free of regular rhythm. Some contain lofty vocabulary…but many speak in plain words.

So what makes a poem a poem? One small detail, actually:

Arrangement of words

Believe it or not, this is the hairbreadth that separates poetry and prose. (Prose, by the way, is regular ole paragraph-style writing, in which each line runs from the left to right margin.)

Poets differ from prose writers in that they choose how their words will be placed on the page. They consider line length and position. A poem’s design adds to its impact. So, poems actually include elements of the visual and performance arts.

Of course, adding a few spaces and cutting lines of text short does not a good poem make. Next week we’ll look at some key considerations in crafting quality poetry.

Tip: When you envision and edit a piece, consider how its visual appearance might best collaborate with its other elements to deliver the desired impact. Place your words accordingly!

 

Weekly Exercise 2: Gathering Tinder

I will include examples as a guide, but please do not feel that yours should look anything like mine. The beauty in writing lies in each of us giving voice to our unique perspectives, in our own unique styles. We can find inspiration in others’ writing, but we must give our own writing voices a chance to develop.

  • Go through your list of last week’s sensory details or jot down some new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, or tactile sensations from your surrounding environment.
  • Answer the following in your journal:
    • What do you notice about them?
    • About yourself for noticing them?
    • What kinds of details draw your attention?
    • How would you describe your feelings and thoughts in response to them?
    • What do they make you think of?
  • Take one (or more) of your favorites.
    • Mine this week is the sound of my son’s voice as he learns to read on his own.
  • Expand on this detail in your journal by describing it in as many ways as you can. Use adjectives, adverbs, metaphors, and similes.
    • The dips and swells of his voice as he relishes giving voice to each letter. The roller-coaster inflections. The “errrrr” like a soft motor purring.
  • Note contrasts.
    • The sweetness of his little voice, contrasted with the power it has to fill the house.
  • Note ironies.
    • The mistakes he makes show smarts – he is taking ideas and applying them to new letter combinations, just not always the correct way.
  • Uncover a secret or revelation hidden in these details.
    • The grandeur of his little reading voice tells me how big and real the words are as they come to life in his imagination. That truck going “vrooooomm!” must be really close, loud, and terribly monstrous! The sounds hint at the wide world opening up to him as he learns to read.
  • Variations
    • free write your phrases
    • use bullet points to list them
    • make a collage out of them
    • If you are a visual type, include pictures or sketches.
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Nourish the Rich Inner Life of a Poet

We live in a culture that is both word wealthy and impoverished. We enjoy greater access to information, ideas, and each other than ever before. On the other hand, we spend a great deal of time rushing around and fretting about opportunities. The good things in life haven’t changed: looking into the eyes of loved ones, sharing a few belly laughs, helping others meet life’s challenges, and making a few improvements as we pass through. Once we’ve engaged in these worthy endeavors and tried to make a living, we feel pretty much spent. So why allot any of of our precious resources to writing poetry? Isn’t it terribly unprofitable? Shouldn’t we order our priorities for success? Isn’t poetry a bit of a waste for the average person?

I think not. I believe that quietude and reflection offer unparalleled benefits. Our culture does not lend itself to either of these. Poetry inherently provides space for silent discernment. Silent discernment illuminates our perspectives. In this way poetry counters the frantic social static that pervades today. Those who write poems value their unproductive time because it gives them a chance to watch life unfold and to articulate truths about our human condition.

Writers rarely experience boredom! I can’t claim that you won’t feel restless, though. On the up-side, that gnawing urge to live life more fully can motivate you to create if you pair it with discipline and reflection. How will you make use of your restless spirit? Will you use it as fuel for your creativity?

I encourage you to clear out a small space within to let your ideas flourish. You will walk around with an inner fire that will allow you to see richness where before you saw nothing.

Weekly exercise 1: Gathering Tinder

Poetry above all involves attentiveness to sensory details and the abstract truths they reveal. Before attempting to craft poems, let’s develop a habit of capturing details that speak to us. Spend this week scribbling or typing into a journal a list of compelling sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and physical feelings. Keep it simple — you are just collecting the stuff that you will later use to fuel your poetic fire!

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Hearth Bard is still in blog utero.

Poems want to happen, but the technology needs tending. Hearth Bard will be up and running when it’s good and ready.

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