I like to call this the three “P” lesson.  It’s about passion.  Its about power.  And it’s about poetry.  Poetry is the culmination of passion and power coming together.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that in order for the words you put down on paper to become the art of poetry, they must come from a place of passion, and they must be expressed with the power of sensory imagery.

For example, I could say that I am sad.  You would understand that.  But there is no passion there.  There is no power there and so, there is no poetry there.  But if I tell you, my heart weeps a storm of tears, you begin to get a sense of my sadness.  If I tell you, I am happy, you may understand the words, but you have not even begun to grasp the emotion.  I am the joy of flowers kissed by the sun, still wet with last night’s dew might touch you in a way that brings both understanding and connection.

When writing poetry, be sure your poem comes from a place of passion – a place where the words are bursting out of you with purpose and possibility.  When writing poetry be sure to remember that we need to feel what you feel, know what you know, understand the intention of your words so that they reach us deeply, beyond mere understanding.  Poems must make us feel.


I love her – my heart, like a flower opening to the sun, absorbs the warmth of her

I am angry – sparks ignite a flame within me, burning like the fires that consume the very center of the earth

I am lonely – the day will not speak to me, the night erases all traces of love, laughter, and I drift towards the darkness of the abyss…

Passion – Power – Poetry – the three “P” powerhouse of the poem.  If a poem is worth writing, it is because it was worth feeling.  And if you feel the poem, it is your obligation as a poet, to make us feel it to.

Here are some words you can use as prompts to practice the three P’s of poetry:

Honor     Loyalty     Grief     Truth     Joy     Friendship     Despair    Betrayal     

I have a line in one of my poems that says, “If I would write, I must first bleed.”  I believe I “bleed” the words, the feelings, the emotions, the humanity onto the page, using passion and power to create poetry, so that others, who read my poem, will feel what I feel, know what I know and understand it is our feelings that, in the end, connect us.

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