LESSON 48 – Bring the Memory to Life

Poetry to be well written, must be deeply felt.  It is easy to pen the words “The sun shines bright / the sky azure blue / through the darkest night/ love has brought us through.”  It is harder to engage us in the poem, making us not only the invited guest but also a connected part of the experience.


When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me
To long-ago rooms,
Where memories lie.
Offering me, as to a child, an attic,
Gatherings of days too few.
Baubles of stolen kisses.
Trinkets of borrowed loves.
Trunks of secret words,
I cry.
—” When You Come,” Maya Angelou (1928–2014)

I too, cry when I read Maya Angelou’s poem.  It is real and filled with emotion and sadness and love and memories.  I can relate to that.  And that’s when poetry, true poetry happens, when the reader becomes part of the poem.

As an exercise, try writing down memories, don’t worry about them being in the form of poetry.  A beautiful day spent with someone you love – a love lost – a secret shared – a place that lives forever in your mind’s eye – a word spoken – words unspoken…

For example:  We stood on the cliffs, overlooking a wild and angry sea.  I could hear the seagulls squawking as they drifted on currents of air.  I could see the dark clouds above us with only a faint glow of sunlight peeking through.  The wind was harsh and cold.  The day seemed carved in stone but, your hand holding mind, was warm and protective.

That was a memory I brought back from a trip to Ireland as my husband and I stood above the Cliffs of Moher, in Ireland.  Now, I need to take that memory and recreate it, for you the reader, in the form of poetry.

We stood together    small and frail

Upon the cliffs that spilled

Into an angry sea    the howling

Wind   the gray-stained clouds

The screech of gull   

Your hand in mine    eternal bond

Of we.”        – Susan A. Katz (All rights reserved)   

Start writing…

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