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,
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,
—” 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)