There is no bad time to write poetry though to be perfectly honest, there are times when writing poetry is not a choice, it is a compulsion. It becomes almost as necessary as breathing. I felt that way after losing my father in a car accident. Poetry was the outlet, the salvation, the road to recovery.
This week’s lesson is more an invitation, a motivation to seduce you into writing about those things that trouble you, haunt you, follow you around like an incessant shadow – always there, always darkening the corners of your world. We all have them; from loss of a loved one, to something we perceive as failure, to the loss of love itself. To be human is to be susceptible to the hazards of living.
Today, I ask you to make a list of things in your life that have brought you down, depressed you, left you feeling lonely or lost. Then choose one and expand it into a poem. I think you will find that in the very process of finding images for sadness, metaphors for loneliness, similes for loss, you will discover the load has lightened, the mood lifted and by entrusting your feelings into the keeping of the poem, you have lessened their hold on you.
For my mother
I promised her poems
pages of poems ripe
as melons in July fattening
in the long summer nights while
she slept behind burglar-safe bars
I lay with my back
to the window apart we broke
that way falling away from each other
she wondered if it would
be worth her while to die
for a poem Momma they have all
been for you
you planted the rows more years ago
than even I remember
hacked at the soil with a dull hoe
never knew each word
each line each bent and brittle
rhyme was a green-gold offering
to you who had no time no time
Susan A. Katz (all rights reserved) From “Dreaming Missouri” due out in 2022, Austin Macauley Publishers.