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.

Leave a Reply