Not long ago, I had the privilege of hearing Sharon Creech speak. I planted myself in the front row and willed myself to be the sponge, to trap in my mind (and notebook) every bit of advice she could offer. She is a wonderful writer, and an even better person. Don't be in a rush to publish. Write from your heart.
Yup. She gets a seat at the mythical table of people I'd like to have dinner with someday.
Of the many things Sharon Creech said that day that stayed with me (and there were many!) was that she starts each day with a poem.
Start each day with a poem.
I had forgotten how important it was to both read and write poetry on a daily basis. Fortunately, teaching keeps poetry close at hand, but there's a difference in sharing poetry with a class and choosing to read it on your own.
For awhile, fueled on Creech's words, I was writing a poem a day as part of my daily practice. And you know what? The more I wrote, the better it sounded. Those poems opened the doors to stories about my grandmother. I was able to capture in a few phrases the beauty of her life that had been eluding me in longer paragraphs.
Recently, I have fallen off the poetry wagon, but with the New Year nearly upon us I am making a poetry pledge.
Let's pledge to make Monday poetry day in our notebooks. (Following Sharon Creech's example.)
Start the day reading a favorite poem. (We've read thirteen in class so far this year!)
Then, use your writing time that day to draft a poem for yourself. At the end of a month you will have four poems and, like Sandburg's Under a Telephone Pole poem, the words and phrases of poems will be "humming and thrumming" through you.
To help you out I will present a new poem here each week. It will not be one we have read in class. If you have suggestions, poems you love, that you would like to see posted, please let me know.
Until next time, happy writing.