For All You Poets Out There
I never thought to stifle
an image thought an eye full;
I admire a winker thinker
who may compose a stinker
but still attempts to tinker
with words so wondrous
inciting thoughts so thunderous
inspiring poets under us,
it merits making a fuss.
--Judi Van Gorder
I have the day off from the office today so I can either take care of a multitude of chores at home or I can play a bit. When I was young a day off meant saddling up and going on a trail ride, taking my son to the beach, meeting friends for coffee, doing anything fun outside the realm of "work". Right now I'm writing this blog and this afternoon I'm going with friends to a movie, then out to dinner. I didn't discover writing until my son was grown and living on his own, my last horse had died and my cowboy husband had discovered sailing. So here I am, on a dreary day, my husband is on our boat in Baja enjoying the sunshine, and I have no pressing obligations other than writing this blog.
I actually love writing. I express my thoughts, share my observations, and in general communicate with who ever will read my stuff. One of the aspects of writing that I most enjoy is word play. There are lots of serious poems on this forum, written by talented and skilled poets. I often feel my poems are frivolous in comparison because, although I do have some serious works here, I also have a silly side. I laugh at myself while I write all of the time. Words are so cool.
I can't number the times I've written, "I'm just a student of poetry, no expert." I am experimenting with writing on a daily basis. As most of you know, I have an extensive documentation of Verse Forms in the Reference Section and now that it is pretty much complete, it will never be totally complete, I am attempting to write example poems of the thousands of forms there. I won't lie, some of the invented forms I've found around the internet torture words to comply with a very restrictive frame and the poems that result could never be placed in the "great poetry" category. But I've found writing a poem to conform to a restrictive frame often leads to my discovery of new words, new ways of saying something, new techniques that I had never thought to use. Words and techniques I can use when I do attempt a serious piece. So I recommend you check out Invented Forms. Challenge yourself, play with rhyme or syllable count or both. You might also like to try some "Light Verse", a limerick, Clerihew or Bagarthach might just be something to have fun with.
Children's play prepares them for the future, teaching them skills they may need as adults. Playing with words helps prepare me for the more serious side of writing. Right here at PMO we have a Playground. It isn't used much anymore, but I stay active there and would love some company. At the playground there are two different threads of prompts that might spark a poem. Actually I just won a poetry contest at another site with a poem that was inspired by a prompt found on Tony's "prompt list" on the Playground. I also have a thread of "daily", well more like a few times a week, prompts that I have run across from other sites or read in a book or thought up myself. I try to write a poem and include it but the thread is not exclusively mine. I would love to see poems by others posted in the thread that were sparked by the prompts. Or add your own prompt. I'm game to give it a try. There are other things there too like Haiku Fridays, Quick Sonnet, and the once, very popular, The sentence that makes no sense.
I challenge you today to play with words. Don't take writing so seriously. Wing it, laugh at yourself, be a kid writing your first haiku. Whatever, just write for the joy of it and share it here.
Until next week, happy writing,
~~Tink aka Judi Van Gorder