People come to poetry from a lot of different angles. It’s like driving in the urban Northeast. One of my sisters wrote poems in her journal. One of my friends wrote shorter and shorter prose until she had poems. I wrote a poem about the rain for my father’s birthday when I was ten. It seemed the right thing to do, the best thing I had to give him.
You can begin anywhere. Have you seen erasures? Take a book (or a copied portion of a book) and black out everything but a few words. Bam. A poem you can write with your kids.
Parody. My husband does this in the shower every day. Take a song you can’t get out of your head and start substituting random words in. One of the favorites in our house is “Kitty the Revelator“. Keep working with it and you might get a poem.
Haiku. There’s a lot of shitty haiku out there, but I stand by the idea that the haiku boils down the poetic impulse to its very bones. Two images, one turn. Bam, it’s a poem. Are haiku too short to say what you want to say? Try a haiku journal.
Read, read, read.
I love that your wrote your father a poem for his birthday.
It rhymed and everything.
The haiku journal! Why didn’t I think of that?
Think of it now!
I am, and I’m going to start one. I even have a little notebook that would be perfect for it. Brand new, a hummingbird on the cover, all those pristine pages waiting to be filled. . . .
I’m in full sentence writing mode today. Head down. Off the internet, Teri, OFF OFF OFF!
Have a great long weekend everybody.
“It seemed the right thing to do, the best thing I had to give him.”
And may I add, what an amazing feeling to instill that knowledge in your kid, that their creativity was a gift. What a dad he must have been.