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To Conclude National Poetry Month: Why Poetry Matters

on Fri, 04/28/2017 - 21:13

 

Poetry is an art - and like any art, it requires lots of time, practice, and patience.

 

Last year, I took my first poetry writing course. Weekly assignments consisted of writing poems based off a specific theme we were given. We read our poems aloud to the class and workshopped with one another. By the end of the course, I had written about thirteen different poems. Out of all of these, there was only one I felt completely confident about. Just one.

 

That’s the thing about writing poetry - you are bound to come up with a lot of pieces that are absolute crap. While the class didn’t exactly transform me into the next Sylvia Plath, it was a valuable experience that led me to further examine the way I write. It also made me learn how to receive constructive criticism and use it to enhance my writing.

 

As writers, we often get frustrated over expectations for ourselves and our writing. We even get intimidated by poetry and what the word actually means.

 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines poetry as “Composition in verse or some comparable patterned arrangement of language in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; the art of such a composition.

 

However, poetry is a term that means something different to everyone. To me, poetry is a form of writing that allows me to express my innermost thoughts, reflect on experiences that have impacted me, and make sense of the world around me.

 

Believe it or not, there are over 50 different forms of poetry - and not every poem has to follow a strict rhyme scheme. In fact, I  find myself writing a lot of free verse and prose because it a lot less limiting on what I can write. Everyone has different strategies that work best for them. But you won’t know unless you try. I encourage you to take the opportunity to explore poetry and all its benefits.

 

To get inspired, it is often helpful to browse through some poetry writing prompts. Poets & Writers offers an extensive list of prompts to get you started.

 

 

Engage with other poets in the community.

Be sure to check our Literary Calendar for a full listing of poetry workshops, readings, and poetry-related events you can attend in the NH area.