Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month.   I am a little late in talking about it, but since I did not start my blog until the middle of the month, I will let it slide. 🙂

Let me begin by saying that I am not a poet.  While a lot of my teenage scribblings looked like poetry, I have never thought of my self as someone who writes poetry.  Poetry always seemed so difficult – something only a few dedicated to the art should actually attempt.

A few years ago, I read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Poetry, and it was illuminating.  Since then, I have added poetry writing books to my collection of fiction and journal writing books.  In these, I often find inspiration or exercises to get the juices flowing.  And while I still would not call myself a poet, here are some things that I have learned.

  • Anyone can write poetry.  It truly is not some high art form with a capital A that only those who have studied poetry can achieve.  It can be accessible to anyone – both to read and to write.
  • Poems do not need to be about grand ideas.  Sure, you can write a poem about love or hate, innocence or envy, but you can also write about the little everyday things.  It’s the little things that connect us to the grand ideas.
  • In poetry, as in all writing, you should be specific.  Don’t write about the flower or the car.  Instead, write about one purple pansy that comes back every year in your garden, the red ’70 Chevy Chevelle where you got the first kiss that really mattered, an old worn Yankees cap your grandpa gave to you, even leftover mashed potatoes if that is what moves you to write.
  • Poems do not need to follow a certain meter or rhyme.  If you want to write haiku or sonnets, then, yes, there are certain rules that must be followed.  Even limericks need guidelines.  And trying to follow a specific form can be fun and challenging.  But if that sounds too stringent, just remember, a poem can be in any form that you choose, or none at all.

I think you should write at least one poem in your life even if it is something that you will never share with the world – even if it is something that is more suited to a bathroom wall than a leather bound anthology. 

Write one, memorize it, print it out and hang it on your fridge.  Own it.  Go ahead, be brave!  Throw caution to the wind.  Feel free to share it here.

Here, I’ll go first. 

Who I AM

I am a still forest filled with music.

I am a tiny speck of dandelion dust.

I am a giant orb around Saturn

I am a glorious blue moon.

I am a cloudless sky full of stars.

I am a wolf howling at the moon.

I am a field of purple flowers.

I am a thousand swirling colors.

I am a dream filled with fairy wings.

I am a nonsense poem full of rhymes.

I am a wild luscious symphony.

I am a child chasing fireflies.

I am a paint-splattered canvas.

I am a river of tumbling words.

I am a candle flickering in the darkness.

I am the crisp dew-filled air of dawn.

I am a raindrop sliding down a silver cloud

I am a falling leaf, twirling orange and gold.

I am wild and raucous and alive.

I am a poem waiting to be discovered.

~Cheryl Fassett, 2007

2 Comments

  1. phoenixrisesagain

    HI Cheryl, thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for this entry. I have been writing poetry since I am 16 and it definitely has saved my life. It gave me food for thought if I am specific in my poetry. That would be something to check and maybe rewrite a few. You can have a look if you want to here (http://phoenixpoetrystories.wordpress.com/)
    And wow I really liked your poem. It touched my heart 🙂 Beth

  2. Thanks Beth! I am still learning my way around WP and figuring out this blogging thing. It is nice to know there are other people “out there.” Sometimes I wonder if the posts I write are just sitting in cyberspace and not actually reaching anyone that will be interested. 🙂 I never tried to write poetry specifically, but sometimes that is what the finished product ends up looking like. If you haven’t read it yet, try Poemcrazy (listed on my book page). Tons of ideas and inspiration!

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