Dipping your toes in the everyday moments
When I was in high school and college, many of my angst filled journal entries looked like poems. That is not to say that I ever set out to write poetry. That is just how the words laid themselves out on the page.
As I have become more and more interested in writing fiction, my interest in poetry as a learning tool has grown. I love the complicated simplicity of haiku, the every day beauty that so many great poets can hold up to the light and scrutinize. I think poetry – both reading it and writing it – makes us notice things that we otherwise would never see. A single blade of grace, a raindrop, a cat’s whisker.
My favorite poems don’t take a broad brush and paint a picture with wild strokes to create an emotion or a huge unapproachable concept, like love, hate, life. No, the poems that touch me most are the ones that use simple, everyday objects and occurences to illuminate the bigger pictures. The tiniest detail revealing the largest truth.
I discovered this talk given by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.
His humor and use of tangible things makes his poetry accessible to everyone. And isn’t that something we should all try to achieve in our writing – accessibility? I don’t want to write something that leaves others scratching their heads in complete confusion. I want the reader to nod and think, yes, this is exactly what I feel or yes, I know precisely what she is talking about. Only when we connect with our readers can our writing be truly great.