Sunday, October 18, 2015

Writing Poetry ... A Reflection

This past week a friend from my little church with the green doors asked me if I thought I could write a poem in celebration of the church's 175th anniversary. I would love to, but have been suffering the worst case of 'block' when it comes to poetry over the past year. It all started when my father passed away. I can't for the life of me think why losing Dad would dry up my poetic muse, but it has. The amount of work I've produced since his death is pitifully small.

That being said, it might be time to push myself a bit. I'd begun sharing past poems at an Open Mic event that is a monthly thing at our little church. It's what got me in this situation of being asked to write 'on demand', I suspect. I've shared some of the older things that I've written, some good pieces and some pieces that I wrote fast with the idea of editing down the line.

Now, I'm in the situation of being expected to create something new.  I'm scared and I'll freely admit it. Words used to come easily. I would wake up at the strangest hours and have phrases, images, whole poetic scenarios in mind. I'd get up very early in the morning and write for an hour or two with no thought of time. I wish for those days (and nights!) to return. Until they do, maybe having a set event to write for is a way for me to come back to writing poetry. I miss the writing process and the feeling of a bloom of words and ideas uncurling and finding their way onto the computer screen or the notebook page.

Maybe it's time to begin again ... stay tuned.


  1. I find that sometimes having someone ask me to do something I think I can't do gets the thing stuck in my brain until my subconscious finds the answer. Maybe a poem about your church with the green doors (striking image right there, btw) will be the thing to get you writing again. Good luck!

  2. I can really relate, Susan. I'm feeling somewhat poetically challenged myself these days. I have found in the past when I am blocked that photography has helped me – a lot – to get started. I go for a walk and take pictures. (In your case there may also be archival photos at the church, which would be lovely.) I look at the pictures (really just lose myself in the pictures) and certain things begin to show themselves to me and I jot them down as they come: colors, shapes, images and so-on. As I move through this exercise, adjectives and metaphors and feelings and memories evoked, begin to percolate and I jot these down. Eventually I write something down and – like that – the line finishes writing itself. (I’m sure you know the feeling well, from what you’ve written). That is often my first line … the other lines are hidden away in the odd little stream of consciousness blurts I’ve scribbled down and mining those for gems is a whole other task (somewhat akin to piecing together one of your beautiful quilts piece by piece … though “well begun is half done” as the idiom goes – ha!) Anyway good luck with the project. I’m sure you will write a wonderful poem.

  3. Wishing you the very best because, though your gift is not operating just now, it will again. Of that I am sure. Loved the comparison between having words and not. The "not" won't last. Anyone who writes as you do definitely will have more visits from your muse.