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The Poetic Process

Nothing in my life right now is like it was before. I know this moment is a defining one for many of us. We can use the feelings, visions, fear, happiness, the raw emotion of this time and place for writing novels, memoirs, short stories and poems.

I thought I would continue April’s Poetry Theme. The resources for this post are listed below.

I am 95 days into my DH’s retirement. Something that turned out to be very well timed, considering unfolding events. I have been thinking about the turning points in my life. Those events that make me consider memories as those before and those after something huge.

There are smaller things, red flags, ignored hunches, crazy mistakes.

There was that day in the hospital, my daughter in my bed and I with a lit Winston in my hand, gazed deeply into her big bright baby eyes and sang, “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.”

I will never forget the day I committed to leave an abusive relationship and there was literally no turning back because the brakes had failed on my car as I left town on the old frontage road.

The day I watched, stunned as the space shuttle exploded on take off. 

I remember smiling so hard and long on the day my first novel was accepted and I had the cheekies all evening.

Nothing in my life right now is like it was before. I know this moment is a defining one for many of us. We can use the feelings, visions, fear, happiness, the raw emotion of this time and place for writing novels, memoirs, short stories and poems.

The following is lifted from my Poetry Coursework and I hope you will come to chat and share your own list of turning points. Bring your list or leave your list as a comment on the blog site.

Photo by Cristina Taranovici on Unsplash teacups

The Poetic Process

Most poets choose topics containing metaphysical insights or hard-earned truths—usually drawn from the author’s highs, lows, and turning points—as explained in Chapter One of The Art & Craft of Poetry. These truths are conveyed throughout a poem via themes depicted by images and metaphors that build in intensity, foreshadowing an “epiphany,” or universal truth, in the ending. You can vary your truths, using your imagination and envisioning other viewpoints and perspectives.

Poets are tasked not only with understanding language and universal truth, but how that truth feels and what rhythmic words can capture that feeling—harness it in lines and stanzas—and move the audience as the poet once was moved. To identify such moments, recall the epiphanies and peak experiences that calibrate your life. To do so, you might make a list of highs, lows, and turning points you experienced over the years. A high can be a birth or a marriage. A low can be a death or a divorce. A turning point can be how a low like divorce metamorphosed into a high like re-marriage, and so forth.

In other words, make a list of highs, lows, and turning points relating to love, nature, the supernatural, war, politics, and occasions. Have you experienced an enduring truth associated with romance, nature, etc.?

Bugeja, Michael. The Art & Craft of Poetry . Unknown. Kindle Edition.

Fundamentals of Poetry Writing Writer’s Digest University.

Chat begins at 7PM EDT at the Writer’s Chatroom

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