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Writing Poetry–Playing, Having Fun and Toning my Writing Muscles Effortlessly

writing coach lisa tener jumps up
Lift off–write a poem!

I’ve been writing daily and here’s my secret—I write a poem a day.  Now, it’s a big admission for me to even share this, because even though poetry was my first love, I had learned somehow to marginalize poetry in my adult life—and I think that’s because as a culture we’ve marginalized poetry and poets.

Here is just some of the beauty of writing poems:

–          It stretches your muscles—you can play with language, metaphor, rhythm and all the tools of writing.  All this practice will improve your prose.

–          It’s extremely satisfying—you can write an entire piece in ten minutes or twenty and feel the thrill of catharsis in that final line.

–          It’s freeing and fun—no rules, no question of how you can make it commercial or marketable—your inner child gets to play.

So, just for fun, here is an unedited poem I wrote one morning:

blast off

nothing quite like

the freedom of a poem

no freakin’ rules

write anything

stick three verbs together

to make one

invent new words

CAPITALIZE

alliterate

alienate

regurgitate

be silly

witty

or bore us to death

because it’s

“only a poem”

oh, yes, we think we

castrated poetry

made a eunuch of the muse

Ha!

a poem is a neutron bomb

in words.

 

Please feel free to share your own poem as a comment below–or your thoughts on writing poetry.

This writer cares about typos. If you find one, click here to be part of the EditMob – it’s anonymous.

 

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Ingrid Kincaid says

    I love writing poetry. For me it provides a way to explore how I can say what I truly mean with as few words as possible. Each word is such a magical little being, capable of saying so much. It’s fun to play and explore.

      • Ingrid Kincaid says

        A Tribute To My Father

        Hot like summer
        Like years ago
        In Redding
        Dad and I went swimming
        The shape of his pacemaker
        Visible
        A silver dollar
        A gamble
        Just beneath the puckered skin
        Just below the left collarbone
        I remember his strong carpenter muscles
        Tanned arms
        I beat him in a foot race
        Once when I was ten
        And a half
        I think
        Before the surgery left a railroad track
        Right up the middle
        We stayed close in the pool
        So he could hear me
        Treading water
        We planned a trip he’d like to take this August
        We planted a garden

        Ingrid Kincaid

  2. evelyneholingue says

    It’s funny because I think that most people who write started with poetry. Then, for some strange reason many of us stop writing poems and even reading them. In my personal case I find poetry deeply linked to our mother language and perhaps it is more intimidating than more traditional writing for a non-native speaker.
    So I find your ‘write a poem a day’ interesting for someone like me. I should give it a try when I feel stuck and limited.
    Thank you for sharing.
    P.S. Your poem is pretty cool, too. I like the ending!

  3. Jennifer Barricklow says

    Neutron bomb, indeed! Great image!

    Because, as you say, poetry and poets occupy such a marginal place in our culture, it is very difficult for poets to take themselves seriously as such. I spent four decades completely ignoring repeated hints from my deepest self that this was the thing I most wanted to do in all the world.

    I’m glad you find it freeing, and even happier that you let yourself play in that way! That’s a very good habit to have. 🙂

    Here’s the link to a poem I wrote about my own daily poetry writing discipline: http://dailycompost.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/composted-poetry-daily-grind/

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