Today’s Monday Meanderings is a special invitation to those who primarily write prose (not to exclude the rest of us.)
You may have heard that April is National Poetry Month. Perhaps you even read and or write poetry. I love to consider the impact of poetry on prose writers, and vice versa. Every now and again you will read a positive review that describes a writer’s prose as “poetic.” When someone pays me that complement, I relish it.
For me, it’s important for those of us who write prose to pay a attention to this often undervalued art. Many prose writers, especially those who write literary fiction, dabble in poetry–either as readers or poets. Or both. They find that doing so enriches their own work. Here are a few things to consider:
Engages the senses
Pays attention to detail
Uses symbolic language
Expresses thoughts succinctly
Respects the rhythm and sound of words
Makes use of metaphor and simile
Uses description to express feelings
Breaks the rules!
In celebration of this month of poetry, I invite you to treat yourself to a book of poetry and brew a cup of tea or coffee. Now, hunker down in your favorite chair and read. My preference is for poets who are not so obscure that you need a lit professor to help interpret their work. Here are a few of my favorites, most of them contemporary: Ted Kooser, Kim Addonizio, Jane Hirschfiled, Jane Kenyon, Ellen Bass, William Carlos Williams, and oh so many others. You might want to subscribe to some poetry blogs or websites that offer a daily poetry fix.
Happy writing. Enjoy the process…and try writing a poem of your own.
For National Poetry Month, Day 7, I’ve written a Haiku:
a communion of sorts
ripe strawberry love
slice open, reveal two hearts
taste and know sweetness