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Give Poetry a Chance!

Give poetry a chance, I found myself thinking today as I was searching for a way to express my feelings about this new connection that is developing with a man I met online.  What I want to say is too concise for a short story, my preferred genre, so I guess I'll give poetry a chance.

I say give it a chance, when really, I've written poetry all my life; I just usually end up writing in poetic form when I'm either really frustrated or depressed about something.  For that reason, I began associating poetry with depression, and as I grow up, I find myself writing less and less in that genre.  Plus, I can't forget the terrible English classes I spent trying to decode poetry, feeling as if I was trying to put together a puzzle with 20 missing pieces and the wrong picture on the box.  Needless to say, for quite a bit of my life, I have detested poetry.

However, since three years ago, I've forged a new relationship with poetry.  Ever since I've had to teach poetry, I've found I've grown to like it, despite my supposed opposing feelings. Teaching poetry has made me truly appreciate how much effort is required for this genre. While I will agree, writing in all forms is difficult, I think it can be easily agreed that poets have a lot more restrictions, which cause them to be extra careful and creative with words and the sound of language, especially if they are writing in traditional form. 

I have come to really appreciate the time and effort these poets put into their work, especially poems with a certain meter.  Today, as I coaxed myself into writing poetry, I intentionally chose to write in haiku. Partially because I not only wanted the challenge of expressing my feelings, but also because I wanted to see if I could bend my vocabulary to say what I wanted to in a certain number of syllables.  Cajoling different words into meaning and meter takes skill and thoughtful reflectiveness; both of which I have allowed to get rusty recently. Writing haiku was quite the undertaking, but I was quite proud when I was done.  I think it turned out well; capturing both my sentiment and need to restrain myself within a form to paradoxically free my language.

While my students still balk when I tell them it is time for the poetry unit, I now get excited. Perhaps I will write something some day that will be studied in school.  That would be a dream come true.

If you'd like to read my poem, it is on my writing page titled "Byte by Bite". I would love any constructive criticism or feedback you have to give.  Thank you in advance. :)