7 Poets In, and I am Finding My Voice

I am 7 days into my project, which means that I have 7 poets under my belt. I have read John Milton, Dante Alighieri, Emily Bronte, Charles Baudelaire, Pablo Neruda, Lord Alfred Tennyson, and Elizabeth Bishop, and have written 2-4 poems for each of them for a grand total (so far) of 18 poems. I have written 2 sonnets, 2 odes, a sestina, a villanelle, a poem with terza rima rhyme patterns, a pantoum, several free verse, and several generally rhyming poems. My greatest method of experimentation with form was writing poems with the rhythm of a waltz and tango, modified after Tennyson’s composition of poetry to the pattern of his walking.

I definitely struggled with my own writing at the beginning, and as such, most of my response/imitation poetry for John Milton and Dante are pretty mediocre. However, Emily Bronte’s poetry really struck a chord with me, and I was able to write based off of my emotions, which gave the poetry more life. They could breathe better because I was allowing the poetic form to be a skeleton for the content to move around instead of a box to fit the content inside. Since then, I have continued finding my voice, and the quality of my poetry has increased, even after only 7 days. I still have difficulty finding things to write about, but I have discovered that I have found insight even from topics I would not think to be very meaningful. Pablo Neruda joined Bronte as a writer who really inspired me. Theirs are the two whose poetry I have enjoyed reading the most, and Neruda also sparked the creation of not 2 or 3 poems, but 4.

I am quite enjoying my free verse poetry the most, though I also like general rhyme or rhyme patterns that I create myself. I really struggle with writing in iambic pentameter, but I may continue to do so to strengthen that. Mostly I have been reading and writing, but today I went through what I have written so far to separate the merely mediocre poems from the ones that have potential, that I can continue to edit and shape and one day publish in some form or another.

Comments

  1. emmamerrill says:

    I took Creative Writing 212 last semester as a way to improve my own writing and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the class involved writing a significant amount of poetry. While I had written some poetry in middle school and high school, I think that poetry writing gets easier and easier as time passes. With more (albeit not that much more) life experience, I felt like I could capture my emotions better in poetry as a freshman in college. I also loved writing in free verse as you mentioned above. At the end of your research will you try to synthesize all of these forms you have studied into a unique style of poetry? Also, what are your favorite topics to write poems about? Personally, my favorite poems from the class were the cathartic personal ones that really let me open up about situations that have left me with emotional scars. I think poetry is best used to convey emotions that we cannot put into words. Would you agree?

  2. Oh my, I do not think I could create my own unique style. My best poetry is still very eclectic, some in free verse and some not, and on many different topics. I would have to write many more poems to truly discover my style.
    I too loved my personal poems. I was surprised at some of the things I discovered about myself just by choosing a somewhat random topic to write about. So yes, poetry is a beautiful way to convey emotions, which I understood before this project. But what I did not know was the act of writing is cathartic in and of itself. And poetry is wonderful because it is not just about the words; poetry is communication in the form, the metaphors, and the symbols. Those are still a little difficult to manipulate or create out of nothing (at least at this stage in my poetry-writing career), but they are still powerful.