Will I ever be considered a poet? Or will I always be just somebody who writes poetry? I have been writing poetry for almost ten years and sometimes, I still don't feel like a poet. I have written hundreds of poems as well. But am I worthy of this title?
I don't fit into the spoken word world. The thought of reading anything to a group larger than five people makes me shake in my skin. I usually can't make it to most of the events anyway, so that option is out. I have thought of putting some of my poems in a book. But who would read it other than a few people who always look at my work? Since I don't have the official title of "Poet", I will just look like a nobody imitating a poet. That's how most unknowns are looked upon from my own observations.
I haven't been able to commit to the Poetry club at my school. School work has always gotten in the way. Especially ever since I switch my major from Creative Writing to Journalism. Would a real poet do that? Or was I being too cautious? I wanted to learn skills that will help me get a job involving writing and I have learned that I do not like the profession as much as I thought I would have. Should I have stuck with Creative Writing and seen what it would have taught me? I switched because I did not want to take a whole bunch of literature classes. I thought, "Well, shouldn't I be writing if my major is Creative Writing? Why are there so little creative writing classes?" But if I love creative writing, wouldn't I have stuck with it? Would a real poet do that?
I don't write everyday like all the books on writing and writing poetry I have collected say to do. I can't keep a notebook until every page is filled. I feel like when I post a link to my website that it's a sham because I don't feel like I am a poet!
I don't have the nerve to tag any of the poets that I do know on Facebook to look at my notes because I feel like an amateur and because I don't come to any of their events. I have been writing just as long or longer than some of the poets I am acquainted with. But I don't feel like I am a poet.
What if I am never known for what I love to do, but only for my mistakes? I'm the girl who always wanted to be known as a poet, but went to school for music production first. Now I'll be the girl who always wanted to be known as a poet, but has degrees in music production and journalism and won't do anything with those degrees. I want to go for a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, but will I ever be able to afford it? I don't want to be just a person who writes poetry, I want to be a person who studies and practices the craft like there is nothing else better to do on this Earth. I want to be a poet.
I want to be like Nikki Giovanni or Sonia Sanchez. Or Amber Tamblyn. Or like Mahogany L. Browne, Aja Monet, Rachel McKibbens, and Mayda Del Valle. I want to be known as a poet like them. I don't know where to start, I don't know where to go, I don't know how to conquer my fears. I spend hours building my poems, reading how-to books and books of other poets and I don't know what to do at this point. I've been writing for ten years yet I still don't consider myself to be a poet. Will I ever be considered a poet? Please someone, anyone, tell me the secret of becoming a poet. I don't want to spend my life dreaming of that perfect title.
For those who are busy enjoying and participating in National Poetry Month, I hope the first ten days has gone well. I have been reading poems from my fellow poets out there on the web and I have to say, I am amazed. Beautiful pieces have been littering blogs and Facebook. It is rather overwhelming, but exciting. We are five days away from the half way point of NaPoWriMo. I can't wait to see what the next couple of weeks will bring.
Today I have a special treat for iPhone
and iPod Touch
users/poets. Being the owner of an iPod Touch
, I have accumulated quite a few applications, especially poetry ones. Here is a list of poetry apps that you can try during National Poetry Month that I highly recommend.Writing:Magnetic Poetry:Generators:Collections of Poetry:Lit Magazines:
If there are anymore apps that anyone can recommend, please let me know. If there are apps for other mobile platforms (Android, Windows Mobile, etc.), you can let me know about those as well.
If anyone downloads one of these apps, I would love to see what sort of poems you come up with.
Hope everyone enjoys the apps!
April 1st marks the first day of National Poetry Month. As a poet, I am very excited to see what the month will bring. I will be participating in my third 30/30 challenge (My second one for NaPoMo). For those who don't know what a 30/30 is, it is when a poet decides to do a very crazy thing, such as writing 30 poems in 30 days. It brings joy, pain, challenge and triumph to the personal growth of the poet. And if others are paying attention, it gives you an audience that will hopefully encourage and critique you (please critique gently, I'm sensitive).
I've noticed that when I do my 30/30, one of the comments I receive the most is "I wish I had time to do this." Time is an issue. Between school, friends, family and a boyfriend, sometimes the last thing I want to do is write a poem (okay, maybe it's not the last, after all, poetry is my life). But it is hard. You don't have to spend hours drafting a long poem. Heck, there could be ways around the poem a day rule. I've had some ideas brewing in my head for a while that I would love to share with everyone. Maybe I'll start some trends. Hopefully, I'll at least inspire other poets. Or maybe you'll ignore it. But anyway this goes down, here they are.For those who have little to no time
- Write poems in only short forms like haiku, tanka, lune, etc.
- Concentrate on one short form for the month. The most popular form is haiku. You can write a haiku a day. Or even write a bunch in a day, every day.
- Do a 30/30 on Twitter. Twitter is a social networking site where you can post whatever you are thinking in 140 characters. The best part about Twitter is that you can do it from your phone. So you can be on the go and write a short poem. Go to the site and check it out What can you come up with in 140 characters? You can follow my Twitter page once you have yours up and running at twitter.com/poem_lust.
- Write one line a day. There is such a thing as one line poems. Or you can put them all together at the end of the month and see what you come up with.
- In relation to writing a line a day or a one line poem is the six word novel/memoir. Say whatever you want to say in six words. Check out the six word craze at Smith Magazine.
- As I mentioned before, mobile phones are a wonderful thing to use on the go. If you have a phone where you can send e-mail from or surf the web from, write your poems from your phone and post them on your site of choice.
The 30/30 challenge seems like a very solitaire thing when it comes to creation. People will read your stuff. But how many people will write with you? Find some poets who would be willing to do some of the following with you:
- Write a renga! This usually takes just two poets. You can either work on one with somebody for one day or you two can drag it out and work on a couple of lines each day until it's complete. You can read up on how to do a renga atAhaPoetry or Wikipedia.
- Pick a person and write poems about each other, any form or just one form for a challenge. Both of you can either write a poem to each other each day or you can take turns (one person writes a poem on Monday about the other, the other writes a poem about you on Tuesday, etc.).
- The steal a line game. This requires a group of poets, whoever you want to include. One poet can write a poem. The next poet finds a line in that poem that they like (only one line) and uses it in their poem. Then the next poet after them looks at the second poem and finds a line that they like and uses it in a poem. And this goes on and on. Another variation to this is to have each poet grab their favorite line plus the line that the previous poet chose (this does not apply to the first and second poet of this group venture).
- Another similar exercise is the exquisite corpse. The simplest way to describe it is that you get a group of poets together, you each write a line and in the end, you put them all together. I've usually done this in person. You take a piece a paper, write a line, then past it to the next person. The person writes something and then folds up the paper so that only their line can be seen and passes on to the next person. And then this goes on. If you do it through the computer, you can all decide on a general idea and send in lines or you can each send a random line and put it together. You can read up on the idea of an exquisite corpse here.
There are so many ideas to get you writing. I have learned and thought up quite a few. I know that I will probably have another blog or two during this month about more ideas, but here are the ones I have:
- Write in a different form each day. Or choose one form and write in that form for the month.
- Create your own form or combine two forms together and see what you can come up with.
- Get a word list and write a poem based on that word list. Try not to look up the meaning of the words if you are looking to do something a little more abstract. Go with what sounds good together or by what you think the word means.
- Try a poem generator. There are plenty of them out there on the internet. Some of them will generate a full poem, which can help with inspiration, but most of them lets you interact and contribute to them to generate the poem.
- Use a translator. Babelfish from Yahoo is a good one. Translate your poem to a language you don't know, then translate it back to English. Something unique can come up.
- Find a poem in another language and without using a translation software or translating it yourself, write a poem based on how you think the words sound or look like in English.
- Find a picture you like and write a poem about it. Maybe you can even combine your poem and the picture together if you know how to do that digitally (though there is always good, old fashioned, let's write or draw on this picture).
- Do cut ups! Find a magazine, newspaper (or for those that are more daring, a book, one you own, not one you have borrowed) and cut out words or lines. Put them in a bag or envelope, mix them all up and pull them out one at a time, create a poem with them.
- Make a copy of another written piece of work by anybody and circle words and phrases you like. You can black out the surrounding words and see if you have a poem.
- Write a poem on a object and then take pictures of it. You can do visual 30/30.
- Pick up a CD of a group or singer you don't know and look at the track list. Use the titles to write a poem (I like to call this album poetry).
- Find a status you like on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc and either use that status in the poem or write a poem based on the idea of the status.
- Similar to that, find something off a social network and write a cento poem. A cento is when you take lines from different sources and put them together to create a poem. I once did a Twitter Bio Cento.
Whew! I think I will stop right there. The last piece of advice I will give, which I think is the most important is READ! Read past poems you have written. Read poems of others that you like. Break out the poetry books you have on the craft, of other people, anthologies, etc. There's so much you can gather to put to the side for the days when things gets tough.
Actually, this is the most important piece of advice: Don't worry about if it is good or not. The point is to be writing.
You can check out my 30/30 on the blog or on Facebook. Below are a bunch of links I gathered for help, inspiration and fun. Enjoy!
Let the poetry begin!Links:General Sites and Blogs on Poetry:http://www.worldofpoetry.org/usop/http://www.napowrimo.net/http://www.ubu.com/http://yhchang.com/http://www.vispo.com/http://www.pw.orghttp://writing.upenn.edu/projects/http://www.writersdigest.com/GeneralMenu/http://poems.com/http://poets.org/index.phphttp://www.darkpoetry.com/http://www.haikusocial.com/http://www.writingthelifepoetic.typepad.com/http://www.ahapoetry.com/Resources, Exercises and Games:http://www.languageisavirus.com/http://www.fecundity.com/pmagnus/beatpoetry.htmlhttp://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/newpoem.htmhttp://babelfish.yahoo.com/http://www.wordle.net/http://amyking.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/daisy-frieds-poetry-exercises/Word Lists:http://www.cfcl.com/vlb/Memes/wordbeads.shtmlhttp://www.majortests.com/sat/wordlist.phphttp://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/100_most_beautiful_words.htmlGenerators:http://www.links2love.com/poem_generator_2.htmhttp://www.angiemckaig.com/play/poetrygen/index.php?numlines=5http://www.nullibicity.com/dadapoem.phphttp://www.levitated.net/exhibit/iching/index.htmlhttp://www.purpleglitter.com/cgi-bin/poemgenerator/generate.plhttp://www.festisite.com/love/poems/http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Poem/http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/PoemGen/PoemGen.htmhttp://www.robopoem.com/http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/poetry_engine.htmLit Zines:http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pbonline.htmlhttp://www.newpages.com/literary-magazines/http://poetry.about.com/od/zinesanthologies/Online_Lit_Zines_Poetry_Anthologies.htmhttp://www.fglaysher.com/LitLinks.htmhttp://www.pw.org/literary_magazines?apage=*http://www.duotrope.com/Poetry Forms:http://members.cox.net/berniehpoetry/styles.htmlhttp://thewordshop.tripod.com/forms.htmlhttp://pages.prodigy.net/sol.magazine/pl01form.htmhttp://www.poemofquotes.com/articles/poetry_forms.phphttp://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/Publishing:http://www.writelife.com/http://www.lulu.comhttp://www.smashwords.com/http://www.createspace.com/http://www.youpublish.com/http://www.chooseyourpublisher.com/Classes (Online and Off):http://writersvillage.com/http://www.writingclasses.com/
1/30 04.01.10 - Haiku
memory is bi-
as. only the ones that serve
us well get on stage.
2/30 04.02.10 - 3Haiku-Line
Stories of a heart
in love, unrehearsed but ble-
mished by stars, his eyes.
My heart wishes you.
You in arms. You in kiss. You
in love. You in me.
I miss those nights when
you pretended to not know that
my heart was flirting
With danger, a fool in a backless gown that waits for you to slip it off.
3/30 04.03.10 - Overtime
My mind is still trying to
wrap around this constant desire to
run my fingers through your heart.
Maybe if I fumble around long enough,
I will find the cord I could pull on ever so
gently until you look down and notice who is
the one willing to hold your heart in their
hands, broken veins, valves and all.
Because it sure isn't her.
I have the stains under
nails and on top of palms to prove it.
4/30 04.04.10 - Haiku
faith resurrects a
few times a year: christmas, ea-
ster, need a favor.
5/30 04.05.10 - Raindrops
I can tell
by the cloudless skies,
the bittersweet smell of
salt against the sway of blossoming
trees and the way
you won't pick up the phone that
it's going to rain tonight.
I can tell.
6/30 04.06.10 - Symmetry
I dream of you while my mind and heart is spinning round your existence, wishing
always time now
you the you
of you of
dreams in you of dream I dream of you late at night
of you of
you the you
instantly time constantly
one day, possibly, hopefully, maybe you would, should, & could want to dream of me
8/30 04.08.10 - Haiku
green grass and exquis-
ite corspes flying around:
perfection in motion
9/30 04.09.10 - Short Poem
Stop letting the twinges,
shakes and pulls from each
stroke of emotion ebb out of
your pores like faucet not quite close,
left to drip and collect
even without a soul around.
You need to learn how to
keep your big heart shut.
10/30 04.10.10 - Tanku (Tanka-Haiku Fusion)
my darling, i came
to rescue you from the a-
loneness that night throws
at your feet. didn't know you
already had company.
sorry for the in-
trusion. next time, i will not
love ahead of time.
11/30 04.11.10 - Affair (Haiku)
bring me comfort un-
faithful one. give me a sec-
ond of desire
for a lifetime of regret.
12/30 04.12.10 - Retort (Poetic Prose) Response
I had to write a response to a poem for my Poetry class. I am not good at responding to other people's work, but I thought my response was interesting.
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Thou art a fool," said my head to my heart,
"Indeed, the greatest of fools thou art,
To be led astray by trick of a tress,
By a smiling face or a ribbon smart;"
And my heart was in sore distress.
Then Phyllis came by, and her face was fair,
The light gleamed soft on her raven hair;
And her lips were blooming a rosy red.
Then my heart spoke out with a right bold air:
"Thou art worse than a fool, O head!"
Thou art a fool," said my head to my heart...The heart is a fool indeed. The heart falls so easily. It can be the curve of a smile or the curl of a tempting lock. It can be the timbre of their voice or the melody of their laugh. The heart falls for the idea of a person. But the head, oh dear head. The head gives a name to the idea. The head turns swiftly to the beat of that name. The head blushes when the name says hi. The head smiles when the name gets close. The head loses itself in the name of that name because that name is love. It's spelled in a thousand ways, housed in a million of bodies. But in the end, that's the name of the idea of a person, love. Love could be anybody, anyone. Love can walk into the room or ride away in a subway car. Sometimes, we may not even get the name of its alias. Love lives in every being and the head is waiting to make its own special identification. But the heart is the one who tells the head when love is near. The head only gives a face to the name. The head and the heart are both foolish slaves to love.
13/30 04.13.10 - Short poem (Late)
as you caress my sun,
my nerves turn into fluttering
butterflies, flying up to my
still heart, bursting
into my blood stream
and leaving flaming red
blotches scattered upon my
phone charms will never
look the same.
14/30 04.14.10 - Short poem
I wish I could
scribble smiles into
I'm good at
coloring in love.
15/30 04.15.10 - Lonely Mornings
i hate these
you have so much
to say, but no heart
to say it.
i hate these
my eyes flutter
before i'm awake.
i hate these
my tummy rumbles
my sweetheart grumbles
i even got to brush
i hate these
breath next to my
cold cheek, wrapped
around in warmth,
in the making love position.
i hate these
17/30 04.17.10 - Heart (Late)
18/30 04.18.10 - Guests (Late)
last night, i wanted to
take your tie and unwrap
you in a room full of mothers
i'm in a bit of a hurry
to bring a plus one
or two, three or four
to the next family party.
19/30 04.19.10 - Suspicion
stability is only an illusion
one has until someone doesn't
pick up the phone.
after that, your
goes all over the place.
time to play
21/30 04.21.10 - Haiku (Late)
your voice, his eyes, your
smile, his quiet, your love
trips me up inside.
22/30 04.22.10 - Earth Day
I watch Mother
Iris scatter her
cigarette ashes on Mother
Earth as she pulls
in the recycling bins.
23/30 04.23.10 - Belly Ache
Congealed lumps of
rainbows riot in my stomach
after a jelly bean binge, reminding
me that life is sweet until you
upset a major branch of the system.
24/30 04.24.10 - Haiku (Late)
I stitch myself clos-
er so when you pull away,
the pain feels the same.
25/30 04.25.10 - Tanka (Late)
if there was a chang-
ing potion i could drink, i
would be her, we would
be happily married with
children, a house, and no me.
26/30 04.26.10 - Combustible
27/30 04.27.10 - Poesies?nden
"spornen Sie mich mit
Ihren Wörtern und
The muse and the
monster want to tango.
28/30 04.28.10 - Dear Puppy Love
To all the boys turned into men who
made a tempest of butterflies riot in my heart,
Thank you for teaching me how to
profess, confess, declare, scream
laugh, cry, sing, run
open, close, admit, claim
want, need, lust, hate
pretend, lie, trust, swear
rant and rave love
Each time brought me
closer to my true
29/30 - 04.29.10 - Tanka (Plus 1)
the devil eats child-
ren, sunflower seeds and malibu
under dirty sub-
way lights, making us laugh like
stretched t-shirts hanging over
a drunk man's knees.
30/30 - 04.30.10 - Whirlwind Ten
Tomorrow marks ten years of writing poetry. So to end my 30/30, I decided to write 10 poems.
Waiting reminds me of
mother's bedroom window
on 111, looking out for
the (insert that year's color) Ford
Explorer to park
by the building (no parking
meters back then) or whip around
the corner to double park and honk
honk honk for pretty-eyed
butterball with glasses.
Waiting reminds me of
daddy's famous words
"I'll see what I can do"
and the phone wouldn't ring
for hours until time passes
the edges of night
to tear-soaked chubby
cheeks with glasses.
Waiting reminds me of
hands. "Patience is a
virtue" I used to say to
each pull and tug upon
the buttons of my shirt
and jeans unwilling to
budge. He slipped his love
off my heart when his
virtue could not stay
in his pants.
Which is why I
don't wait for men
Problem with keeping
Mind in sync with heart without
Screaming hormones song
Lusts for an
Set of eyes
Soaring above this
Now staring into the eyes of
we climb, we collide
we cry, we complain, we con-
trol, we cope, we cleanse.
that i don't
know how to write
you anymore. need refresher course.
give them baskets. hell's already here.
I gave up
for Whitman, Walters, and a Bachelors
phone stays dark, silent
and full of messages, not
from you, about you.
porn is the art of constant
lust, with a high demand
for contortionist moves and
This is a poem
about a poem
based on a poem
by a poet who