Out of our quarrels with others we make rhetoric. Out of our quarrels with ourselves we make poetry. ~ William Butler Yeats
Poetry is not something to fear, but rather an invitation to participate fully in our everyday lives. Here is the advice of one student who entered the class convinced he “could not ever write a poem.” John S. O'Connor
Don’t Be Afraid
Is not as daunting as it sounds.
All you have to have done
To write poetry
Is to have lived.
So I can write poetry.
Anyone reading this is presumably alive;
Therefore, you too
Are capable of writing poetry.
Once you establish
That you are, in fact, alive,
Your poetry may be governed
By your mood. If you’re hungry,
For example, there’s an excellent chance
That your poem will reflect your hunger.
Some choose to be coy with their meanings
And highfalutin’ with their language
(“Bubbles in an IV loitering” or
“Museums mark their bodies down”)
This is okay sometimes,
But you don’t want to hide
Your poem’s meaning
From the reader altogether.
Do you understand now
Why writing poetry is not as hard
As you thought?
Proof of life, mood, language:
Three simple steps
And your poetry
~ Rob, grade 10