I'm a poet … and I know it.

by Mindy on March 9, 2009

Once upon a time, I considered myself a writer. Not a reporter, not a journalist, but just some girl who wanted nothing more than a pen and paper in her hands at all times.

And then I graduated college and the real world beckoned. No longer was I able to muster up the words once I settled into my full-time position. Every syllable was AP Style and news related. The creative side disappeared, seemingly, and I became complacent with living in the present, writing in regard to columns and inches, stuck within the boundaries and constraints of the front page.

Then I started this blog and found my voice again; I rekindled my ability to think outside the box and discuss my personal opinions, as opposed to always remaining objective. And for several months, this filled that void, that piece of me I knew was missing, yet couldn’t quite get back. Until recently, that is, when the void reappeared. Smaller, yes, but still echoing a need for my poetic side, my imaginative side, the girl I was before receiving my diplomas.

And though I never truly believed that that portion of me was gone, it’d been a long time since I was proud enough of something I wrote to share it. Coming from me, that’s a pretty big deal. One of my poems was painted on the wall of my high school when I was a senior, and my creative writing class even published a book back in the day – although I completely look at that work of mine as entirely unpolished, but you’ll have that nearly seven years later.

I just knew I missed her and missed that ability to have a completely random thought become a page or several of verse that I was forced to write down in that precise moment. And so, two weeks ago, I pulled out a pen and a completely clean leather-bound notebook, previously tucked away in my humble desk drawer, and left it within easy reach. Before I knew it, I was writing segments of “future” novels, pieces of my own memoir, and the first poem I have written in at least three years.

It’s untitled – as most of my works typically are – but I wanted to share. Sorry for the long banter leading up to this…

She scribbles on the page–
The written word nearly forgotten–
Struggling to regain that love,
That melodic flow,
That poetic tone
She once so easily found.
The letters stutter
And the pen moves more slowly
Across her blank canvas.
Determined to return to her former passion
She fills journal after journal,
Tossing each to the wayside,
Claiming nothing is as beautiful
As she so fondly recalls.
Yet each word is there,
Recounting that love, that flow, that tone,
And only untainted eyes–
Eyes previously unaware of her humble talent–
Can truly recognize that tale
Her scribbles unfold.
It is within those words that her livelihood lies,
Among the erased syllables and forgotten thoughts.
It is upon those pages
Her love, her flow, her tone are embossed
And her true voice is found
Once more.

I suppose if you shoved me in a genre, it’d be poetry although I tend to write other genres as well. Poetry, however, seems to flow more naturally … even if, like journalism, the market for it is ever so slim. I’ve yet to decide if sharing what I write will become a norm or not on this blog, so if you think it should be or it’s something you folks are interested in, let me know and I’ll definitely consider that while deciding if this is a personal venue my blog should continue to explore.

Any comments – both critical and constructive – are so very welcome and much appreciated. It’s been a very long time since others have read a poem I’ve written and feedback would be fabulous.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

omegaradium March 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I’ve always had a hard time with poetry…I tend to over analyze the messages conveyed.

However, having been reading your blog for a few months now, I feel I may be able to understand your poems better. Also, your nice little intro helped a great deal. :)

I vote for you to continue posting your “stuff!”

Well thanks. I’m glad you can understand my “stuff,” ha. I’m not one for cryptic poetry. I like things very straight-forward.

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Megkathleen March 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I say you should continue! If it’s something you enjoy and it helps you fill that void then why not?

Good point. Thanks!

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Angela March 9, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Bar smoke can be SO strong. Iowa outlawed smoking in public places(meaning ALL restaurants, bars, schools [colleges & U's included], and parks) this year. My stinky clothes are a result of being in a car with my sister lol. just 4 cigarettes in 6 hours and I can’t shake the smell. Also, go ahead and share more poetry if you want. It’s good to have an audience. Gives you a little accountability so you don’t get too caught up in yourself with your writing [of any genre].

I wish they would outlaw smoking everywhere here, too. But alas, the south will probably be the last to succumb to those regulations. Oh well. And you’re right about the accountability. Didn’t think of that beforehand.

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andhari March 9, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I think you should continue, the poetry is beautifully written and I can already picture you doing this here regularly :)

Aww. Thanks!!

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Kendall March 9, 2009 at 8:40 pm

If you’re a poet and you know it, clap your hands. -clap clap- You know have that song stuck in my head. Thanks.

The lose of creativity for journalism is why I told my staff advisor my senior year that I wouldn’t be going into that feeling. Sometimes I wonder ‘what if’ but I think I personally am happier for it.

For someone who says she hasn’t done this in years, you still have your voice. I especially like the triumphant ending.

This kind of makes me want to start sharing my songs.

You should! I’ve never been a lyricist, but always envied those who were. And having that song stuck in your head is the precise reason I chose the title. Ha.

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Amber March 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Your poem was great! You definitely should share more!

I used to write poems all the time. I had a full journal of poems, but I’ve got lost in work and classes and hardly find the time to just sit and write. I don’t think any of them were as good as what you shared though! Keep it up! :)

I’m sure they were as good, if not so much better. We’re all so critical of our own work, you know? And that’s exactly why I stopped writing. Work got in the way and I just wasn’t motivated, but I’m sure you, too, could find it again. I think writing is part of some of us, whether we like it or not, ha.

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Melissa March 9, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Your poem is great! I want to read more!

Thanks. So far, it’s the only one I’ve written in a few years, but once I have another, I’ll probably share. Seems I got a good response from everyone.

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Yankees March 10, 2009 at 9:59 am

That girl seven years ago, even if unpolished, had more talent and imagination than anyone I know. It takes a lot to be published while still in high school and I can still remember the excitment that circled her at that time. She simply needs to relax and inspiration will come to her just like this poem, great job and just keep that pen and paper with you at all times :-)

I cannot believe you texted me to find my blog! Ha. But thank you muchly Jonathan. Very sweet of you.

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Matt March 10, 2009 at 10:53 am

Sorry Im late to the party here but I thought it fucking rocked.

I forgive your tardiness (as I’m definitely behind on my reader due to work…argh). Thanks for the compliment, even if it has a curse within it. Hehe.

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Kendall March 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I just realized how many typos were in that comment. In my defense, I was pretty much dead on my feet by that point in the night.

Hey, I wasn’t going to say anything at all about it! Did I notice? Maybe. But it happens, ha.

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[F]oxymoron March 12, 2009 at 8:20 pm

I say keep it up! Poetry must be in the approaching spring air. Definitely keep writing. (and posting)

On the constructive criticism side…

Regarding the line, And the pen moves more slowly, I stumbled when I hit the phrase “more slowly”. I’m not sure if this is because: a) “more slowly” is an ambiguous phrase
b)your trying to show that us you’re picking up writing again; but would you do it “more slowly”? or “slowly do more of it”?
c) the letters “stutter” (one active verb)… but the pen “moves more slowly” (three soft-er, passive words)

Just some passing thoughts. Look forward to some more.

It is a bit ambiguous, and I know I meant “more slowly” to refer to my inability to write as easily as I once had (if that makes sense), and not necessarily “more slowly” with each line. I definitely see how unclear that was though.

As for active/passive verbs, I’ve never been one to mull over keeping everything in an active tense – though poetry typically works best as such, if you ask me. I just sort of write whatever comes to mind, edit it a few times, and that’s it. If I put too much thought into it – such as attempting rhyme or other poetic devices – it feels contrived and then I toss it. =/

I really appreciate the feedback. It’s great to hear what others think from a writing standpoint.

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Sebastian March 13, 2009 at 9:43 am

Hi!

I’ve been lurking for a while.

You asked for comments, so I thought the least I could do would be to attempt to comment. I have to warn you though, poetry isn’t my forte.

I enjoyed reading it though, which I can’t say for a lot of poetry.

I also like the way you respond in each person’s comment, in bold… I may have to try that!

Thanks! Glad you aren’t simply lurking anymore, ha. =P

I stole the “reply in bold” idea from another blogger, so feel free to do so as well. I like responding to everyone, even though most people don’t check back (I’m guilty of that myself sometimes). WordPress does offer the ability to thread comments now, though I’ve yet to try it. Not sure what service you use.

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hautepocket March 14, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Very nice! I’ve never been talented in the area of poetry, so I’m a bit jealous. I do identify with your longing to regain something you once loved so dearly. Keep writing.

Thanks hun!!

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