Poetry – Words of Beauty that I Simply Don’t Get

Sometimes I wonder why I feel such a passion for the written word and yet, I don’t love poetry. I read poems and I often appreciate the beauty of the word choices, rhythm, and beat, but I don’t go out of my way to pick up poetry books like I do novels and short story anthologies.

One of the writing groups I belong to has a weekly write a fifty-words or less response to a picture prompt. Many of the winners craft their submissions in poetic terms. My piece is always a narrative paragraph or two. Even there, where I could work in some pretty imagery, I don’t. My analytical brain looks at the picture and translates it into very concrete terms.

In writing novels, I have had to teach myself that in the first draft I often fail to express the character’s inner thoughts and feelings. In second, third, and fourth revisions, I go back and add those things in. Occasionally now, I manage to slip tidbits into the first draft. But, I haven’t been able to teach myself to do the same thing to write a poem.

My poetry, like my contest submissions is never free form. It follows a rhyming and counted syllable pattern. The theme is always obvious rather than couched in pretty terms. For a person who loves the sound of words, I find my predicament ironic.

Do any of you share my problem with poetry?

4 thoughts on “Poetry – Words of Beauty that I Simply Don’t Get”

  1. I can certainly relate. I admire people who can write poetry, but it’s not one of my skills. Years ago, before my critique group split into two–poetry and prose–I always had a hard time giving feedback to the poets on their work.

  2. Loved this post. I took poetry to become more concise in my fiction and fell in love with the craft. I am a a free form contemporary poet. My poetry has been published. I do not like poetry that doesn’t make sense. My poetry tends to the narrative because I am storyteller. I’m getting better with metaphors and similes and imagery Don’t do rhyme if I can help it. I love it and loved this post.

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