How my Poetry Has Changed in a Year
This time last year (and stretching all the way into June), I was writing a lot of poetry. About mental health, childhood, love, heartbreak, autonomy – basically anything that surfaced got turned into poetry. And, the more I wrote, the more surfaced. In total, I think I wrote about 120 (short) poems. I even did a few doodles to go along with them.
I vomited out all the feelings I’d bottled up for the past few years (arguably, my entire life) and came to terms with things I’d been avoiding for months. It was cathartic.
This massive collection of thoughts and feelings were what was to be my first poetry book. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized.. these weren’t all necessarily meant to be read by anyone but myself. Sure, some were (and I shared them on here), but the purpose of most of them was personal, a way for me to get my emotions out of my head, to do something with them.
And then I took my first creative writing poetry class at university. Where I had been writing in the same style Rupi Kaur uses (which was useful to me at the time), I learned how to use complex imagery and language to weave something beautiful that anyone can enjoy reading, not just something so deeply personal that it only holds meaning to me.
And, beginning in January, I began a seminar course in creative writing, which ultimately means that I’m writing a manuscript length work of poems by the end of March – as I’m writing this, I’m already at 45 poems, so I’ll likely go over 50 before then.
Poetry Book Update
I’m going to use these poems (and any that I write in the following months) to form my first book of poems. I’m still on the fence regarding the route I want to take (self vs. traditional publishing), but I’ve got time to think about it, and during that time, I’m going to share more poems with you here.
One thing I know for certain is: writing poetry is something that I do to release emotions and to think things through, but it’s also fun, and I can’t see myself ever tiring of it.
An Example of My New Poetry
I wrote this one at 1 a.m. after daydreaming about the novel I’m writing (poetry book comes first, though). I’ve played around with the words and spacing quite a bit, but I think it’s done at this point – as much as a poem can ever be done. Enjoy!
The Lady of the Wood
February sun shines bleak
through skeletons of trees, and snow
does magic tricks for the forest, turning
from solid to liquid. The trees would applaud
if they knew how.
Look hard enough and you’ll see me.
Under glassy pools of water
tucked neatly in my marshy bed
I wait. It’s not a trick of the light,
nor an illusion. I am real. I think.
I was alive, at one point. A mass
of flesh and bone and hair
and blood. Now, I am here,
doomed to watch the trees sway
with life. They are mocking me.
I’ve been here for days weeks months,
and I’m disintegrating underneath
swollen leaves that choke my bloated body,
flecks of skin peeling off
to join the current.