The End of Poetry

Today I turned in my poetry portfolio. I went into the class wary of this thing called poetry for it never seems to say what it wants to say, it obfuscates perfectly beautiful rhymes just for meaning, and, well, why not just write a story? But after ten weeks of reading and writing poetry, I have gained an appreciation for it, even the kind that doesn’t follow rhyme or rhythm. I’m still not sure I will read it for fun, but if I have someone to discuss a poem with, I hope I will continue to get enjoyment out of it.

In an earlier post, I spoke of my preference for rhymed poetry over other kinds. This still holds true for when I’m reading it, but now that I’ve written poems that had to rhyme, let me tell you: it’s hard! I’ll have a perfectly beautiful idea to express, but because it has to be in pentameter and rhyme with “lock”, I’ll have to reword it so it practically means something else. So I’ll sit back and admire those who can do it artfully, but if I ever have to write a poem again, it’s going to be in free verse.

The other big thing I learned this quarter is that poetry is all about images. At least the poetry that sticks with me, and the poetry of mine that people liked best, was filled with images that show ideas instead of telling. This lesson I will definitely be able to take with me in writing prose.

So now it’s the end of the quarter, and I can shut those poetry books and cap my pen. I’ve learned a lot, but I don’t think I’ll be writing poetry on my own anytime soon. If you’re interested, I’ve added the four final poems I submitted to a separate tab.

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4 thoughts on “The End of Poetry

  1. Well stated, Katie, especially the lesson about images used to tell the story. Like you, I never expected to write poetry until I had to in university, but after that semester, I began to enjoy doing it. I opened a blog on wordpress.com and started playing around with it, while paying alot of attention to other poets’ work. I KNOW it improved my ability as a writer of prose, because now I use the poetry lessons every day. Check out the poetry prompt websites on my blogpage and have fun experimenting. (I know you have LOTS of time for that…). When those darned book writers stop asking you for editorial perusal, maybe you’ll get a chance to go and “play poet.” 🙂

    Still enjoying your blog, and thanks SO MUCH for your help this year. If everything that goes around comes round, you’d better be prepared for some mighty bog blessings to come your way.

  2. “The other big thing I learned this quarter is that poetry is all about images.”

    Poetry can create mental images that sometimes, prose is unable to do. Ogden Nash is a great starting point as humorous poetry relies heavily on the image being portrayed in the mind of the reader.

    If you ever wanted to read around the subject then the Beat Poets (Bukowski, Burroughs etc) are not to be neglected either.

    Happy poetic-ness

  3. This was the sort of stuff I was hoping to leasrn by following your progress. Thanks for continuing to keep us informed. I got Bly’s Leaping Poetry at the recommendation of another poet. I was interested in the imagery aspect as well.
    my all time favorite is still Edgar.

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