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Poetry

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Not too terribly long ago (though I cannot tell you how long precisely) I was conversing with a fellow writer about Inspiration and Poetry.  It was a fascinating discussion that I, not surprisingly, never wanted to end.  It started out innocently enough, with a simple query ‘What makes a poem a fantastic poem?’, a question which soon spiraled into the importance of metaphysical thinking and transcendence of emotion; the subtleties of wordplay vs. explicit vulgarism, and the inevitable influence our musings may have, even if such an outcome is not deliberate.

As might be expected, our ideas contrasted, but it was not surprising as our own unique writing styles are quite different (his more structured and traditional, mine…well you know mine.) These variances, however ultimately came down to format, style, grammar and the like; yet we agreed to disagree on these points.  After all, whether a poem comes in the form of a sonnet, a rondeau, a pantoum, or a cinquain; a troilet, a senryu, a tanka or a kyrielle, the desire to share a particular thought, emotion or impulse is usually the underlying motivation for writing.

Our views on the emotive side of poetry concurred, such as allowing Inspiration to lead as opposed to leading Inspiration. Leaving yourself open in all situations rather than closing yourself off to the emotions that may inspire you, whether that inspiration comes through quiet contemplation or at the spur of the moment in some flash of creativity that makes you reach for pen and paper (or laptop) to scribble effusively before the wave passes by. (and the resulting frustration that can occur when you do not.)

We also agreed that rhyming is far less important than timing; that the heartbeat of a poem is crucial, the pulse, as it were, which brings the verse to life and keeps it alive.  Rhyming is a beautiful thing when it happens, when it works, but it should not be the focus of writing poetry.  There is a fine balance between (good) free verse (which quickly became another facet of the conversation, but I’ll prattle on about that another time) and rhymed poetry, and it is a tightrope that is often difficult to walk, but we did unequivocally agree that the age-old, sing-song rhyming scheme so often forced upon an unsuspecting verse (or reader) can easily trap the poet, stifle the verse, and, ultimately lose the reader, frequently for good.

So what is the magic combination that stirs the heart, mind and spirit of both writer and reader?  What is it that constitutes a fantastic poem? Perhaps you have thoughts you would like to share? (please do!) but we could not really say, yet just like any form of art, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder’. The artist can never predict what might inspire smiles or prompt sighs and, in the end, the creator must create whatever it is their heart longs to express.  After all when two poets start musing about musing and the words we are choosing and using, the result can be amusing, but very often confusing.

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~Morgan~

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Image found on Pinterest.  Credit Acknowledged to the Original creator. Thank You.