Friday, July 1, 2011

Larry, Curly, and Schmoetry

Why the Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest?
Written by an ignorant schmignorant prose writer

I only had one teacher in my life who really liked my poetry. 

Only one.

He wore tight black jeans, black ‘granny’ boots and spiked his hair. His classroom was plastered with posters of The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Depeche Mode. He had a large rug in the center of the room and walked around kicking at the corners of that rug while he lectured us on symbolism and sonnets.

If I am to be honest with myself, I know he was obsessed with the poet Percy Shelley. Perhaps my name had more to do with my success than my poems. That and the fact that I basically reworded Depeche Mode songs for my assignments. (J/K)

So why am I hosting a poetry blogfest,
if I don't consider myself a poet?

Reason #1- I attended LDStorymakers in May and was told TWICE in one day that I should be studying poetry (and song lyrics) to tighten my fiction novels.

Reason #2- Dan Wells of the I Am Not A Serial Killer fame has encouraged people to memorize poetry all through the month of June. This man writes horror and memorizes poems. How awesome is that?!?! His challenge got me thinking...

Reason #3-
Because I think ALL writers should appreciate poetry.
What? You can’t tell me what to appreciate!
Yes, I can. Now finish your peas!

I appreciate poetry, as a writer, for these reasons:

Brevity- I love that brevity is 3 syllables! Oh the delicious irony. But really poetry must keep things brief (Brief- one syllable.) In a society of 30 second commercials, two minute Vlogs, and 140 character Twitter, brevity is not only appreciated, it is essential. Some people will trudge through a 900 page novel, but there are people who will refuse to read it based PURELY on its size. If you can become a master of words, you can tell the same story in 600 pages, or better yet, 450.

Carefully chosen language- Poets don’t have forever to tell their stories, so they choose words that will give the best picture with the fewest words. They eat, sleep, and breathe, their thesauruses because they have to. I only wish I had the vocabulary of a good poet.

Language of the senses- Poetry is really good at engaging the senses. I read somewhere once that people really like writing that reaches more than one sense. I can't figure out where I read it so chalk it up to a study that I made up. But think about writing that you like. Is it that way?

BUT!!! ("Everyone I know has a big 'But.’ C'mon, Simone, let's talk about your big 'But""—name that movie—)

I don't like all kinds of poetry. I don't think you have to like all kinds. Just like I don't like all novels. There isn't a good poem and a bad poem just like there isn't a bad novel or a good novel. There is just your poem or novels that touches you. Or your novel or poems that make you think.

That is why this blogfest is called Poetry Schmoetry. I hope to sluff the pretention that normally accompanies the word poetry.

Poetry can be fun!

So please consider joining the fun in the 
Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest


  1. Poetry 'can' be fun! And enlightening, and 'tell-it-like-it-is-fantastic!' :-)) Of course being a poet myself, I might be a tad bit biased on this subject!...I also like that writing, for me, is just...writing! I never think of long or short or anything else except the sound of the words. They have to flow. If there is some real connection, either word-wise or emotionally, even better!! Case in point, this poem that I wrote a while back about self esteem of girls.

    Head High, Little Girl

    Keep head high, little girl.
    And your heart as an open book.
    Think good thoughts of who you are,
    so other girls can take a look.

    Your self esteem, little girl,
    should be pumped up wherever you can.
    But shouldn't depend on prettiness,
    or the sugary words of a man.

    Your self esteem needs to be balanced.
    Not arrogant or smug at it's core.
    For the sun does not rise and set on you,
    but nor is garbage dumped at your door.

    So keep head high, little girl.
    And your heart as an open book.
    Your self esteem will then be lifted,
    and the whole world will take a look.

    I won't enter it in your contest because I don't want it judged as to whether it's 'good' or not. It said exactly what I wanted it to say...and that's enough for me...I'm enjoying your blog. :-)

  2. i just added myself to the list!
    never thought i would be good at poetry, i teach math! (and maybe i'm not)
    but having form and balance and counting syllables - it's made for a math person! ha ha
    i like levity in my brevity =)
    thanks for sponsoring the blogfest!

  3. Yay, Tara! Great to have you!

    PoetessWug and Yvonne- Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.
    I can feel your hearts in those words. Thank you for sharing something very personal to you. You poetry is powerfully intimate and I LOVE IT!
    I think just like we all live for different reasons we all write for different reasons. And just like we all live for some of the same reasons, we all write for some of the same reasons.

  4. I'm intimidated to write poetry. But I enjoy reading it, even if I don't know on an intellectual level what's considered "good".

    I would've loved your teacher.

  5. I wrote poetry before I wrote novels, and I love it. I think poetry is best in the form of song lyrics. I'll have to check out the blogfest.

    ("C'mon, Simone, let's talk about your big 'but'." Pee Wee's Big Adventure? Love that movie!)

    It is Pee Wee's Big Adventure!!!

  7. I used to be more about writing poetry than writing prose, even if it was bad tweenage poetry. haha. But I do appreciate it for the things you've mentioned - sensory language, care for words and rhythm. I love that stuff in prose, and I think that's because I love prose that sounds like poetry. So yeah, I'm game to go back to my old love and try my hand at it again. Yay for blogfests! :)

  8. I wrote angsty poetry in High School, and therefore I felt I carry a poetry anthology around in my backpack. Also, I felt the need to "love" T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland." ;) (Though "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is spectacular.

    (On an unrelated note: My husband is Jason Bowman's cousin, and Jason and Lisa are pretty much my favorite people ever. :) I came here because I saw Lisa commenting on your FB status. :) )

  9. YOu have no idea how scary that was with my daughter being caught in the door. YOu should have seen her face...and mine. Yikes.

  10. So ... I totally wish I could write poetry. I'm not going to attempt it though. It would NOT be pretty. ;)
    And I was at Storymakers in May!!! I wish I could have met you! Next year. Next year. ;)

  11. I love poetry, especially when it sparks all kinds of impressions, thoughts, feelings and images.

    I'd love to be able to write it, but my attempts so far have left me dissatisfied. ;-)


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