I remember when I first started writing poetry. I might have been eight or so and struggling with rhyme and the ins and outs of violets. I do recall thinking that poetry had to have capital letters down the left side of the page and needed to be about nature. I’m not a nature girl and the capital letters rule seemed so arbitrary and strange. I kept writing, mostly in secret, until graduate school.
Recently, I’ve turned back to poetry. I’m not quite sure why other than I know I’m interested in learning something new. I’m curious about how words are strung together. Part of that fuels my research: how words and concepts interact with ideas and become material. Part of that fuels my sense of self: words mean things. Words make worlds.
This semester, for a variety of reasons – mostly administrative and health-related – I am not teaching a formal class. I figured this would be my enrichment: learning how to be a poet. Yes, I know. I know. Some poets or writers will say: This isn’t something you learn how to do or be. Just go for it. It is inside of you. Others will say otherwise. There are things you need to learn. Poetry requires precision. It isn’t just about emoting on a page. This is the tension I’m in right now.
I want to live in this tension for a while, learning, doing, being. I’ll keep you posted.