Thursday, April 1, 2010

Challenge #1 - There's More to Poetry than Rhyme? What?

Let's do something a bit different this time around, shall we?

Raise your hands if you've ever been assigned poetry in a class and have either sighed with discontent, rolled your eyes, were discouraged, etc.? Yes, you have? Good, so have I. But there's something about poetry that I wasn't aware of until this semester in school.

As few may know, I'm what you'd call a "super senior" in school. I've been studying literature and everything about literature for the better part of five years now at my college. It's been a weird and fun journey. But it wasn't until this semester that a new door of literature was opened to me; that's right, I'm speaking of poetry.

Now, when I was in high school, we studied poetry (mainly the works of Shakespeare and a few other well known authors such as Whitman and Hughes), but we never really divulged into the world of poetry. It always made me cringe when I would see a poetry week on a syllabus or see it in a packet that our teacher provided. It would make my heart sink rather lowly in my chest. I didn't realize the world I'd been missing out on!

This semester (even after taking the beginning poetry classes that are required for the Creative Writing track), I've learned about several new forms of poetry that I've never even heard of before. Ekphrastic poetry [a poem written in response to a piece of artwork, whether it be a painting, sculpture, etc.], Prose poetry, even Furniture poetry were all introduced to me. It's exciting to learn new ways of expressing ourselves and our ideas, and trust me, once you get going and realize that there is a way of expressing yourselves without being rigid and having a cookie-cutter way of writing things, you'll enjoy the poetry topic just that much more!

So here's what I'm wanting to do this week. If you're reading this, I suggest that you take some time at night, in the mornings, on the weekends, whenever it is you have time and write. It doesn't have to be rhyming poetry, and it doesn't have to contain meter or a rhythm - it can contain whatever you want it to. Pick a piece of furniture and write about the memories, what might happen to it, give it a life, a name, etc. Pick your favorite piece of artwork (painting, sculpture, what have you) and write an ekphrastic poem that represents how you feel when looking at that piece of art; give it a story with characters or leave it all by its' lonesome in a cold, abandoned room. Just write! You'd be surprised at what you discover!

That's my "review" for this week. I hope you all search for different types of poetry and lyrical verse on the internet and discover something creative to do with a few spare moments. It really is something different and exciting in the world of literature! :)

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