Saturday, May 08, 2010

Playing with poetry

Poetry has always terrified me: Not the reading of, but the writing of poetry. It is writing stripped bear of anything except the most essential. The austerity of it intimidates a writer of prose such as myself.

And yet I am drawn to its simplicity, to its power and to its raw emotion. Maybe my capacity to be pithy, to get to the essence of an idea, is increasing as I age. I think more and speak less. After reading some poetry of late, I conducted a little brainstorming exercise for myself.

I played around with free association with words about things I love or things that move me in life and in fiction. There's no real rhyme or reason to these thoughts. I just wrote them as they came to mind. I've penned only one poem in my life, something so deeply personal that I will likely never share it.

But if I were to write regularly, I would write about rain...spring rain, and long, slow kisses in the rain. I'd write about the smell of old books imbued with the spice of worn leather, dusty paper and pipe tobacco. I'd write about words and their capacity to move me.

Water, plenty of images about water, alternately gentle and rushing, conjuring images of power and emotion and tranquility and touch. And tender, fleshy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella and looks across crowded rooms that focus desire like a laser, causing hearts to pound and bodies to tremble.

I'd write about sand and sounds of foreign lands and the luminous nature of love that envelopes the heart, mind, body and soul, and how light is reflected differently on surfaces, from blue glows to shimmering whiteness.

Though I'm not sure it will result in poetry, this exercise has certainly awakened my mind on this gloomy Saturday morning. Perhaps some of these images will find their way into poetry, perhaps in other writing.

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