Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Poet Inside

I used to write poetry.

I was the stereotypical teenager, filled to overflowing with angst and heartbreak and big dreams. I sat cross-legged on the porch swing, scribbling page after page on emotion heavy lines. I found neglected corners on the college campus, either propped against a regal column or letting my legs hang over a high concrete wall, pouring my heart onto paper. I would wander outdoors, often feeling like Anne Shirley reading Lady of Shalott in the woods.

There is a box in my basement filled with notebooks of my poetry.

To be honest, most of it is not very good. It is the typical writing of a young girl who often thought she felt more than she really did.

I have not written poetry in a very long time. Between all the daily events I call my real life and the hectic pull of everything, the lyrical view I held of the world gave way to a more cynical, logical, stressed newsprint outlook.

But there are still moments.

Evenings where the river is still and flat, belying the strong current underneath, perfectly reflecting the boat house, the bridge, and the black silhouette of naked trees. Afternoons at the park, with the wind in the pine boughs, the chains of the swings clinking. Mornings early enough that the trees are still heavy with birds, the sound of the car rousing them to form soft, flittering clouds around leafless branches. Moments of a head tucked under my arm, and soft blue eyes and the hint of dimple. Quiet at the bedside of a patient.

Then I think the poetry is still there. And it is just as beautiful and alive and heartbreaking as it was when I was a teenager. I want to write it all down, capture the moment, keep it alive with ink.

Then the noise and chaos and schedules and menus and deadlines swell up again and push those thoughts back into hiding. Life is too busy, too real to waste writing silly words in floral covered notebooks.

But then, maybe it's just busy enough to need to.


  1. I was similar, though I was also a bit of a non-conformist so much of my poetry was rather dark and disturbing. At least I thought so. Silly, really.

    MacGyver forced me to start writing poetry again for a while when we first go serious. Which succeeded only to convince me that I am not cut out for poetry.

    But this post is beautiful, and the moments you're able to capture in just a few words of prose speak to a capacity for poetry.

    Time, on the other hand, is something different...

  2. Ah yes, poetry in the teenage years! I just found some of mine and mine was always dark and depressing. I'm kinda glad I got away from poetry! But, from what you write, I think reading your poetry might be the kind I like.

    If it inspires you that much, or won't get out of your mind....then take the time to write it.

  3. You should write. You must!

    For me writing keeps me sane. And from what you've written bout your hectic lifestyle, writing poetry as you remember loving it, may help you keep you... you.

  4. I think you are very much a poet, even if you are writing in prose.

    Poetry always scared me. I wouldn't write it. In fact, I failed a semester of English my freshman year of high school because I was so terrified of poetry and had to take summer school.

    I am fascinated by poets.

  5. I find time to write in my journal and it puts the world into perspective.


  6. Your poetry is beautiful. The way you put words to paper speaks to the beautufil and the sane and the crucial. You are many great things, but youare also a writer. It is a gift to you and I'm so glad you share it. I love reading what you write.