The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

How to Start Writing Poetry (scenes from the conference)

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To say something is nothing is actually maximizing that thing. Because poetry.

I’ve been kickin’ it these last few days at the Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference (or NorUSumWriCon if you dig banal conference abbreviations).  It’s been worth the time and money, and one side benefit is I’ve gotten the motivation to wrap up a few pieces and start a few more.  I started this one a few weeks back and have been having fun with it, moreso now that I have its shape and intention.  I don’t know what else I’d do with it (because practice, duh!), so I thought I’d put it up here.

How to Start Writing Poetry

Auden said poetry makes nothing happen, so you have to find out amongst all the everything, what is the nothing?  Don’t expect an aha! moment, but do listen for the return of echoes.  Steer yourself in their general direction.  There’s a blind faith involved:  You never know what’s there, exactly; you just trust it’s nothing and that you can make it happen.  It might be the dogs you paddle boarded past at the beach this morning, all crooked paw angles and slow-motion grasping toward bobbing tennis balls juxtaposed against their everything is okay, nothing to see here nonchalance above the water.  It might be their inelegant turns back to the hands that feed them and how they look at you and practically wink—we weren’t born to this, but we’re pretty good at it, huh?  You trust that these things really are nothing and you’re going to make them happen.  You just don’t know when or how, exactly.


Written by seeker70

August 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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