Poetry Month: Inspiration links

The most common question that lay people ask writers is “where do you get your ideas?” I don’t see poets getting asked tis question much, but tough cookies I’m answering it anyway.

I’m also seen most writers asked the classic question flop around like a fish when answering it. Inspiration is unique to every writer–but there are some trends. Most poets (myself included) seem to be inspired by things that happen to them–usually pretty bad stuff. A lot of poets up here in Canada seem to be inspired by nature. Oprah compiled a bunch of poets and their inspiration here.

So what if you want to be a poet? Where should you find inspiration? Today I have compiled a collection of links to help you out.

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Inspiration-for-Poetry — Wikihow’s tips are a good place to start. They’re really basic and easy!

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2008/03/poetry-finding-your-inspiration/ — these are a bit more advanced, but pretty fun!

http://www.writingforward.com/category/writing-prompts/poetry-prompts — there are a lot of prompts here to chose from!

http://www.fuelyourwriting.com/10-ways-to-find-inspiration-for-your-writing/ — here are some good general inspiration tips.

http://readwritepoem.org/ –this is a good website for all things poetry!

That’s my time, folks. Until next time!

-Kelsey J.

Poetry Month: What Poetry?

Kelsey J. Mills

Hey y’all!

So now I’ve that I’ve  talked about why I write poetry, I think it’s time to talk about what kind of poetry I write.

Free Verse: Nonmetrical, nonrhyming lines that closely follow the natural rhythms of speech. A regular pattern of sound or rhythm may emerge in free-verse lines, but the poet does not adhere to a metrical plan in their composition.

The first form that I really focused on as poet was free verse. I was really drawn to it as a teenager because I had only been exposed to rhyming forms up to that point and I HATED them. I have no idea why–most teenagers I’ve spoken to about writing poetry have this burning hatred against rhyming poetry. As a fiction writer in addition to a poet I think that I’m drawn to this form because of the way that it resembles speech.

Example: 

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Poetry Month: What Poetry?

Hey y’all!

So now I’ve that I’ve  talked about why I write poetry, I think it’s time to talk about what kind of poetry I write.

Free Verse: Nonmetrical, nonrhyming lines that closely follow the natural rhythms of speech. A regular pattern of sound or rhythm may emerge in free-verse lines, but the poet does not adhere to a metrical plan in their composition.

The first form that I really focused on as poet was free verse. I was really drawn to it as a teenager because I had only been exposed to rhyming forms up to that point and I HATED them. I have no idea why–most teenagers I’ve spoken to about writing poetry have this burning hatred against rhyming poetry. As a fiction writer in addition to a poet I think that I’m drawn to this form because of the way that it resembles speech.

Example: https://kelseymillspoetry.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/other-love-poems/

Tanka: A Japanese form of five lines with 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7 syllables—31 in all.

I’ve only been writing Tanka for less than a year but I fell in love with this form as soon as I was taught it. I like that it has such clean, clear rhythm, and working under the constraints of syllable numbers forces me to choose words carefully. I also like the history behind Japanese literature. Noblewomen were prized for their poetic talents, and I find my bearing alters accordingly when I write tanka.

Example: https://kelseymillspoetry.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/ganymede-tanka/

Lyric: A Lyric is a poem that expresses personal and emotional feelings, often meant to be sung

I feel like all poetry is essentially lyric poetry–if you dig deep enough, all of it is personal. That being said, I’ve been writing lyric poetry for a very long time. I can’t write music or sing, though, so it will never be the next great emo love song or what have you. I think it’s fitting that, as of late, most of my lyrics poems have been about Greek mythology, as the form originated in Greece.

Example: https://kelseymillspoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/to-coronis/

That’s my song and dance. With only a few days left of poetry month, I’m not sure how I will delight and entertain next. Stay tuned.

God bless,

Kelsey J.

Stages of a Poisoning.

I finally uploaded a video! Yay!

Nothing Gold Poetry.

One.

You sunk in

Beneath me, into deepest

Recesses of my internal organs.

You crept in

Like noxious gas

My lungs burst with words unsung

You accumulated in my blood

Until I bled metal.

I could not move, I could not see

Through the darkness you shrouded me in.

Two.

When I dream, I dream of dying.

I dream of the sea at the bottom of the porcelain bowl

Swallowing me

Whole.

I went to the ocean

And looked out at the sharpened rocks.

They reminded me of your fingers

In my hair.

I can no longer bleed it out, you see.

They found you in my marrow.

My mother named me island

Because she saw that one day

I would be alone,

Waves beating my shores

And I, ever yielding.

Three.

The doctors said my blood smelled of almonds

And burned in the light.

They crafted wheel chairs from…

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Article: Versus Mode: What can poetry do for video games?

Nothing Gold Poetry.

Nonetheless, Stone interjects, one of Coin Opera’s founding convictions is that video games are now familiar and accepted, that their trappings and terminologies can be drawn upon by writers as confidently as the once-arcane language of cinema. “As a medium, gaming has been around long enough now to have its own culture, and language and world and internal logic that’s accepted but is really hard to explain to people who are outside it. It’s a rich metaphorical landscape for poems – once you have an established set of worlds, and established tropes, it becomes fodder for talking about the human condition, finding ways to express yourself or start conversations.”

Poetry and video games. I had never, EVER thought of them in the same sentence (except maybe “I should stop playing this video game so I can write some poetry”), but the editors of Coin Opera clearly think differently. In the…

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Poetry Month: Why Poetry? My Poetry Journey

poetry month kitty

Sorry for the crickets guys. I’ve been swamped with school, and I was going to try to do this as a vlog before posting a text version, but my laptop decided to thoroughly f*** itself so I don’t know when that’s coming.

computer

WHY YOU NO WORK

It doesn’t take an English PhD to figure out that poetry is nowhere near as popular as fiction. Pretty much everyone’s read a book or a comic or seen a movie outside of school, but I’ve rarely met anyone who can name a book of poetry off the top of their head. Most people studied poetry in school, hated it, and stopped. This, in my humble opinion, is a damn shame. Poetry is a medium that transcends time and space and the human condition in a way superior to fiction.

My mission this month is to get at least one new person to give a crap about poetry. So I’m going to tell you why I give a crap about poetry.

baby kitteh

And also cats

I have to admit, fiction was my first love when I was growing up. I didn’t have an opinion on poetry. I liked most of the poetry my teachers read to us in school, but it never blew me out of the water. My teachers tried to teach poetry writing, but I thought acrostic poems were dumb and shape poems were worse. And that was ALL WE LEARNED. I guess my teachers (maybe correctly) thought we were too young to understand more complex forms of poetry. I didn’t write poetry outside of school. It was just another thing I did at school, the worse kinds of thing in the mind of a seven year old. Two books changed my views on poetry; one was Sharon Creech’s free verse poem novel thing Love That Dog and the other was T. S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

I really hated Love That Dog the first time I read it. I had never seen anything like it. In my mind, it wasn’t even a book. I think it was my age, but I had no idea what was happening in the book the first few times I read it. But I received the book as a gift, and as a child gifts from my relatives were sacred. I kept it in my massive bookshelf and read it whenever I happened upon it. It wasn’t until probably the tenth time that I finally got it. It was poetry, that stupid, boring thing I studied at school! But it couldn’t be. It didn’t rhyme, and it didn’t look like anything. And it was a story. What? It was like whoosh. I finally got it. And I read it over and over.

Practical Cats was another story. I was obsessed with cats as a kid. Everything was cats. All my stuffed animals were cats. I drew cats. I wrote cats. I dreamt cats. That’s right. I loved cats before the internet decided it was cool. My mom took Practical Cats out of the library and I was in love. I think I made her read me the poems over and over until she got sick of it and then I just read them myself. I read that book so many times that I can still smell the pages and see the cute little ink drawings in the margins.

I started to write cat poetry.

That’s where it started.

teen kitteh

The teenage years got a bit more…angsty. I’ve talked about my wasted youth before. I think it’s a given that I wrote bad teenage poetry. It’s not like I didn’t have real angst to write about, but that doesn’t mean my poetry was any better. Let’s be real here.

But it was never about being good.

I started cutting when I was eleven. Describing why you cut to someone who doesn’t is impossible. The only thing I can think of is that I had so much pain inside that I couldn’t deal with that making myself hurt on the outside was a relief. I couldn’t find a way to describe the emptiness. So I wrote poetry about it. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote to figure out why I was cutting. I wrote to show other people how I felt. I wrote because I had to get it out. Eventually, I was writing instead of cutting.

I know lots of people talk about music saving them, but poetry saved me.

If you do something enough, eventually you become better at it. I started sharing my poems. People started to like them. I thought hey, I might actually be good at this. I submitted poems for publication, and I was accepted. At fifteen I was published in NewTown Writers Off the Rocks 15. I was published at the same level as adults.

Whoa, I thought. Time to start taking this seriously.

UPDATE: Now with added vlog!