When I was in high school, I used to write a lot of poetry. I liked the deliberate way of choosing and using words and trying to find the right rhythm of each line. I had a special notebook that I used to write down thoughts and words that I wanted to remember for images in future poems.
I even entered a poetry contest in high school and surprisingly one of my poems won and was published in a national anthology of high school poetry. That was a confidence booster!
Then it was time to go to college. My interests changed in college and poetry unfortunately fell by the wayside. But since my husband died nine years ago, I have rediscovered poetry and its way of adding unexpected texture to my life. For me, reading poetry is similiar to putting my foot on the brake of the speedy pace of life. Reading and trying to write poetry slows me down and helps me shuffle through the constant swirl of emotions and conflicts that sometimes overtakes me. It is soothing and therapeutic!
In particular, in high school and also now, I am fascinated by Haiku, which is a very short form of Japanese poetry. Traditional haiku consists of 17 on. An on is similar to a syllable but it is not really a syllable. But there is a specific way of writing haiku, and when it is written correctly, it is sparse and elegant.
I recently decided to try and write some haiku poems and I just finished one about my late husband. My first attempts were really bad but I kept trying and once I learned to really focus on what it is I am trying to say, my poems improved.
So here goes. . . this is a haiku poem I wrote about my late husband, T.O.:
New Jersey native
the moon and constellations
Obviously, New Jersey native refers to the fact he was born in the Great State of New Jersey, a fact he put right out there for all to know. The Moon and Constellations refers to his love of space and the exploration of it and as a first-class newspaper reporter he had the unique talent of taking complicated scientific concepts and distilling them down to make them interesting and understandable to nonscientific readers! Party together says it all, for he was a very social man and loved hanging out and talking and listening to people of all ages. He was definitely a people person!
I am once again taking great comfort in reading and writing poetry and perhaps will continue to share with you my poetry inspirations and work as they develop. Try writing or reading poetry yourself. You may find personal inspiration too!