Earlier this year I began writing poetry after not writing it for more years than I can remember. When I was around twelve years old I filled spiral notebooks with poetry and entertained ideas about becoming a songwriter-lyricist before I moved into fiction. I enjoyed writing poetry and when I began writing it again this year I wondered why I stayed away from it for so long.
Well, when I began posting it online in a writers’ group I belong to, I was ridiculed and bullied by a fellow member. And I let this bully silence and shame me because I didn’t want to upset the group dynamic. I didn’t have the courage to speak out against how terrible I felt for what he was trying to do to me. Now he’s out of my life and that group and I’m forever grateful for that.
I will not let anyone silence me again for whatever I write. I enjoy writing poetry and will share it here and elsewhere. I have discovered not only a love for writing it, but I’ve also discovered that it’s a good way for me to organize my thoughts from the sometimes-maddening whirl of them in my mind.
But to pay tribute to Monty Python here, I’m glad I caught poetry again. For poetry isn’t like an STD or anything else you don’t want to catch. It’s something you do want to catch and keep.
January 18, 2018
I write to say I may have caught poetry
I would rather catch poetry than a cold or the flu
I would rather quote a great Monty Python skit than be without poetry
It is fun to write verses
Even if they don’t always rhyme
Oh my, this is the third poem I’ve written in the last three days
Now I know I have caught poetry
And I don’t want to let it go
For poetry does not give me a scratchy throat
Or a stuffy head like my allergies do
It does not exhaust me to write
Nor is it hard to edit
Have fun with poetry, I say
Let the words flow
Read them out loud to find the perfect rhythm
Because I believe anyone can write poetry
If they just listen for the words
And though some of us are able to put them onto paper
(or a computer screen in my case)
Or even find the courage to share them with the world
I believe poetry is within all of us
For the world needs poetry, like it needs all of the arts
It is joy and pain, thought and feeling
It is the human experience in us all
I am forever grateful I have caught poetry
And I will never let it go