LC: It is National Poetry Writing Month and poets all over the World Wide Web are feverishly composing their own poetic masterpieces. Whether a published poet or not, it is a good excuse to pen a poem from the heart and share it with your fellow lovers of the poetic art form. So why am I personally getting involved this year? Why have I set myself the personal goal of writing a poem every single day this month? That’s 30 poems in 30 days, an ‘original’ poem every single day of the month of April 2013!
Well, since writing my first children’s novel The Realm Of The Purple Dragon 2 years ago now I have had major writer’s block and depression. Poetry was always my first love and while I continue to write my second novel in The Realm of the Purple Dragon series The Fire Giants and the Heart of Ice and my first Young Adult novel Atlantis and the Dolphin of Knowledge, I have found poetry a good way to focus my confused and overwhelmed mind. By focussing on composing a new poem every single day I am hoping it will help me to become dedicated enough to write every single day – no matter what! Usually I only write a poem or a chapter when I am inspired to, when an idea ‘comes to me’ or my emotions draw one out. But this way I have to ‘find’ the inspiration from somewhere, anywhere, so that I can also begin to write my novels come-what-may, without waiting for the illusive Muse to show her temperamental face! You see, I believe anyone can write because everyone has a voice, and writing a poem is a great opportunity to use your voice, to express your inner world or make an observation or a statement about something you feel passionate about. I want to be able to draw on that passion immediately, not wait for it to surface on its own. I want my voice to speak - now, not - tomorrow, maybe, if I am in the mood! Which is how it usually is for me and my writing? Whoops! Not good! So I have decided that I will dedicate this month of April to poetry and then at the beginning of May get back to the novels by writing every day come what may!
The reason I love poetry so much is because I find it so exciting. Each poem is like a mini adventure – a painting with words, a real canvas of colourful language, and a rhythmic race to mould an almost tactile sculpture with words. I just love playing with the rhythms and patterns involved in constructing a poem and whether it rhymes or not, a poem to me always has a unique shape and personality – and that is besides the actual content! And if you can blend the theme and shape together in a mutual dance where each compliments the other perfectly, well…no wonder I get so excited at the prospect of being able to do this every day! Have I got you excited about poetry yet?
Poetry is for everyone, whether 1 or 100. Yes I did say 1 – babies love to hear adults recite nursery rhymes (often to the glorious sound of hysterical baby laughter). Anyone can write a poem and it is often not as daunting as trying to write a whole story because you can write a poem with just a few short words or several stanzas. And it can be as simple as you like or as deep and meaningful as you want to make it. You can even plant some hidden messages in poems, or even write them in code! That’s what I do in The Realm of the Purple Dragon – the children have to decode the poems hidden in the manuscript in Norse Runes and in The Fire Giants and the Heart of Ice they will have to decode poetic spells written in the Ogham tree runes.
When I write a poem I try to also think about who will read it. The poems I write for children usually rhyme, and in fact I write stories for pre-school and infant children and they tend to be in rhyme because I find children love the rhythm and repetition. A lot of children’s publishers will probably disagree with me but as a Mum and former Nursery-Nurse, this is what experience tells me. Reading poetry to young children definitely makes them better communicators and more likely to be interested in reading (in my opinion). Mind you, I am not a performance poet but with children every nursery rhyme or poem becomes a performance, and when they find one they really like – watch out! Because they will expect the voices, the facial expressions – all the bells and whistles, over and over again!
So there you have it. That is why I am participating in the National Poetry Writing Month 2013. I hope I have inspired you to go away and pen your own unique poem and become as passionate about poetry as I am.
You can discover more of Laura's work on her website and purchase both her children's novel and her poetry book through Amazon.