Creativity Boost: Writing Short Poetry


When I was in New Mexico, we spent the evening of the autumnal equinox huddled in the zendo, sheltered from a cold rain, talking about and writing haiku.

That may be the most pompous sentence I’ve ever written. Still.

Traditionally in America we think of haiku as being three-lined poems, with an emphasis on nature, that fall into line syllabicly: five-seven-five. Try writing short poetry to keep a record of your days.

We simply wrote short poems, as quickly as we could, and it was a lot of fun. Here are a few of mine from the trip:

Fall arrives today

carrying a suitcase

of decaying memories

 

Cold rain batters the roof

and we seek shelter

in the warm glow of words

 

Where does fall sleep

in the brilliance of summer

and the dark of winter

 

Don’t think, she says

but why can’t every word

be a flower?

I don’t really know what that last one means, but I like it.

I like the way these little poems don’t take a lot of time to write, but they each hold a little memory, a quick way to capture the day in three lines.

Here’s one from today:

She said my blood

was selfish

and left a bruise to thank me

(this one is about having to give a tiny bit of blood for some tests, which is always a hassle, even when they only need a few drops).

Or this one, a memory from a long season:

Exhale

Remember

the election is almost over

Writing Short Poetry Challenge

So the challenge or boost idea this week is to write short poetry. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • Commit to writing a certain number of poems each day, whether that’s one, three, five, whatever. My notebook holds seven three-line poems on one side of a page. I like to fill pages.
  • Set aside a certain amount of time every day or every couple of days — five or ten minutes will do it — and write as many poems as you can as quickly as possible, trying not to think too much about it. I can do a page in just a couple of minutes, and you probably can, too.

Again, this is not just a challenge for people who already think of themselves as writers or poets. It’s just a little fun with words. A journal entry in three lines.

I hope you’ll give it a try and if you do that you’ll share a poem or two here. They can’t be worse than mine!

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