Why Poetry? Invitation to write a poem

I’m a person full of life… why should I struggle with flowery words to create a poem? Poems are confounding to me, is such writing really necessary? On the flip side, some poets–such as the late Maya Angelou–stop me dead in my tracks. I am captured by her words. They are stunning, uplifting:maya_angelou-phenomenal_woman

It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth
The swing in my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman

What are some definitions of poetry to better understand it?

Poetry is “a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound symbolism—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic perceived meaning.”

“an arrangement of words, especially a rhythmical composition, sometimes rhymed, in a style more imaginative than ordinary speech”

“a composition, in verse, especially one characterized by a highly developed form and the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an imaginative interpretation of the subject”

In The Poetry Reader’s Toolkit by Marc Polonsky he says, “Prose is words in the best order. Poetry is the best words in the best order.” And he adds: “Poetry is words, chosen and arranged in such a way as to inspire the imagination.” I like this definition best.

Poetry then is like music, it contains rhythms which affect our moods and spirit. The words of our favorite songs cast little spells on us as we sing them. Poetry does the same thing. Both poetry and music engage our imagination. What they make us do is open up our imaginations in order to understand their symbolism. Then we can derive enjoyment, melancholy or satisfaction. For instance Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”: adele-rolling-in-the-deep-1-728

Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
You’re gonna wish you never had met me
And you played it, to the beat
Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep

The first time I heard Adele sing this song I was in the car sitting in the Sam’s parking lot and was spellbound. I was “rolling in the deep” with her and literally could not move until she finished the song. Then she left my heart pounding as I finally got out of the car.

I agree with Polonsky that poetry has been needlessly mystified in our culture. Just as there is an infinite variety of musical forms–poetry encompasses infinite expressions and styles. We may think we know what poetry is, and in a sense we do, but only in a limited sense. Because poetry is limitless, we don’t have to be afraid of it, there are no rules. You may (probably do) have a better knowledge base for poetry than I do… but that does not mean I cannot enjoy it just as much.

A recent National Science Foundation study involving 2,200 participants inspired me to write a poem. The study stunned me: It found 25% of Americans got this question wrong: “Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?” That’s right – one in four Americans think the sun goes around the earth. However, Americans actually fared better than Europeans who answered the same question. Only 66% of European Union residents answered it correctly. Mind boggling! Here is a poem I wrote in my book. moonandsun


Love spoke and made our blue earth, not to be the center of the universe, but its muse,

Love spoke and made our blue earth the third rock from the sun, Terra, solid, drifting, with vibrant, exploding life,

Love spoke and made the third rock spin and circle around the sun, with a tilt Terra spins, making seasons abound, arrays of colors bursting,

Love spoke and made Luna, dazzling sister to our blue earth, tugging, teasing our waters, one declared we’d often visit, just because,

Love spoke and made our sun, stunningly rise and fall peacefully for our blue earth, but no, Love gently spins and turns Terra to the East each day,

Love spoke and made our sun, Helios, our brightest Hero Star, one we could ever follow, never floating away, like Love itself,

Love spoke and made our Star give our blue earth, light, life, our sight, and warmth—just right, boundless energy, gratefully received,

Love spoke and made our blue earth ride in the Galaxy of Milky Way, majestic spiral, glowing band, heavenly teeming of kinship,

Love spoke and made Love to be written in the Sky, never alone, designed, evolving, sustained harmony, loving our blue earth, gracefully conceived for Love.

I invite you to write a poem inspired from the topic of the sun, earth and our galaxy from your own worldview. The next time you watch a sunset or sunrise, can you imagine the earth moving instead of the sun? Write a poem, up to 20 lines, either rhyming or free verse, on this subject and post it here by replying to this post. I will send an autographed copy of my book to the one that (in my opinion) has the most beauty or striking language, a fresh/unique perspective or has an intriguing story or flow.

Please feel free to write your poem your way, there is only one rule, up to 20 lines, and have fun with it!

Thank you for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Read more in my book: The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut




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6 thoughts on “Why Poetry? Invitation to write a poem

  1. Cecilia Gonzales

    I stepped up to the challenge and wrote a poem today Saturday March 5, 2016. Have not written a poem since high school English class!


    Embrace each day as a new day

    Wash away regrets, sorrow and anger
    Dry away tears, fears and doubts
    Clothe yourself with love, compassion and strength

    Embrace the seasons of your life
    Juniper pollen, catmint
    Big dipper, roasted marshmallows
    Color spectrum of aspen leaves
    Fluffy snow, slippery ice

    Embrace your father
    Kiss him goodbye
    Scratchy beard, wrinkly skin
    Say goodbye as leaves your world and enters the next world
    Safe travels
    Trust God

    Embrace your grandson
    Kiss him hello
    Soft skin, perfect toes
    Say hello as he leaves his womb and enters your world
    Safe travels
    Trust God

    Embrace each day as a new day

    1. admin Post author

      Oh Ceci your poem is so poignant and absolutely beautiful. It is sad yet so hopeful. I’ve got tears in my eyes as I read about your dad passing. I only wish I could have met him…
      YES let us Clothe ourselves with love, compassion and strength. You are a powerful inspiration to me to do just that. I will lift my prayers to heaven today in honor of your dad’s remarkable life and that the special bond you have with him will remain always until you see him again. Please take sweet care of yourself. I’m sending you my book with all of my love!
      Thank you for taking the time to write this and sharing it with us, I will cherish it, well done!!

  2. Melanie Reber

    Shall I Mourn the Winter

    shall I mourn the Winter for the Spring
    shall I lament the chilled season’s passing for the warmed day’s arrival

    all the wet blanket quietness of continuous decomposition
    resting so soundly below the never ending dark hours of stillness
    reflecting with each flake and drop the intense loss of captured color

    stripping bare the silhouetted skyward branches and earthbound shadows
    so steadily sleeping then beautifully bending to the winds of change
    which announce the coming of the long anticipated reward

    unexpectedly righting again to the new season’s song in glorious bloom
    shall I mourn the Spring for the Summer

    1. admin Post author

      Dear Melanie,
      This is so beautiful, you are so talented! You have captured the beauty of winter with a wonderfully contemplative mood. May we “beautifully bend to the winds of change” and be rewarded with “the new season’s song” –YES i am very inspired to do just that. Thank you dearest one. I hope you will write more… you certainly have “a poet” in you.

  3. admin Post author


    Suhad Salih Abubakar

    I can hear the drums of destruction!
    I can sense the touch of solitude!
    I can feel the eminent danger!
    I can see the drawing nigh of a dark cloud,
    Circling and dancing around our efforts.
    Yes! It gazes pitiless at our solidarity.
    It mocks our chance for redemption.
    And it sneers its glare at our existence.

    That is the sound of conflict I hear.
    Slowly conquering territories.
    Majestically gaining grounds.
    Wishfully sipping the souls of the innocent,
    But not the souls of many.
    Able men are its firewood,
    Used to rekindle flames of conflict.
    Women are its play toy,
    Used to keep hot bloods satisfied.
    Children are its future,
    Used to assure perpetual confusion.
    The strength of able men channeled into wasteful ventures,
    The morality and mildness of women turned into intoxicants,
    The vulnerability of children plunged into flames of constant anarchy.

    Ô! How I wish we all had common grounds,
    A common stand where we can all be safe,
    An oval table of sensible and rational leaders.
    We all revere a supreme being after all.
    Both factions of the eager zones do agree.
    Religion has always been the opium of the masses, they say.
    Why not capitalize on our common denominator?
    Why not put away our selfish interests?
    Why not join hands?
    Not out of friendship or brotherhood,
    But out of respect for our doctrines.
    The doctrine which abhors callousness.
    The doctrine which disapproves of bloodshed.
    The doctrine which preaches tolerance.
    The doctrine which chooses selflessness over selfishness.
    Why not spare our statisticians the body count?
    Why not restore our children’s naivety?
    Why not cherish our women’s dignity?
    Why not allow our men into fruitful ventures?
    So we can be proud to call our world our own,
    So we can walk and dream freely.
    And dream of a safe world,
    Where posterity can be assured and guaranteed.

    Salih Shad Abubakar is a 24-year-old Ghanaian poet. She views poetry as an emancipatory tool capable of breaking barriers and forming new bonds with people. Her poem “A Dream from the Future” is a moving introspection on the themes of religion and violence. It highlights the impact of conflicts and the need to use religions as a tool for peace and unity rather than violence and division.

  4. admin Post author

    It Is Possible
    by Joyce Rupp

    it is possible
    to become so one
    with Earth
    that every flower
    perfumes the soul,

    every snowflake
    sends icy softness
    dancing through veins,

    every drop of rain
    trickles down vessels
    of the heart,

    every cloud in the sky
    sails along
    songlines of the spirit,

    every earthquake
    rumbles in the gut,

    every tide of the sea
    moves in and out of self,

    it is possible
    to become one
    with Earth

    just as it is possible
    to become one
    with all people,
    their pain, my pain,
    their joy, my joy,
    their struggle and delight
    an echo of my own.

    it is possible to become one.

    it is possible.


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