Poetry for Better Writing

credit: flocabulary.com
There are times when I'm writing that creativity escapes me. Sometimes, only for a moment, other times the dry spell could go on for days.

To break this treacherous cycle, I often turn to any number of tricks or exercises to get going again. I might try working on another part of the project at hand, timed writing, free writing, listening to lyrical music or great classical music.

Often, what works best for me is writing (or even reading or thinking about) poetry. Poetry is unique to the individual and can be written in any form. Of course, there are conventions and rules for poetry but I've yet to see anyone follow these rules. I've read poetry that doesn't rhyme or poetry that sounds more like a personal accounting that captivated me.

I've dabbled in poetry since childhood but never seriously. I've had a poem published but even publication didn't keep me from criticizing it later.

I will not be so vain as to imply or express that my poems are worthy of tearful ovations or cool finger-snapping. Nonetheless, they serve a purpose in spawning creativity in my own writing and poetry, either read or written from your own hand can do the same for you.

Here are some of mine to get you started and show that even not-so-great poems can get your creative juices flowing and provide insight into sentence structure, readability, and flow.

Sleepless Night
Oh, those torrents of the dark
Those devilish, nocturnal things
Tonight, I joined them
Cast away the invitation to sleep
I cannot find rest
And my dreams have left in fear
Of the wilds in the night
I watch with untrusting eyes
As a cast of spirits taunt me
And hold my sanity captive, just out of reach
Spirits so dark and deceitful
Even their shadows are not welcome
They are only darkness among shadows
And they hold slumber ransom
What ransom for sleep
Name it and I’ll pay
Although sleep will not be freed
I’ll pay my dues all the next day
  You can probably guess what prompted this poem. I've posted this unchanged and unedited so that anyone can see that, even though not perfect or publication ready, poetry can serve a personal purpose and generally make one feel better.

Heartbroken Manifesto
You told me to have faith
So I allowed hope of salvation to flow
But no help came and I was not saved
You said God answers all in need
So, on worn and bloody knees, I cried out
But no answer came from my pleas
You said love brings life
So, I gave of my heart, put it out in the cold
My reward; a hardened heart, cold as ice You said love conquers all
But, when I held out my heart, I fell prey
To cupid’s arrow piercing my heart’s hard frozen walls
You said all wounds heal with time
But I could spend an eternity searching
And not bring my broken scattered heart back in line
You say let me lift you up, make you better
I say let me alone while I search an eternity
For my shattered frozen heart lost to the nether

Not even sure where this one came from. But the next poem, I wrote as part of a writing exercise. At a meeting with other writers someone proposed an exercise to write about the first thing they picked up out of the trash. The subject became an aluminum soda can, so I wrote about aluminum.


 Waiting in darkness, your world under mine.
Attached to another since the dawn of time.
Now freed by strong current, and formed as a can.
You hold my cold beverage, while I hold you in my hand.
 Lighter than silicon locked up in bauxite.
Heavier than magnesium but just on the right.
Used and reused, your form has no end.
So useful when neighbors graciously lend.
 Though your place at the table, a lowly thirteen
To us you’re the best, there’s no in between.
A can, a car, a fast aero plane
A table, a building, or parts of a train.
 Without you, my friend we’d not be in space
We’d still be on Earth just spinning in place.
Stuck with just Iron and heaving its weight
Slowing us down and making us late.
 And that is why …
 Alou, Alou, we like Aluminum
I drink from your form and when I am done
You’ll become new again for another someone.
So useful and timeless. We like Aluminum.

The above poem was supposed to be more like lyrics and sung to some tune I've long forgotten.

Just a thought, but taking a short break to write poems can help with creativity. Poetry, either written on your own or read can provide expression and healing in times when it is needed.

How about you? Do you ever delve into the world of poetry? Tell me about it.