Writing Poetry Is Hard

The ideas came from nowhere or, at least, that is how it seemed at the time. I could sit in my bedroom, mulling about or watching TV or reading a book or doing homework or whatever and this string of words would just come to me so I’d scramble to get a sheet of paper and a pen and write them down before they floated away. Before that – before my twenties – I forced myself to write. Every day. A new poem/song that my imaginary band in high school would play one day (did I ever mention that story?), so maybe that’s where the talent stems from. Re-reading old poems I wrote as a teenager (yes, I still have those beat up composition journals tucked away in my closet), they followed the same rhyme schemes taught in classrooms. I wasn’t writing sonnets, but ABAB CDCD and so on type schemes.

Lately though, it’s a chore to write. Well, not a chore, but an effort. The strings are still there, but they’re harder for me to focus on. Harder to pull down from the ether. It’s harder still to conjure up the emotions needed to write, forcing myself to relive through the events that inspire me. 

Yet, every year I try to get myself to write something new. It’s been rocky to say the least. This year, though, I had a sense of loss. I’ve been thinking of those I’ve lost along the way. How trying to remember them becomes more difficult with time.

And I wrote it, but something else scratched at the inside of my brain. Not so much the people I lost, but a sense of time. 

I remembered a time in life where poetry and poetry readings were a major part of my social life. Where weekends meant going out to a cafe in the outskirts of Edinburg to hang out with a bunch of other writers. And it got me thinking of all the characters I met along the way. 

So I asked myself if I wanted a poem about losing people or a poem about remembering them? So I wrote that one, too. And that’s the poem you read yesterday. While the first one I wrote was true to heart, it wasn’t the mood I wanted to express. And maybe one day I’ll share it with you. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this year’s poetry celebration. 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood

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