Yesterday was the first day of my summer poetry class. I have taken several creative writing classes, and I don’t know why but I never consider poetry as an option when I sit down to write. To me, it’s always fiction, first and foremost. Yet whenever I read, write, or think about poetry, I get that feeling people get when they are immersed in something they feel really comfortable with.
I feel very differently about myself as a writer now than I did before I started Mount Mary’s English MA program. I’ve realized a lot of things about myself as a writer that didn’t occur to me before, or I was so busy trying to be “a Writer” that I wasn’t paying much attention to my writing.
One of those realizations (and there was definitely an a-ha moment) was when I realized that I really like working within limitations. Does anyone want to admit this if it’s true? I know I do it at work, because I like to establish processes an absolutes and never make exceptions. In life, if it’s a diet or exercise thing, getting a certain amount of sleep, or whatever weird thing I’m into at the moment, I have to give myself very specific boundaries and guidelines, otherwise I just break them. All or nothing.
Writing formal poetry is definitely a work of limitations. You are still being you, and you are still being creative, but it’s about putting together a creative puzzle that fits just so. I read some formal poems I’ve written, and I really am a stickler once I’ve decided I’m following the rules. I still enjoy free verse, but I’m definitely drawn to forms.
It’s time to get back to work after that five week stretch of weeknight TV.