25

Jan 12

Poet-didactically

The other little boys wanted to be astronauts and firefighters and cowboy types – I said I wanted to play with words.

I will refrain from over-excusing the last many years, but playing with words, it seems, does not easily buy bread.

Yesterday I discovered I was bored and I thought about why and thought about what I wanted out of life, I thought about my calling and a little boy answered surprising me.

Today I find myself in a self-structured classroom working on a self-defined degree towards an end that matters to me if no one else.

Tomorrow I want to be known, among some at least, as Shea the poet

 

Part of me has always been a poet. I have fed the hunger through lyrics for cheesy metal songs and punk songs about breakfast cereals. A couple of years ago I started (re-re-re-started) a personal journal and prayer log. At first it was a bunch of whining self-pity crap and I quit again several times. Slowly I found the words began spilling out into my journal as poetry, slowly my journaling had meaning and my prayers had true soul. That old hunger grew.

For years I loved the *idea* of poetry more than poetry itself, which seems a strange position to take, but I am learning that it is natural when you have urge without skill. Today I want to build the skill – and this site will be my classroom. I cannot currently afford a real classroom with a live teacher, so I am designing my own course of study. I figure I need 4 things

  • An Expert
  • Example
  • Practice
  • Feedback

For my expert, I have searched the shelves of my local Value Village and found a wonderful manual for “Writers of Poetry, Verse and Song Lyrics”. Written by Clement Wood and published back in 1946, Poet’s Handbook shall be my starting expert to teach me the things I do not yet know about poetry. Of course the web is overflowing with resources to assist, and I will post as I discover.

For Example, I once again went begging at a thrift store. It is amazing how many poetry books, journals and anthologies are lonely there, asking only pennies to be enjoyed. I also ran across Roger Housden and his Ten Poems to Change Your Life in the bargain bin (sorry Roger) and I found I loved reading his essays about particular poems and I think I will follow his example here and write some essays about the poems I read.

For practice, I have my journal freshly stocked with 5×7 white lined paper and this WordPress blog - Common Oddity.

For feedback, I have a writers account at Writers Cafe – please support my efforts by reading and responding there as the energy is available.

If my reader wandered here because they too wish to be known someday as a poet, I hope my notes and logged learning experiences here, along with whatever poetry drips out along the way, will aid them towards their destination.