How to Nurture Love for Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth

Symbolism and words

Poetry is said to be good for the soul, as it soothes our emotions, helps us dig deeper into  thoughts and dreams and makes us discern the aesthetic pleasures around us. If you avoid poetry and prefer thrillers, probably you have never been exposed to the love of reading a good poem.

Nurturing the love for poetry starts in childhood. If you are a parent, read a poem everyday with your child. Ask the child what s/he likes about that poem. If the child likes it, don’t hestitate to read it everyday but add another one. Begin with simple and short poems.

Encourage your child to collect little poems and make a scrapbook. You can browse poems for kids online. Think about your favorite poets and poems you liked as a child or as a youngster. Share those thoughts with your children or siblings. Discuss what makes you like poetry.

Encourage your child to write a short poem. Bette A. Stevens offers excellent guidelines for writing haiku (an unrhymed poetic form consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively.)

Why is poetry disliked? Whenever this question haunts me, I try to look back to search some answers. The only poetry we were exposed to in schools, was the rhymes and that too in Kindergarten.

While reading story books is stressed upon but good poetry books are not easily available. Either they haven’t been written or their level is too high to be understood by children.

Some poems that we meet in textbooks fail to inculcate the love for reading of more poetry though ‘Mr. Nobody’ stayed in my thoughts and I love it even today.

Here is the fun poem: I wish more such poems could be written!

Mr. Nobody

I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody.

’Tis he who always tears out books,
Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
For prithee, don’t you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr. Nobody.

He puts damp wood upon the fire
That kettles cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud,
And all the carpets soil.
The papers always are mislaid;
Who had them last, but he?
There’s no one tosses them about
But Mr. Nobody.

The finger marks upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying round you see
Are not our boots,—they all belong
To Mr. Nobody.
– Walter de la Mare

Whenever a door squeaks, I think of Mr. Nobody!

Poems for children and middle schoolers have to be short and simple. The following poem by Robert Frost could speak to them if imagery is explained by the teacher:

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
– Robert Frost

Love for poetry is also connected with how well the poems are taught by our English teachers. Some just read them and inspire children to analyze. While it may be good for developing critical thinking, discussions have to follow to share the opinion of others.

Creative writing workshops in schools that focus on poetry writing develop sensibilities at an early age. Do you have any memories of writing poetry in your school?

In honor of National Poetry Month, two of my poetry books are being offered for just 0.99 cents. If you love poetry, grab your copy now. Thank you. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.

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Expectations Of Writers And Readers

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When a writer puts the first word on paper; a dream world opens before him, a world that ignites his creativity as well as fantasy. Former makes him produce his magnificent work but the latter makes him a celebrity overnight (in his dreams.)

You may be writing out of creative compulsions or the satisfaction of venting your voice could be your trigger, most writers harbor a secret wish – to be read, to be reviewed and admired. Admiration comes easily but you never know how hypocritical it is. Reality hits you when you see how much money you are earning from your books.

You may stay determined with the cliché – “never give up” but when you read others’ work and feel that many average books are overflowing with 5 star reviews; you wonder whether something is wrong with you when you feel like dropping a book that has been fetching 5 stars… (for whatever reasons!)

However, there are critical readers too. They know what they want, their discerning eye can’t be escaped. Their expectations are immeasurable.

You think you have the most original ideas, you would be the best seller but your readers feel you ramble, you repeat and the setting of your story is vague or the title of your book is a misnomer.youtuber-2838945__340

You think you write perfect English, your beta readers are excellent helpers and you have a long list of friends under the acknowledgements but your readers find typos and structural errors in your book.

Each reader expects an amazing book; he doesn’t want to think what were your compulsions or exhaustions. He doesn’t want to buy your excuses. He doesn’t want to digest your lack of finances for hiring an astute editor. All readers are not writers and they have every right to judge your book according to their own parameters. All readers are not kind enough to overlook imperfections in the plot, style of writing or characterization.

Then there are writers who focus on money. They write just what sells. The day writing becomes a chore for you, you are no longer a writer, and you become a businessperson, churning out book after book, devoid of any real emotion.

Your writing may not be “like a windowpane” or “impenetrable fog” but it has to be an “exploration,” it has to “enrich the life of those who read it.” If it is just inconsequential chitchat between a few characters, going around in circles, you may befool a few readers but not all.

Robert Frost’s definition is worth pondering: “The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader. I know people who read without hearing the sentence sounds and they were the fastest readers. Eye readers we call them. They get the meaning by glances. But they are bad readers because they miss the best part of what a good writer puts into his work.”

Are you an “eye reader” or a critical reader? Do you drop a book if you don’t like it? What do you expect from your readers?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

I Am Soul #PoetryBook

Please welcome my blogger friend and a poet par excellence Yecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) who shares an excerpt from her inspiring and soulful poetry book, ‘I Am Soul.’ BLOG TOUR

WHY I WRITE BLACK

Because flowers grow in strange places
like tattered pieces of wood and recycled paper.
Because history is frostbitten
and winter refuses to be comforted by the sun.
Bluish-white and numbed pain
cold skin and a prickling feeling.
Because the sky don’t stay dark forever,
but light ain’t taught in history class.
Because some skirts
are too heavy
to lift without permission.
Because Dust Tracks on The Road
was subtracted chapters.
Because some truths
are too big to sacrifice
on American altars.
Because Zora died broke
and Nina died sad.
Because their voices still sing.
Because strange fruit still swings.
Because ignorance in this world
is worth more than rubies
and diamond gems
are a worthless treasure.
Because no one has picked up the pieces
of truth
underneath the rubble
of bombed out churches
on 16th Street
Because little girls ain’t little girls no more
Little girls ain’t nothing
but crushed bones
and melted skin,
A strike of disobedience
against premeditated sin.
Because hope is stronger than despair.
Because freedom is worth more
than all the
raisins in the sun.
© YecheilyEC

Bio:
Yecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journey. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.

Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:
She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
She is originally from Chicago, IL
She’s been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
She believes eggs make everything better
She is a twin
She is addicted to reading and new notebooks
Her favorite desert is ice cream

I am Soul is now available on Amazon, for iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and ScribdClick Here to choose your retailer.

 

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How Writing Can Help Us In Dealing With Emotions

Writing

Writing is one of the most amazing gifts that we receive with life. When a child learns to put the alphabets together, when he starts using those words into small, broken sentences, he hardly knows that he is learning the best of all the ingenuities available to human beings to share their emotions.

Those who get an opportunity to develop and enhance this skill at an early age feel blessed when they can use this as to tool to calm down their emotions.

Have you heard about writing therapy? My friend Kim of My Inner Chick has been using it since the untimely, unfortunate demise of her sister Kay, who was murdered by her own husband.

I too have experienced its therapeutic appeal!

Have you felt the cathartic and liberating effect of writing?

Whether it is expressive writing, writing for pleasure or creative writing – it is the best outlet for those emotions, which are difficult to express and lurk deeper within the inner recesses of our heart.

As a student I had read what Aldous Huxley said about writing: “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything.”

I have often deliberated about this bizarre analogy…X-rays always conjured up darkness before my eyes but I could understand the import of his words only now…when I can discern what role darkness plays in our lives…how it props us up to look for light, almost impels us towards it…how it raises our hopes!

Writing makes us happier:

The elation of recording our feelings is so fulfilling, so heartwarming that many people develop the habit of writing a journal. We can create our own world of fantasy, in which all the characters are mere puppets in our hands. We can unlock all the doors, as the keys are in our possession…what a wonderful feeling!

Writing inspires:

Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms and writing is surely one of them. It gives an impetus to our desires. When we write down about our aspirations and goals, our dreams begin to take shape. We start feeling that we are on the chosen track and through writing; we can plan as well as take stock of our achievements, quite frequently.

Writing organizes our thoughts:Writing Quote

It gives clarity to those ideas, which are confusing or blurred. It calms us down and leads us to self-discovery. With practice, words become our best friends, teach us tolerance, control our anger and rein our negative thoughts. They slash those emotional walls down, which ward off our progress towards becoming a better person.

Writing keeps us busy:

Like reading, writing keeps our mind occupied and takes us to the next level…of honing our skills, of embellishing our imagination, of drowning all the anxieties and loneliness in the ocean of words. The pleasure of this activity can only be felt when we start sharing our solitude with the words. It keeps our mind healthy and active.

 Writing heals:

All those hurts, the agony, the emotional throttling gets assuaged when we pour it out, when we weave a wreath of words to be placed on those buried memories, when we share it in the form of a poem, a story or that precious book we write. Healing starts the moment we pen down our thoughts. We feel relieved. We learn to forgive. We rise above human imperfections.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” –Anne Frank

Writing sets us free:

Writing has given me wings. I can fly anytime, anywhere. I often perch on the branches of my favorite trees and can communicate with everyone without any reticence. All those who sit far away, in the comfort of their homes can hear me as I let my voice merge into the clouds that float around, merrily.

Have you experienced the power of writing? How has it affected you?

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.