There are a handful of activities I avoid because I lack talent. I have no sports skills. My face catches every baseball, while my hands act as inefficient shields. Dribbling a basketball devolves when the ball bounces off my shoe and bent in half, I stumble-run, chasing the careening orb across the floor. Let’s not discuss my ineptitude in soccer, volleyball, or any sport that requires me to run. I don’t sing least I set the neighborhood dogs to howling like wolves, and I don’t write poetry.
I love poems and I have memorized many, including Patterns, by Amy Lowell, The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost. I adore The Tyger, by William Blake, Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Marc Anthony’s monologue from Julius Caesar, and countless works by Emily Dickinson. I can recite a Shakespeare sonnet, and Sea Canes by Derek Walcott. I also have a deep fondness of Walcott’s epic poem Omeros, though I would not attempt to commit it to memory.
I poems I memorize, I choose with great care because I know they will live with me forever. I seek work that connects me with the poet, poems where I feel the emotions they must have felt as they wrote. I enjoy rich imagery, and subtle shades of meaning, which beacons my soul to return time and time, again.
When I sit to compose, I try to clear my mind and allow my passions to embed themselves in the words, and embrace each phrase. It only happens when my heart leads the writing, not my head. Knowing what I intend to write dampens the message.
Do you write with your feelings?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer