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.
The poems I love, I often memorize. It is a lengthy list including “Patterns,” by Amy Lowell, “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost. William Blake’s “The Tyger” is another one I adore and let’s not forget, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” Marc Anthony’s monologue from Julius Caesar. There are countless works by Emily Dickinson that can leap into conversation almost unbidden. I can recite a Shakespeare sonnet, and when Patrick Stewart began reading them on social media, I couldn’t stop watching. Ok, I’m a geek. “Sea Canes” by Derek Walcott is another favorite, and his epic poem “Omeros” holds a special place in my heart, though I doubt my ability to commit it to memory.
The 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, and 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 takes the lead with my 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