A fellow writer/blogger inspired this post. Saunter on over to Brinda Banerjee’s blog where you’ll read about a wonderful childhood experience with poetry.
Her blog inspired me to go through some of my decades-old writing and my awkward attempt at poetry. To me, poetry is much more difficult than writing fiction or non-fiction. It’s a kind of dance, a delicate, melodic balance with all sorts of technical aspects involved: iambic pentameter, meter, strophes, trochees, spondees, anapests, dactyls and pyrrhics.
It’s lining up words to create a symphony of emotion — da-Dum, DA-dum with emphasis on this or that syllable that enables the reader to experience the poet’s message in a vivid or imaginative way.
Inspiration for Poetry
Most poets write about a moving experience; the joy and/or disappointment of love or unrequited love, the beauty of a sunset, the road not taken, nature, rain sluicing over a window or catching on a petal with sunlight streaming through — you know, something deep and meaningful.
What was my poem about? Going to the dentist. Now, you can understand why I’m not a poet. It was week two of a creative writing class where we all had to submit poetry and were told to write a poem about something that moved us or scared us. I’m terrified of the dentist. I HATE GOING TO THE DENTIST. I’m an avid flosser and brusher just to keep from staying in the chair for too long and I go every six months for the same reason. Drilling, scraping and the smell; seriously you’d think there’d be a less barbaric way in which to keep our choppers bright and healthy.
Anyway, here’s the poem:
I wait in a room with others here
For the very same reason as I
We thumb through magazines of another year
With an air of boredom and a restless sigh.
A door flings open and out steps a nurse** (see note below)
Formidable in her starched, white dress
She sings out my name as if in verse
I stand, my heart pounding in my chest
She leads me down a long, cold corridor
Steel, gray doors flank me left and right
Her white-cushioned soles squish on the mirror-like floor
My pulse quickens; I’m filled with fright.
I’m led to a room with a monstrous chair
Where others before me have cried
The dentist has me in his lair
He smiles and says, “Open Wide!”
**I know they’re called technicians or hygienists but nurse seemed to fit better and I couldn’t think of anything that rhymed with the correct term(s).
Silk slipping through my fingers
Dreams, I try to grasp
(Comment from instructor: “Too abstract.” And I thought I was being deep.)
Dark and foreboding
The place in my Soul where the
Words wait to be born
(Comment from instructor: “Good.” Oh, soulful me!)
Signaling its end
Summer gives up its blaze to
The dark cloak of night
(Comment from instructor: “This one comes close.” He circled the word cloak with the comment, “Almost archaic.” (Close, but passé. Sigh.)
Okay, I’ve braved possible humiliation by sharing my attempts at poetry (using the word loosely here to describe the above), so please, do the same by sharing or directing me to some of yours.
I’ve got another one, much longer, that got rave reviews from my classmates and was published in the university’s community newspaper.
If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine. .