WHAT IS IT ABOUT POETRY?
Do you embrace or shun it? Write it or read it? Do you even care?
April marks National Poetry Month, a full thirty days initially established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 to focus on poetry.
If you haven’t read poetry in years, I’d suggest you revisit poetry. Long gone, mostly, are rhymed verses.
Instead, you will find poets penning free verse that correlates to an abbreviated form of storytelling or a spilling of emotions or a harmony of detailed observations and more.
Despite differences in subject matter and style, poets share a common love of language. Alliterations. Personification. Similes and metaphors. Strong verbs.
Poetry, though it may appear easy to write, is not.
Details matter. Each word matters. The sound of a poem read aloud matters.
Every poet possesses a style. I’d define mine as rooted in my native southwestern Minnesota prairie. That stark land shaped me as a writer. My poems convey a strong sense of place, words wheeling like a prairie fire across the landscape of a page.
With so few distractions, the prairie presents an ideal environment to notice details—the grate of the wind, the lean of an outbuilding, the weathered grey of an abandoned farmhouse, the isolation, the calloused hands of a farmer, green corn leaves unfurling against rich black soil, the horizontal grid of township gravel roads, power lines stretching into infinity…
Those who’ve never lived on the prairie often fail to understand its beauty, dismissing it as the middle of nowhere.
But this land holds my heart and memories and continues to inspire me. Not all of my verse. But much of it.
Some of my prairie-inspired poetry includes:
- “This Barn Remembers,” Lake Region Review #1
- “Taking Lunch to the Men in the Field,” Lake Region Review #2
- “Abandoned Barn,” The Talking Stick, Volume 20
- “Broken,” The Talking Stick, Volume 21
- “The Farmer’s Song,” The Talking Stick, Volume 22
- “Prairie Sisters,” Poetic Strokes, Volume 2
- “Abandoned Farmhouse,” Poetic Strokes, Volume 3
- “Walking Beans,” Poetic Strokes, Volume 3
- “A school without a library,” Poetic Strokes, Volume 4
- “Saturday night baths,” Poetic Strokes, Volume 4
- “Her Treasure,” 11th annual Poet-Artist Collaboration, Crossings at Carnegie
- “Lilacs”, 13th annual Poet-Artist Collaboration, Crossings at Carnegie and honorable mention at 18th annual Northwoods Art & Book Festival
Perhaps it’s time to consider compiling those poems and others into a collection. Thoughts?
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling