Poetry Chat: How to Write a Poem?
Indeed that question offers endless (ocean of:) possibilities, so here’s a bit of a chat about my process and some insights into two poems that I have had recently published in Friends & Anemones Ocean Poems for Children.
I think if I had to pick two things that start to percolate a poem for me, they are experience and imagination. Woven into these is emotion, the feelings that surround what you do or have done and what you imagine. Although often times for me, I don’t know what the feeling in a poem is until I have a number of drafts.
A few drafts in I start to focus more on the form of the poem. What is the little vessel the words and images should inhabit to bring it to life? Some times I like to think about it this way, “how will the poem dress today?” Will it be a casual blue jeans kind of poem? Or is it decked out in an evening gown or tux?
Here are two examples of how I went about writing my poems in the anthology Friends & Anemones Ocean Poems for Children.
Humpback Horizon Haiku
Real ocean experiences inspired me. I have been lucky enough to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii and saw Humpbacks breach! Another experience was the beautiful sunrises I have seen on Rhode Island beaches. Humpback Horizon is a mash up of these two experiences sparked by the feeling of awe and the sheer beauty of both. Here is a pic I took in RI that shows one of those ruby sunrises.
Memories + pictures can spark = a poem!
I wonder poems…
Manatee Salad Bar was a completely different way to write a poem. It was what I call an “I wonder,” poem. This type of poem often happens for me when I am reading a book or doing research. I was reading informational books about ocean life and was amazed by manatee facts.
So in this case, my personal experience was limited, having not seen real manatees in the wild. However, facts sparked my imagination. What if all that eating manatees did (insert fact here- they eat about 120 lbs of vegetation + plankton etc.) a day, turned out to be a manatee salad bar?
Manatees looked playful to me, so I decided that would be part of the tone or feeling threaded through the poem, and who doesn’t like to include sound words like “slurp” and “glurp,” in a poem? Must be what underwater eating sounds like! In the end, I wrote the poem to mash up real facts with a playful salad bar image.
Wonder + research can spark = a poem
There are so many fun ocean poems written by wonderful children’s writers in Friends & Anemones Ocean Poems for Children. I hope you are able to check it out. I am really happy to be part of the anthology.
For more information about the book: https://www.thewritersloft.org/
Thanks for stopping by my website and happy writing!