Poetry: Three Common Misconceptions

 

 

Although this chilly Monday morning may not be the spring weather many of us are looking for, it is indeed April! Therefore, in honor of National Poetry Month, I encourage you to grab a warm beverage, find a comfortable seated position, and, as a reader, to embrace all there is to appreciate of the writing process. 

Unfortunately, poetry is often quite misunderstood. To a community of non-writers, it can be viewed as an intimidating process. Our minds, though creative, perceive there to be a procedure to follow when it comes to creating content. As a skilled surgeon partakes in an operation, handling each incision with accuracy and precision, we similarly assume there to be a notion of “correctness” when it comes to writing poetry. In reality, our intuition and imagination are often what lead us to becoming inspired.

Generating material, whether its purpose is for work or pleasure, should not solely be a technical process.Although there are ways of providing structure to our writing, it is not mandatory to pursue any of these methods. However, due to the intimidation and fear of being “incorrect” or “taboo,” we tend to seek out any opportunity to simplify our experience.

Often when we consider poetry, we think of the phrase “roses are red, violets are blue.” We picture ourselves as children flipping through Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” Although we may not all be as open-minded as Sam-I-Am, it is important that we understand a few misconceptions associated with the ever so popular form of literature.

 

Three Common Misconceptions:

  • Poetry needs to be, well,  “poetic”

Sounding professional and fluid is something many writers desire. However, telling a story or expressing an idea, requires flexibility. No longer, should we restrict ourselves. Our creative boundaries remain endless, allowing us to reach far beyond the margins of predictability.

  • There are rules to follow

Haiku, Pastoral, Ballad, Limerick. There are countless forms of poetry outlined with rule and regulation, however; we are certainly not limited to these options. In fact, contrary to popular belief, poetry does not need to rhyme *GASP*

  • Poems need to be “short and sweet” 

In comparison to prose writing, we often assume poetry to be rather short in length. Although, this claim is simply false. Poetry can vary in word count. The Odyssey, written by Homer, is an epic poem of nearly four-hundred pages.