A quick Google search will give you the following definition for a poem: “A piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song that is nearly always rhythmical, usually metaphorical, and often exhibits such formal elements as meter, rhyme, and stanzaic structure. or as something that arouses strong emotions because of its beauty.”
There are so many different kinds of poems — free verse, diamente, limericks, haiku and odes, just to name a few. There are rules and there are no rules.
If you are going to write a poem, you should just write one, says Lynne Lerych, Grays Harbor College writing and literature instructor. “If you’ve read one, you can write one. The more good poetry you’ve read, the more likely you are to write a good poem.”
Lerych adds, “Getting better at writing poetry is just like getting better at anything else. Read a lot of good poetry, practice writing poems every day, and share your poems with people who will give you valuable feedback.”
Grays Harbor College offers a few ways to improve your skills. The two-credit college level poetry class, English 242, which meets Thursday afternoons from 1-2:30 p.m. offered by Lerych, can be audited by anyone in the community if space is available. Or the college offers two Community Education classes which take place at Whiteside Education Center on First St. in Aberdeen. Rhyme Free Poetry takes place each Saturday beginning Sept. 13 and runs through Oct. 4 from 9:30-11:20 a.m. Cost is $34.50. The other option is Self-Discovery through Creative Writing during the same time period on Saturdays from noon to 1:50 p.m. and is the same cost. Plus 50 discounted price is $23.
If that isn’t enough Saturday poetry for you, mark your calendar for the second Saturday of each month from 5-7 p.m. at Six Rivers Gallery for ReSight poetry reading at 210 6th St. in Hoquiam.
To register for poetry classes at Grays Harbor, call the GHC admissions phone at 360-532-9020 or see them online at www.ghc.edu/admissions.
The Downside of Professionalism
Robin Moore, 1-12-14
Though you are quite qualified,
We feel totally justified,
To say you are not free,
To pursue employment at Liberty.
You are considerate and polite,
And we accept that Presidents need not be white,
But we don’t see how you can prepare,
Income taxes with purple hair.
(Let me clarify before, you ask,
You got purple hair, not the tax.)
Conceived in imagination, created of wood, shells, and tools.
Exported, imported, wholesaled, retailed.
Caringly purchased, especially for you.
To light your home.
Especially for you.
Rather than drop kicking it,
You forward passed it to a yard sale.
Reasonably priced, yet no takers.
Rejected by the Salvation Army,
It rolled around the back of your van.
Today it rained. You chanced upon a friend who needed a ride.
“Wow! What a cool lamp!” she cried.
“I saved it especially for you, ” you lied.