In honor of poetry month, we're going to be discussing poetry all this week on 2k8, including our favorite poets, poems and inspirations. We may even get a little original poetry from some of our members! Poetry, like all writing, begins with words; words that inspire, create an image or evoke an emotion. Join the class of 2k8 as we celebrate words, poetry and poets!
Today we begin with Zu Vincent, author of The Lucky Place, who penned an article about one of her inspirations, Susan Wooldridge. Says Zu: "Her writing is so evocative and she's very passionate about it. She is always keeping a journal, she carries one wherever she goes and fills it with bits of found objects, stray words and thoughts until the journals become like personal poems in themselves."
poemcrazy by Zu Vincent
“I can’t stand to lose anything,” writes author Susan Wooldridge in her collection of essays on the poet’s tools, poemcrazy, freeing your life with words. “That’s part of what writing is all about for me….if I put words in poems, I can begin to see my value.”
And helping others see their value through words is what poemcrazy is all about. The book evolved as she gave poetry workshops in schools, juvenile halls and libraries around the country, and found “poetry was being damaged by the way it was taught.”
Instead, she wanted to bring joy back into words. To give people permission to express their deepest feelings. By “tricking people into using imagery and metaphor to discover their voice without even knowing they were writing,” she says, she was able to get amazing results.
Poemcrazy has proved so popular it’s now in its 20th printing. And Wooldridge’s second book Fool’s Gold: Making Something From Nothing also cuts close to the creative bone.
“…Not only do I discover I exist when I write poems,” Wooldridge writes in poemcrazy’s chapter, ‘Catching Myself.’ “I learn I’m larger than I thought. I extend up to where the air gets thin and down into the earth’s core near the red hot spots.”
That chapter was, for Wooldridge, a lot like poetry itself. “It’s one simple page I whittled down from twelve,” she says. “I was trying to tap why I wrote, what is really going on here.”
She finds that distillation is often the process of writing, especially poetry. But you have to let yourself expand, first. “Let things build up,” she says. “I notice that when I have a dripping faucet, by accident, this brief little drip will eventually fill the sink.”
Tomorrow we feature some original poetry from the Class of 2k8. Until then, what are you waiting for? Go write a poem!