adore this poem, with its clear, unclouded image and joy:
"Fireflies!" This represents what sometimes gets
lost in young poets' poetry. So many young poets get bogged
down early on because they feel like they have to speak deeper
truths in their work and-- at least this was my experience
in middle and high school-- they sometimes feel like they
have to compete when it comes to tortured poems full of unrequited
love. Yes, some poems (and many songs) work on this level,
and in fact, many poets have made careers out of this kind
my advice for young writers is that this isn't the only kind
of poem-- in fact, you can be a "serious poet" and
still write an occasionally silly or strange poem. William
Matthews has a poem about his cat jumping from the back of
a toilet through the shower curtain and falling into the tub
(it's called "Rescue"). Yes, you can write from
life, and life isn't always happy, but I believe that poetry
is about reminding everyone around us what it is like to be
human when we sometimes get caught up in unimportant things.
If you want to be a serious poet, channel that seriousness
into discipline, and always, always sit down to write. Do
not let anything stop you. Some days you will be more successful
than others, but try everything, and sometimes just be weird
or lose yourself because you haven't been weird or lost before.
this website, you will find a breadth of youthful poetry that
is certainly astounding. Look around and realize how many
of your colleagues have been inspired by their own lives and
the world around them. Try not to decide what kind of poet
you are or what kind of poem you're going to write too early
on. The best part about poetry and art in general is that
everything is possible, so "...shine through the darkness"
and share the best of what it means to be here, now, on this
earth, with the rest of the PoetryWITS audience.
submit your poetry all throughout the school year by clicking
This spring, PoetryWITS will be sponsoring a contest. Winners
will read their poetry aloud to an audience of published poets
and poetry lovers during National Poetry month (April).
Liz Chang, 2012 MCPL