Poetry Reflection

Poetry Reflection
I think this unit has been the roller coaster ride for me. I came into poetry, thinking this is
going to be a piece of cake, yet spent the whole first week-and-a-half flailing about. I
kept writing lines and half-poems and tearing them up. I just couldn’t catch the words, or
the sounds, or the structure that I wanted.
Then, I went back to my poetry anthologies and read Carroll, Yeats, Whitman, and
Dickinson, and I was able to put some thoughts down on paper. Most importantly, I think
I realized what Barbara has been telling me about standing in the field until lightening
strikes. All the other units, I’d write something, know that it’s bad, leave for an hour, and
come back, and fix what was wrong. For this unit, a single word can make or break a
piece, and I finally realized that. I wrote a lot of poetry that has nothing to do with the
assignments or exercises but I think I finally saw lightening strike. I’ve had probably 3
days over the course of 3 weeks where I’ve felt like a poet. But I think some of the poems
from those three days were worth three weeks of failure.
I think my ear for my own poetry has improved greatly over the course of this unit. I’m
starting to hear the interplay of words, meanings, and sounds. I’m starting to understand
meter as something that’s alive and there’s not just stressed, unstressed, but different
degrees of being stressed and unstressed. I’m also paying more attention to and playing
with my line breaks, because I’m starting to understand how to shift attention to certain
words and detract attention from others. For the same reason, I’m playing with
enjambment and end-stopped lines.
I think I always knew poetic devices and technique as a reader of poetry, but I never
understood it as a writer. I think I never used the techniques because I was afraid to try.
The best thing I did in this unit is trying to copy specific form and technique from
specific poems. I know painters often copy masterpieces to improve and perfect their
technique, and I tried to do the same things by reading and copying my favorite poets.
At this point, I find myself enjoying writing poetry once again. Something I expected in
the beginning, but highly doubted in the middle of the course.