I love to write. I excel at writing research papers, I work as a writing tutor in the AEWC, I blog, and I hope to (maybe) be a journalist one day. The one form of writing that has always intimidated me is poetry. While I love reading and listening to poetry, and even tried my hand at writing (what I thought was) poetry when I was an angsty preteen, the idea of putting my deepest thoughts and emotions into something to be read by others has always terrified me. So, you can imagine my panic when I found out that English 227, an elective I had chosen to take for my multimedia journalism major this semester, would be almost centered around poetry.
Foundations in Creative Writing, taught by Dr. William J. Snyder, is divided into sections of poetry and fiction/creative nonfiction writing. This means that for the past month my classmates and I have been reading poems by Laux, Fairchild, and Olds, writing our own based on the things we have learned from those three greats, and critiquing each other’s work in class. Handing in that first poem was one of the most anxiety-inducing things I had ever done. I had written about both my relationship with Isaac and the death of my grandmother, and I could not fathom the idea of my classmates taking my very personal words home and criticizing them. However, when we workshopped our poems in class two days later, my fear began to fade: They loved my poem, and the comments they had were very helpful in helping me improve my work. Now, almost two weeks later, I am about to receive my classmate’s comments on my third and final poem. I cannot wait to see what they have to say.
Moral of the story: Take English 227. Don’t be afraid of poetry. Just put your pencil down on paper and start writing.