Let’s set the record straight: I hate writing poetry. At least, that was until I walked into Poetry Club.
As I walked toward the media center to join the Poetry Club meeting, I knew I was no modern-day Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou, Dr. Suess. I knew that I was a person who did not like writing poems in the least. When I arrived, smiling and confused faces welcomed me to my first ever Poetry Club meeting. To be quite honest, I had no idea what I was doing or how to even act in this setting.
The members of the club started the meeting off by reading poetry that they had written in preparation for the meeting. As they read their poems aloud, I realized that all of these poems meant something significant to the individual writer. The writers expressed their raw emotions about events in their daily lives.
I remember one of the members of the club had a poem that I really enjoyed. It focused on racial injustices and tensions in America. After she read the poem I wanted to stand up and clap because it was so well written, but I remembered I was at a Poetry Club meeting and not a basketball game. My heart sank, realizing that I had to go through with this literary adventure.
Next, I was asked by the group if I had any writings of my own to share. I quickly shook my head no, telling them that I wasn’t much of a poet like they were. Three members of the group reassured me that it was okay, that I will have a chance to write some poetry of my own today.
Then it was time for us to write poems. Usually, they have a prompt that the writers use as a foundation for their poems, but that day was a free writing day. That meant we could write about anything we wanted to write about. In that instant, I was drawing a blank, my mind as empty as my sheet of paper. I had no idea what to write about or even how to write it.
All of the poem styles I could think of came rushing to my head all at once: haiku, sonnet, haiku, haiku, sonnet, haiku. I decided that I would write a haiku, but then I couldn’t remember the order of the amount of syllables. Five, seven, five, or seven, five, seven? I admitted defeat, gave up, unable to remember, so I just started writing, letting the words flow from my head, to my arm, into my fingers, and finally out of my pen and onto the paper.
After deciding to wing it, I had to decide what I was going to write about. I looked around me and, being in the library, I decided to title the poem My Surroundings and write about the books around me.
Yellow, Black, Red, Blue,
All colors of the books around me,
As I sit in this room filled with literature
I wonder, what fun I’m missing out on
I wonder what history I’m missing,
I wonder what mystery I’m missing.
All of this information and fun around me.
Waiting to be explored.
As I wrote the poem, at first, I was frustrated and not interested because I remembered being forced to write or read poetry by my teachers in the past, which I found boring. However, this experience was different. I felt a sense of relaxation and relief as I wrote my poem.
I finished my poem before any of the other writers, having no idea what to do next. I felt as if my poem wasn’t good enough since everyone else was taking longer and writing more than me. After reading over my poem six times in my head—yes, I did read it six times—I was inspired to look at my surroundings some more.
While looking around the media center, I found many facts and history about Atholton and the various books in the media center that I had never noticed before. After doing this, I realized the beauty and fun in poetry, and although I might not write poetry all the time, I might try to start writing a poem every so often.