I am a prose writer who blurs the line between poetry, but it’s the poetic corners of my work that move me the most, that draw me to carry around journals of all sizes, to sit down at my computer, to observe the wind or trees or people for hours until their images become words I need to pour onto a page. Poetry is what calls me to write.
For many years, I’d say I was a fiction writer, or a prose writer, labeling myself on a polarized side of the fence, away from poetry. Until I had a colleague call me out during a meeting with a visiting writer, when I identified myself as a fiction writer—she sharply cut in, No, she’s a poet, ending the matter.
Ironically, my favorite and most profound teachers and workshoppers are poets, or ‘fiction’ writers sublimely blurring these lines. As a student of a cross-genre program, I’ve come to see no lines between any genres—fiction can be beautiful, startling, punctuation based on sound as if it were a song, white space used to enhance pacing, while poetry can hold the narrative of an entire novel in its stark wingspan.
It’s also my love for poets, or moreover their love for language and the different ways to weave, snare, untangle, bruise, and allow single words and phrases to echo with the power that you’d have to read an entire work of fiction to receive the same reverberating buzz.
In celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day, this is a toast to all of my poet friends (and those I’ve yet to meet), their gorgeous and debilitating way with words, their beautiful minds.
Choose your favorite poem, find a new one, or write your own, and carry it with you on April 30, 2015 (or a different one, every day, all year long, because why should such a gorgeous community inspiring action be regimented to a single day?)
Below, share your favorite line from the poem that gave literary hum to your pocket. And, set an intention for how you can carry poetry with you on a daily basis.
To the poets among us!