Raising a Poem

July 9, 2011
By Laura Cleaver BRONZE, Betendorff, Iowa
Laura Cleaver BRONZE, Betendorff, Iowa
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Composing a poem is like giving Birth
It’s painful
(No kidding!)

But the journey doesn’t end there
In fact
that’s only the beginning

First it is conceived
(Unlike all the other offspring of the world it originates from one person's mind)
(All alone)
(Now that’s tough)
In a
Flash of genius
(Or if it’s really bad a fart)

This Spark/Fart
can be triggered by a number of things
I could go on forever

At times though it emerges
Practically dissected from your psyche

That’s no fun (obviously)
This is something that you just might be familiar with
An assignment

Poetry is passion
An idea you simply can’t keep to yourself

Step Two

You assemble your rough Frankenstein like creation
Instantly it becomes the best thing you’ve ever composed
(Never mind if it’s any good)

But let it set for a day
Then sadly you begin to realize
Your new work of art is not without its blemishes

Great poems don’t just appear out of thin air
They grow
(What can I say greatness takes time)

Self corrections commence
Spelling mistakes begin to emerge
(or if you’re me then they “emerge” every ware, see what I mean?)
“Surely now my poem must be perfect”
(You now truly cherish your contrivance as a firstborn)

Step three

You finally come to the correct conclusion that someone else should check it
But what if they hate it
So what?
(You really shiver within)

The first person to check it is
the friend who is nice enough
but you pretty much keep her around for the compliments she bestows
(Probably not the best critic of literature)
“It’s awesome”
You’re instantly assured that it’s awesome
With a smile

“What should I change?”

“Your poem was really good”

(This encounter is pretty much a waste of time)
You revise your poem once more
Still daintily sidestepping any major imperfections

Step four
You finally gather the courage to show your poem to someone else
Someone who just might know what they're talking about
Your brainy friend

"So how was it?"



"Hey, how was my poem?"

"Um, aren't we talking about my poem?"

"YA, YA but what about mine?"

"Ug, whatever"

(This step seems even more pointless than the Previous)
(It's all part of the process)
You are now completely fed up with revising
Though your poem probably needs it now more than ever

Step five
(Possibly the most stressful)
Time for mom to review

"I don't understand it"

"You haven't even read it through"

"What is this?"

It's like I'm speaking Mandarin
the translating begins

Once the corrections are accomplished
You are fairly traumatized
It's as if you've just stuffed you poem into a meat grinder
Heart shredded

Slowly you collect yourself
move on
and begin it all again

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!