2020 Treasures: Words
I am a writer, so words are a personal treasure. I love how they work together and how they function alone. I cheer their force, and I revel in their comfort. I am blessed to add my own scribblings to the world's bookshelves alongside the classic masterpieces. As every writer hopes their books will be those of worn covers and dog-eared pages, I'll settle for the layer of dust on an occasionally cracked binding.
Here is my most recent offering.
For three years or more, I have been writing poems with one-word titles for this collection. As I've researched definitions and applied those to personal and universal experiences while navigating double-meanings and alternate spellings as well as expanding my own vocabulary, I think it's an understatement to say that I've learned a lot. One thing I discovered is that writing a collection of 366 poems requires at least three times the writing time. Perhaps if I had been in a different stage of life and had been writing full time, I might have reduced that duration. But, because these poems span three years (and reflect on previous years), I have been able to broaden the scope of this book. I hope it will be an unexpected blessing.
One of my other hopes is to dispel a myth. I came across a word recently, and my jaw dropped. Metrophobia is the fear of poetry. Some people fear poetry?! In some ways, I am empathetic. I remember the long-suffering of scansion. I taught it to my children (although I think I made it more fun than torture). But, many modern poems rely less on meter (or at least not in the strictest sense) than classic poems do. So, why fear? I suppose the fear of underlying truth in a poem can deter people from reading it. Much like a song that touches our hearts at a significant point and stays in our heads for days, poetry can stick with us. Sometimes we rue it because it makes too much sense to us. It strikes a chord. Sometimes it is a dissonant one. Yet, in the dissonance, there is often resolve.
Throughout the coming year, I hope aid the reduction of metrophobia by reading a poem from Redefined: A Year of Poetry one day a week. At first, I will choose these poems, but along the way I may ask for readers' favorites from a particular section. I may provide further explanation about the poem to aid in the understanding. But, most of the time, the poem will speak for itself. I hope if you have metrophobia that you will join me. Sometimes the best way rid ourselves of fear is to face it. (I tell myself that every time I force myself to look at roadkill. I have yet to find the phobia term for a fear of dead animals.)
If you don't have metrophobia, then I am excited and anticipate that you will stop by to listen and reflect on these poems. I promise not all of them drip with melancholy. Some make me smile anyway.