On Writing Poetry

I’ve never been a huge poetry person, save for one time in high school. I had just started writing it regularly, and one day when my (then) best friend and I were discussing our future writing careers I declared that I wanted to be a poet. She dreamed of being a novelist. Neither of those dreams have come true, and probably never will. She just got her degree in Geology and I’m the one focused more on novel writing. In fact, for several years after high school I stopped writing poetry all together. I’m not entirely sure what made me stop. I suppose it was just that life got in the way and my day job took up my time and energy. I barely wrote any prose in that time either, so it’s a fair assumption to make.

Lately I’ve noticed a shift though. A pretty dramatic one. I still focus on novels and short stories, but I’ve been compelled to write poetry lately. There are times when the only thing I can write is a poem. Like the other day when I changed the name on my livejournal, and went to make a post about why and the shifts that have been ocurring in my spiritual life lately. I started to write a long prose entry, but as I was typing I could barely find the right words, got the feeling that what I was typing so very wrong. I wound up deleting it. When I went to write it again, the only thing that came out was a poem. A longer one than I usually write. The words just poured out of me, one right after the other, like water pours over the falls of Niagara.

I’ve never been so consumed with the intense need to write a poem before. I suppose it’s akin to ecstatic writing or something. It was a great experience and I’m quite happy with the rough draft of what I came up with.

This shift, this hunger for writing poetry, I completely attribute to Odin. This need came over me only after putting Him at the forefront of my spiritual life, and has steadily grown stronger the more time and energy I devote to Him. I’m not complaining at all. I love poetry and am incredibly glad to be inspired once again to write it. It’s said that Odin speaks “honeyed words”, and of course He slipped into Gunnlod’s cave to steal the Mead of Poetry. If He gives me even a tease of the stuff I’ll be the happiest girl ever. Poetry is a beautiful art, and so individual to each poet. Every one has their own style, rhythm and subjects they like to write about. For the longest time my favorite poet (and writer) was Edgar Allen Poe, and while he’s still at the very top of my list, I’ve recently discovered another poet that I love–Mary Oliver.

As a way to get myself back into the rhythm of reading and writing poetry regularly, I’ve begun reading at least one poem by her every day. I usually read more than that, but that’s my bare minimum. I do this both to further my knowledge of poetry and the art of it, and as an act of devotion to Odin. He loves poetry and wants me to write more of it. I can’t exactly ignore His wishes. To do so would be a stupid move on my part.

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