If you’re a writer looking for poetry tips, welcome to this Little River Poetry Fest blog post! Use the following to help begin your adventure into poetry:
One of the best ways to get started as an absolute beginner is to immerse yourself in the genre. If you think you’d like the classics, try works by Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, or John Keats. If something a little more recent sounds interesting, try masterworks from Rupi Kaur, Maya Angelou, or Pablo Neruda. Sometimes just reading a wide swath of celebrated works can light the fire in your heart you need to write your own pieces.
If you read the pieces above, you probably noticed that many seem completely different from each other! There’s a lot of different types of poetry, and while many seasoned poets will tell you the rules of poetry are more like guidelines, it’s still a good idea to test out the bounds of the poetry you want to write. Check out this post from the Academy of American Poets with articles on 19 different forms of poetry!
While it can be a good idea to work within the bounds of poetry’s many forms, there’s no reason you need to feel constrained when it comes to your subject. Poetry doesn’t have to be about nature, feelings, or epic loves. Anything you can imagine that can be captured in writing can be poetry. For examples of poetry with unconventional subjects, read a few pieces by Shel Silverstein or Chaucer.
When all is said and done, even those celebrated poets with a knack for turning out beloved verses did not become legends overnight. The artistic process is full of scrapes and spills, and is more like a lifetime well lived than a single journey with an ultimate destination. Give yourself time and space to experiment with new forms, write what moves you, and explore this whole new branch of creativity without spending too much time worry about the “right” way to write. Every step forward, no matter how shaky or small, is still progress.
There was a lot of poetry reading at the Little River Poetry Festival, but there was also plenty of writing as well…
Check out the poems left on the poetry board in the tent!
Haiku on the River by Dave King
With wind-shaped branches,
from afar, tranquility,
how fond illusion!
Untitled by James Bane
Capture scenes as they happen
with ink, before the sound
and colors flit away.
Meadow Haiku by Judith Stevens
Mown grass beckons me.
A gathering of poets
and the river waits…
Two Haiku by Eva Poggi
Little rivers make
big reflections of free souls.
Songs of life for free –
making music from the trees
Living through all birds!
Hollywood Geography by Brian Magill
Pine barrens a mile from A.C.
Jersey devil waltzes into town
Norfolk only hour from D.C.
Virginia Beach full of palms
and cliffs overlooking waves.
Odd how everywhere
resembles B.C. or L. A.
Poem by Eileen Niemi
You can’t hide your heart
Because living water washes
Until everything is clear.
Flapping Towards Freedom by Emagery
More simple, the more
nature heals me.
Poetry fest is an escape for me.
Already more free,
in these mountains
working towards stress-free.
Today, it doesn’t matter who
did what to me,
like these birds taking in
the breeze under lifted wings.
I lift my wings,
I sing the song of Maya’s caged bird.
Flapping is freedom.
Lifted wings, flapping towards freedom.
Protest Poem by Jack Callan
As my hike descended
to the lower hills of farm,
before the light faded,
I felt a presence.
Blackberry radar told me
dark, subtle would follow me
further down, if I went,
and I might now make it out.
So I stopped
to record my poem
before I could be eaten, so that
my last words, penned in tribute,
to the lord of this realm, would remain.
I ate no blackberries, walked out backwards,
made my retreat without incident,
grateful to have met my silent assassin
on his terms, yet live.
He was dead in a week:
one arrow from a strong bow
meant for a deer in bow-hunting season. Three hundred fifty pounds.
He was beautiful, pure, worthy of eating me,
For months, his magnificent pelt haunted me,
casually covering my friend’s front porch floor.
Something in me protested
a taking I could not fully understand, and
I found I missed my fear and all its dimensions,
from childhood time in dream: nightmare,
pursued, but never caught –
Then, finally free, one day,
to eat blackberries.
Poetry on the River by Judith Stevens
(an Ekphrastic poem, written while paddling down The Little River)
Turtle rock slumbers; morning birdsong beckons.
The river burbles an invitation.
Goodbye, tent. Goodbye, meadow.
Our sturdy kayaks dot the wide expanse of water –
bright, multicolored petals floating downstream,
poet-paddlers hunched over their notebooks.
Butterfly hops the bank – a splotch of yellow, trimmed in black.
Mud swallows dart into grasses lining riverbank.
Who lives in these intricate burrows? (Muskrat and otter)
Prehistoric rocks jut forward, taking huge bites of river.
Holy silence envelopes us, folds us close
as seven poets negotiate notebooks, pens, paddles.
An occasional boulder startles us from our reverie.
Mourning dove tolls the hour; tiny bugs skate beside us.
Queen Anne’s Lace nods encouragement as we pass.
The sounds of the river –
whispering, chanting,murmuring –
healing songs of praise steal inside us
Rhododendron forest tiptoes to the water, dips its toes.
We follow a sky-blue trail
to the ancient glacier overhang,
ride the rope to completion.
Queen Anne bows her head in silent benediction.KEEP READING