Poetry Can Bring us Together

I envisioned the role of the poet laureate as creating opportunities for people to come together and share some poetry.  Which was a risk for me.  Up to getting the role, I wrote poems and had them published in journals. My audience was one reader at a time. So I knew it was going to be a challenge for me. 

In my back pocket was my respect for other poets I know and have known. The poet laureate was my chance to champion poets in Oshkosh that I met. They wrote poems and shared them with family and friends.  They had a message and a love for writing. Which is all it takes to be a poet.

Whenever I have a new project, I begin by writing.  That was when I made the connection to something I have been exploring for a long time.  The essential skills to having a good life.  One of those is writing.

When I had a lot of worries, I would, well, perseverate on them.  Sometimes I still have the same bad thoughts going through my head.  But I found writing them down allowed me to say, there! I can let it go from my head. I can forget and come back to those worries later.

I also found that writing caused me to think about my worries in a different way. The act of writing uses a different part of your brain. The solution may turn up at the end of my pencil.

Many times I would think of a problem or an incident (and lets face it, this is usually heartbreak) would come out in the form of a poem.

For me, it was also often something I wish I could have said to somebody else.

I remember I once had a relationship with a woman (many years ago) who said they dreamed of having a treehouse. I thought maybe they still thought about it. 

After the breakup, I wrote a poem about wanting to build her a treehouse.   Working on it was cathartic.  It was a way to think about the break-up and still be productive.  Regardless of what her reality was, I learned some things about myself. Spending more time with it, I was able to infuse some meaning into it. I could make that treehouse into a metaphor.

It became two poems.  One was a quirky, rhyming poem about building it for her. The other was that person was in a tree house. It was a nice space to protect herself from the scary tree she was in.  I was unable to climb to her.

Working on it helped me to think about the situation with bigger truths of love and how human beings are.

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