What It Feels Like to Write a Poem
By Brenda Braene
When I’m asked what it feels like to write a poem, I always pause and think. Not because I don’t know the answer, but because I’m not quite sure how to articulate it to someone who hasn’t experienced it.
For writing a poem is more experiential for me than it is intellectual. Anything can spark it – an image, a word, a sensation, an emotion, a scrap of conversation. The spark turns into a series of images, tied to feelings. Then words start to form, like clouds before a rain storm. And I have to pick out the words to best express the images and the emotions.
I want my reader to see and feel what I see and feel. A poem, to me, is a moment of intimacy in experience. It’s frightening to be so open, and, at the same time, it’s wonderful.
But finding the right words with the right shade of meaning is a challenge. It takes draft after draft, talking the poem as well as writing it. It means putting it away and trying to approach it days later, with fresh eyes.
A good poem will make me see the world differently, somehow, to present a new experience to me. Hopefully it’s an experience with which I can either connect or understand. And it’s something I can revisit, year after year, both to re-experience the familiar and to learn something new.Brenda Braene
is a frequent contributor to Circadian Poems
. Her blog is Poet Meets Muse
, and she shares a website with her sisters, The Three Braenes