The tools of plying a poet’s trade

The books I use to brainstorm ideas and log poetry I have written. Unlike this new generation texting, some people still put pen to paper.

As a quick hit of creativity I write poetry.

I sometimes saunter out to a Toronto poetry night to share the scribbles, refined or not, to a small gathering of poets. No we don’t snap our fingers at something that’s really cool, daddy-o.

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a teen. Writing it actually helped me explore a lot of words. I’d often try to follow the Romantic poets’ style of writing. William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and John Keats.

I think one of the greatest compliments I ever received was from a high school class I spoke to about journalism.

One of the kids, who wrote my intro, described my journalism work as almost poetic.

I never thought my words could come across that way, but when I go back and read my one column, On The Beat, there is that certain rhythm to it. In the picture are three notebooks. One is for shooting out ideas for novels, short stories and poetry. The other, the thin green book on the bottom is used to map out my website.

The top one — a moleskine book — is for my refined poetry. The work I’m content with, and in my mind doesn’t need any more refining.

I always write my poetry for myself. I found out the hard way that writing poetry for girls in high school was a futile waste of mind, time and energy. Arguably it was the same in university.

So, I turned my attention to — no surprises here — social criticism. Or complaints shrouded in metaphor, so much so that the initial catalyst for writing the poem is blurred.

That adds mystery.

Why don’t I post my poetry on my website? Mainly because it’s unpublished, and I’m not interested in having it pilfered. But if you look hard, and long enough online, you might pull up something from Hot Sauced Words. And perhaps another page too. Though both those poems were written on a whim during a challenge.

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