using poetry to say the difficult things you don’t want to say

I don’t see him much. Hear his laugh. Feel the impact of his presence as he bounds into the room. The brother who lives far away and whose heart I understand and miss but don’t reach out to except on holidays. Except for this year, surprising myself when I didn’t call him on his birthday. 

The years stretch long between visits. I miss him. Pushing down the guilt I feel from not connecting. I anticipate the day I see him face to face, having a few hours to ask each other how we are, how we are doing, and try not to be fake about it with a simple “I am good, fine.” Would we tell each other any hard truths? “I am hurting. I miss you. These are the real reasons I have been staying away.”

And more years go by.

For the Loop Poetry Project this week, write a poem to–or about–a person whom you love or have deep feelings for, using the poem to speak the words you wouldn’t otherwise know how to say.

Here are some questions to consider as you write: How do you say what you mean in this poem–with truth and clarity, without resentment, without being passive-aggressive? How do you articulate your true feelings–your thoughts about the relationship–when words are difficult to find? Are there objects, or a setting, or a story you would want to fold into–or be the foundation for–the poem? Description of scents? Sounds? 

Rhetorical devices you can consider using are metaphor (comparing something to something else), simile (comparison of two dissimilar objects justing “like” or “as”), onomatopoeia (using words that have a sound association with them when the word is formed: sizzle, pop, clash, crack, cuckoo), alliteration (the repetition of a word’s beginning letter or rhyme sound) and rhythm (the beat and pace of the poem due to the words’ stressed and unstressed syllables in each line–do you want the poem to be read fast or slow, and with gentleness or with force?) How do you want the poem to be felt by the reader when it is read? 

Most importantly, let your poem speak what is true. Let your heart lead you. What is it it wants to say?

When you have written your poem, I hope you will consider sharing it with the Loop Poetry Project community. What a gift your words are! Share your poem in the comments here–or share on social media using the hashtag #looppoetryproject.

With much love,

jennifer

This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com

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