Why Not To Fear Creative Writing
Why Not To Fear Creative Writing:: Poetry
Why Not to Fear Creative Writing Classes (Especially Poetry Classes)
By Matt R., Writing Tutor at Wyzant
As a high school sophomore, I suffered my final stroke and, due to the fact that I didn’t die, I was obligated to complete the rest of my high school curriculum. “Big deal, right?”
It was for me; the fact is that, when an individual experiences a stroke, he or
she acquires a short-term-memory deficit. If he or she is lucky to have been
born with extraneous blood vessels in his or her brain, one lies, back down,
for about three weeks until his or her blood vessel that has burst is able to
coagulate, form a scab and the scab is able to be dissolved in the individual's
This lovely set of circumstances happened to me more than 10 times, between the ages of nine and 15, inclusively. The last stroke I experienced left me with a rather spooky short-term-memory deficit and, especially after I regained much of my ability to think and synthesize concepts, I was ready to continue on with the rest of my schooling.
However, as far as excelling in mathematics or science went, the ship had sailed, at least for the time being. Mathematics, at least conceptual math that I had not been exposed to before my enormous stroke occurred was extremely difficult, as well, due to the fact that mathematics, while having a limited number of concepts and oper-ations, does require an intense amount of memorization. Science, especially chemistry, had far too many memory-contingent concepts for me to excel.
Literature-based English courses that required me to read what another group of people told me to read was not, essentially, my cup of tea nor was it very easily-accomplished. This was due to the fact that, without the ability to recall what one has most recently read, extremely effectively, he or she cannot easily report what he or she has ingested. With a stroke-contingent memory deficit, things can fly out of an
individual's memory, within seconds! This makes literary analyses of any sort
extremely difficult to complete effectively.
Creative writing courses, however, are much freer (or should be); the best type of creative writing class is one that has very little expectations of the student writers. This was the way I experienced creative writing for four years of high school and, compliments of the "hands-off" nature of the instructor's teaching style, students
could be free to experiment in any way they chose. This was especially true when it came to writing poetry; individuals could write rhymed, metric verse, if they wanted to do so. Simultaneously, students could write nonconventional,
unrhymed, unmetered poetry, as well.
I have produced several essays that walk individuals through the steps of producing poems that, after the words are on the page or screen, no one can tell that any sort of system was used, at all. Take, for example, the following poem, contacts in a universe.
contact(s) in a universe
the land of milk & honey -bees, & paper -wasps, would fly, so high, tho’ intimate, still animate, bee’
neath a buzz; as,
nothing, in a nutshell, yet,
still, nothing, in
a nutshell, all was coming
in'to fright the shy &
stick its stinger in a cloud: the universe would laugh, aloud, &, in the dark, would euthanize; as, thus, it let a cosmos die
If you look closely at the wording of the poem, you
can recognize the method by which it was constructed; using the word,
"contact", as a fulcrum, throughout the poem, are instances of
compound words and phrases that utilize it. (Contact: -paper, -high, -buzz, coming
in to-). Then, it being that free verse poetry has no fixed rules, I merely tweaked
the wording, even more, giving the piece of writing added dimension.
an overt reference to the
method, used, to compose it
the land of milk & honey
the usage of an & and
reference to the land of milk and honey
-bees, & paper -wasps,
of milk & honey and honeybees/spillover and hyphenation
fly, so high, tho’ animate, nonstandard
still intimate, bee’ neath a buzz;
, as nothing, in a nutshell,
repetition “nothing in a nutshell”
yet , still, nothing, in a nutshell, all was repetition
“nothing i n a nutshell”
coming in assonance (fright/shy)
to fright the shy & kiss the sky & stick its stinger in a cloud: & the
th iverse would laugh, aloud,
&, in the dark, would euthanize; as , thus, it let a cosmos die
The fact is that, once you have used this method several times, you will likely be able to
write original free verse poems,
with no problem at all; then, due to the fact that you will already have written poetry, “The Best Words, In Their Best Order”,
successfully, you should had amazing amounts of additional ease when you need
to write non-creative words in the order that makes coherent, communicative
Contact me, Matt R., at Wyzant, to pose any questions you might have.
Matt, Experienced Tutor of Higher Education Writing