Monday, April 9, 2012

An Accidental Poet


I’m a novelist.  It’s what I do.  I write novels.  But I’ve found, on occasion, that I dip into the realm of poetry.  The thing is, I don’t do it on purpose.  I’m not a huge fan of poetry, to be honest.  I just haven’t ever really gotten it.  I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, because last week we started a poetry unit in language arts, and we've been reading a lot of poetry in class.

I’ve been told, on numerous occasions, that I talk like a poet.  That my words are flowery, and flow together well.  “But I’m not a poet!” I protest.  “I’m a novelist.  You know.  Big, long, not too flowery.  Books.”  And then they laugh, and tell me I’m a poet too.

I took a two-week long writing camp over the summer, and we did some poetry while in it.  Several times, when we wrote poetry, I was told I was good at it.  I was shocked.  Me?  Good at poetry?  Please.  I’m not a poet.  Not at all. 

I mean, how can you be a poet, if you don’t even like writing poetry?  Let alone reading it?

Apparently, however, I am one.  I was flicking through some of my old posts, today, and I noticed something.  Several of them are poems.  They start out in paragraphs, talking about my life.  But then those paragraphs slip away, into stanzas, and flowery words, and altogether poem-ness.  

And I had never realized this.  I mean, I don’t do it on purpose.  Several times, my mother has told me that my poems are lovely.  “What poems?” I ask.  She points to my blog, at my posts. 

These poems,” she says.

And I’ve looked.  And simply not seen them.

But today, while I was looking through my blog, I finally figured it out.

I’m an accidental poet.  I don’t love writing poetry when I have to.  I slog through it, picking out the perfect words, and trying to figure out what should come next.  In fact, I quite dislike it.  But when I’m not paying attention?  I can write poetry.  And it doesn't sound forced.

So, somehow, I’ve become an accidental poet.  When did that happen?

The Dandy Lioness


  1. Nice. I think I like accidental poets the best… I’m not a poetry kind of person either, but sometimes it just fits. By the way, I like how you write. Just saying.

  2. I've noticed the poetic quality to your posts before--it's quite lovely. You are talented. :)

  3. I'm not a big reader of poetry, either. Sometimes I'll come across a poem that I really like, but I don't actively seek it out.

    I love the "accidental" poems on your blog. :)