Rhyme to Meter

I began writing when I was eight years old, composing lyrics to songs with no music behind them. I thought music was the only thing worth writing in a world concerned with fame and money. But I thought it always had to be about love or pain to be popular. So I wrote about my nonexistent romantic encounters and faults. I never approached topics that meant anything to me. I grew tired of hearing no instrumentals to the words I wrote so I stopped writing for a long time (almost 6 years). In ninth grade, I started writing short stories about the people I saw walking into train cars. I wrote stories inspired by Criminal Minds episodes and my amazement at peoples judgmental attitudes towards the arts. Amidst transcribing a rant about politics and conformity, my friends looked up the qualities that pertained to my astrological sign. And since was birthed my first official poem, “Ode to a Gemini.” That’s when I realized words could explain more things than just love or pain. They can dig out all the hate, disgust, lust and trust in you and bring them to the surface, without any music in the background.

One Reply to “Rhyme to Meter”

  1. Ha! it’s great that your ‘first’ poem is about astrology; that feels fitting. I also think it’s really important that your poems engage with multiple art forms. I’d encourage you towards the poetry of Tyehimba Jess (especially his book Leadbelly) and Terrance Hayes (any book) as they’re both poets writing with and about music – I think they’re achieving that way of writing songs without instruments you’re talking about, and while I know you’re not necessarily saying that’s your horizon now, they’re great poets to spend some time with.

    I’m also really curious about “bring to the surface.” It’s a great metaphor and a tough thing to achieve in poetry, and something we saw the seeds of in your first poem. Maybe make that a goal this semester: where can you poems show a reader a surface (something that’s trying to keep something under/hidden) and where can it break that surface)? For me, Paige Lewis’s poem “You Can Take Your Sweater Off, I’ve Made Today Warm” does this really well: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/145218/you-can-take-off-your-sweater-ive-made-today-warm

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