Last Blog Post!? :0

There are about four different drafts on my laptop of what I wanted to say for this post, but instead I’m just going to write what is on my mind

When we all shouted out ideas/things we have learned thus far this semester, one thing Jay said truly stuck to me. He said something along the lines of, “Not all poems are about romantic love.” While this is something I have come to realize, now more than ever is this notion really hitting me.

I’m sitting at my little desk, staring out my window, and in my peripherals is this tiny baby orchid. It’s been there for weeks, but in this moment all I want to do is write a poem about it. In fact, I want to write a poem about my water speakers, my dusty fan, and even the slippers that have holes in them.

Never before would I have wanted to do that. I will admit that I am not the best poet out there (still happily learning!), but the impulse to write poems about every little thing around me is so exciting! I have on my laptop random poems about the silliest things – and I love it.

Perhaps this wasn’t the most poetic last blog post (ha, ha), but it is one of my most truthful! I’m going to miss this class more than I ever thought I would!

Gabrielle Calvocoressi Poetry Reading

Ever since we heard Cate Marvin read her poetry aloud I have obsessively been looking up videos of poets I love to hear/see them read their poetry as well. I recently found a cool series of videos of Gabrielle Calvocoressi reading some of her work, so I figured I would share it with the class!

I know I have already written a whole blog post about hearing poetry spoken but I still think it’s so amazing to actually get to hear the words jump off the page. Hope you enjoy the video!


Reading V.S. Hearing Poetry

We’ve kind of dabbled with this topic in class, but now it has truly hit me how different poetry is when one reads it, versus when one hears it aloud. I was awestruck listening to Cate Marvin today. Each and every poem of hers sent goosebumps up and down my skin. I loved the way her inflection would change with each individual word, and how one could immediately tell what the tone of the poem was. It was so amazing to hear her voice speed up, slow do, and pause. Listening, I could close my eyes and watch the scenes and images she was describing float so perfectly and effortlessly in my mind.

Later in the day, still obsessed with her and her poems, I was Googling around when I found this. Two of her poems were on this website. Even though I already heard them each aloud, I quickly wanted to read them again.

The one that really struck me is the one below.

Continue reading “Reading V.S. Hearing Poetry”

“Three Things I Know Nothing About…

…but are interested in.” That was (basically) the prompt the awesome poet Erika Meitner gave to us in class today. I found that it was pretty easy for me to get to three, so I decided to keep going.

  1. How to hotwire a car
  2. How to win a bar fight
  3. The planets outside our galaxy
  4. Other “dimensions”
  5. Cars in general
  6. Prison Food
  7. Ben Affleck’s past
  8. The origin of π

Continue reading ““Three Things I Know Nothing About…”

Finding Poetry in Anything

Last week I listened to SUNY Geneseo Alumni Stephanie Iasiello’s lecture, Righting and Re-Writing: The Neo-Slave Narrative and the Novel. I have always loved going to these events because I’m so curious what others who got their B.A. in English decide to do after college. I will admit that a few elements of her lecture went over my head (since I know nothing about the Neo-Slave Narrative), and I had to take some notes to keep up. But besides being totally in awe of how smart she was, I also was so intrigued on how she connected a poem and a novel in her lecture.

It got me wondering how poems and other works of writing are intertwined. I really think one can use poetic language in a prose piece. At times, I don’t even understand why there is a divide in writing! I know people can easily, and definitely, argue against me on this. However, sometimes as I’m writing pieces of fiction or nonfiction I just want to break out into poetry.

A few of the poems we have read so far have broken out into prose. I love when this happens because I always think, “Why not?” Why can’t there be more interweaving between the different styles of writing? I think it would be so cool to pick up a novel at Barnes and Noble and see this type of writing inside. Googling around, I do realize that there are books like this. However, I wish it were more mainstream, more popular.

Perhaps one day I’ll be the one to make it a widespread phenomenon!

Playing Poetry Games

This week during MiNT Magazine’s weekly meeting we decided to host a creative writing workshop to get some ideas flowing. I was in charge of thinking of some different exercises to play with the group, and I was so delighted by the task at hand. “This will be so easy.” I thought. I’ll Google some games, present them to the group, and then be forever loved and adored by the masses.

Sadly I am not yet that admired, but the games we played were pretty darn fun. What I love about doing these exercises is that you never know what will actually help you or not! One fun poetry game we played was arranging groups of words in different ways to get all different types of meanings. Another game we played was shouting out themes and then trying to match obscure words to them. While they were entertaining and silly I truly do think they were helpful.

Sometimes it is just so hard to start a poem. Even if one has an idea in mind, what words should come first? What lines should be in the beginning, and which in the end? Every now and then simply just sitting at one’s computer with a blank page staring back will not produce work. Sometimes people really need to try different methods to at least dip their toes in the water.

What EvEn is Experimental Poetry?

Let me start by saying that this blog post is going to be a bit of a ramble. I had an idea in my mind about what I wanted to write, but the second I started typing the title things just got all mixed up for me….

I couldn’t figure out if one should capitalize “even” in the title. I stared at it. I played around with it being lowercase, then uppercase. Then I Googled it, and continued to become more and more confused. Am I using “even” as an adjective, verb, or adverb? Did it matter which one it even was? Should it matter at all? Maybe you reading this know the obvious answer. Maybe this is something that I should have learned in 3rd grade but somehow fell asleep when the lesson was given. The point is that this just confused my brain so much that it made me change the whole direction of this post. Continue reading “What EvEn is Experimental Poetry?”

Instagram Poetry

As I sat in my house with my eleven other housemates (desperately trying to do work, but of course failing miserably since I live with eleven…other…girls…) I was stumped on what to blog about for this week. Looking around the room, everyone was either engrossed in a calculus book, or talking excitedly to the girl next to her.

After zoning out for far too long, I finally said, “What should I blog about for my poetry class this week?”

An almost eerie silence filled the air. A few people tossed out some cute ideas, but nothing struck me until my friend Kayla said, “You should write about how people post poetry on Instagram.”

“People do that?” I asked, but I immediately knew that that shouldn’t have surprised me. Poetry can be found all around us, so why not Instagram?

Kayla quickly sent me the information, and I began to explore this guy’s Instagram. To my surprise, it wasn’t some random person off the street, Continue reading “Instagram Poetry”

Slam Poetry

As I stood on the patio eating my ice cream the only thought that kept racing through my head was, “Dammit! Why can’t I do that?” Watching the Geneseo’s Slam Poets perform live captivated me so much that I unknowingly didn’t even recognize my roommate pass me by. I was simply astounded by what they could accomplish. The guy next to me at one point (who reminded me of a mix between a hockey player and someone who liked to steal my goldfish crackers as a kid) turned to me and said, “Whoa. Like. What is this? This is just too cool dude.”

Despite his lack of eloquence, he was 100% right. Slam poetry, to me, is almost a different type of art form all together. It’s an interesting blend of rap and poetry. While the poems we create are usually written down (and hopefully said aloud at one point in our careers from our award winning books), slam poetry is always meant to be heard from the get go. The words might never meet paper for the masses to read. It is written with the intent of what vowels, consonants, and rhyme schemes will flow together when spoken. Also, what vowels, consonants, and rhyme schemes (etc.) can be said quickly. I’ve noticed that when slam poets recite their work they barely breathe! They go through it so rapidly, so beautifully, that my mind almost struggles to keep up. This swiftness makes it even more fun though. Just the idea that these people can memorize and say their poems at such speed astounds me.

The first time I ever really heard slam poetry was when this video below went viral.


I remember sitting on my tiny twin sized bed and watching this over and over again on my laptop. The infliction, the imagery, and just the way the emotion poured out of every line made me want to see and hear more.

Another great one is Patrick Roche’s 21. This is a very haunting poem that made me cry on my roommate’s shoulder longer than I care to admit.

Can we do this with our poetry as well? Absolutely. Yet, not all poems can be turned into a slam poem. I think that one has to cater a poem to fit this type of style (which definitely isn’t an easy thing to do). Watching these videos, and listening to our campus’ slam poets, makes me so eager to at least try to create something just beautiful.

Why More People Should Study Poetry

Over the summer at a BBQ, a family friend asked what classes I was going to be taking in the fall. As I began to list them off, he suddenly stopped me and said, “Poetry? Are you just taking that just for fun?”

Shrugging, I replied with, “Well, I’m really excited for it but it’s also for my major.”

“Oh right I forgot your dad said you were studying English.”

I get that type of response more often than I would like to care to admit. But what has been bothering me even more lately is the answer I get when people hear I’m studying poetry in particular. “Really?” They ask, before shaking their head. That irks me for a plethora of reasons (obviously). Here is my list why more people should seriously study poetry.

1. This is a simple one, but still valuable. Who doesn’t love music? If anyone says a flat out no I’m not sure if I can trust them. But what’s another name for song lyrics? Poetry. How great would it be to be able to comprehend those songs you like so much? Knowing the imagery, metaphors, motifs, and similes that are in your favorite song only heightens your enjoyment.

2. Many of us have heard the idea that the brain is like a muscle. Well ladies and gentleman, it is! Older people are actually encouraged to read and analyze poetry in order to keep their minds sharp.

3. For the younger crowd reading this, it can help you as well. It will open up your mind to the prospect of new ideas and words and even teach you how to think analytically. This is part of critical thinking, which is one of the most important components of education.

4. We also study poetry so that we might learn something new about who we are as people. Every time you read a poem, something new is revealed to you. Perhaps it’s a new idea, image, political party, way to look at your dog, or so forth! The point is, something exciting and different is being exposed to you, allowing you to make up your own mind on the subject.

5. Finally, we also study poetry because we are humans. We have the amazing ability to create works of art from nothing. By putting words on a page we can evoke images of beauty, destruction, love, death, despair and so many more it would be impossible to list them all. What’s the point of honestly being alive, of living and breathing, if we don’t have a creative outlet to pour out heart into? Poetry is so unique because, in a sense, there are no rules. You can follow a rhyming scheme , or not. You can have the same amount of syllables in each line, or not. It doesn’t matter. You can place words like an abstract painting and just toss them in the air and see where they fall! No other type of writing would ever dare to allow this to happen. It’s the most free way to write, and there is no topic that is too taboo to dabble in.

I know there must be a lot more reasons out there to study poetry. But I think it makes you a better person, a smarter person, more well rounded, and honestly just way more cool. What are your reasons to study it?