November 8, 2010

A Heartfelt Poem for Winter

I've been thinking about poetry a lot here lately.  I'm taking a memoir-writing class this semester at the college, so in my first essay I wrote in part about how, in 9th grade, I had to memorize Longfellow's poem, The Children's Hour.  Then in my last post about autumn, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem captured magnificently the feeling of the season.

A good poem can express so succinctly what a long-winded essay (my personal specialty) can never do.

I remember in high school and junior high having to write poems, which I was never very good at.  Oh, I had your typical teen angst, love lost, type that gushed out after one of many breakups.  But these in class had to have form and purpose and thoughtfulness.

Worst of all I hated Haiku's.  I never could understand them - what purpose was there in three lines, a set number of syllables, and a lack of rhyming?  How could they call themselves a poem?

Now that I'm older, I find that my tastes are changing in everything from food, to books and -- wouldn't you know it? -- in poetry. With the first real snowfall of the season steadily coming down outside my window all day today, I decided to give Haiku's another try, to fully capture the essence of winter, and my emotions, swirling and diving like the flakes, around it.

Frigid snows, they blow,
Metaphorically speaking.
Away now, damn it!

Awww... the power of the written word!