In my Creative Writing class, we are writing poetry. Not the "I love you, the sky is blue" kind of poetry that I wrote when I was a kid, but real, adult, free verse poetry. Not having to rhyme is nice, but every word in a poem really does have to have significance. I have a long way to go in my poetry writing, but I have already learned a lot. Poetry is so interesting because it's completely different from the structured writing I've done in my journalism classes. You can play with words, use a ton of adjectives, and get creative with punctuation and the layout of the poem. I'm trying to remember to show, not tell, in my poems.
What follows is my first poem for this class, based on a 15-minute free write where we began with the phrase "In the Beginning..." and wrote about whatever we wanted and whatever came to mind. We then were told to choose 12 lines from the free write and combine them into 6 couplets, which comprise my poem below. Enjoy, even though I'm no Shakespeare : )
In the Beginning
In the beginning, things were simple.
No such thing as multi-tasking, let alone an expectation of it.
In the beginning, there were no iPhones, no drive-thrus, no shopping malls.
Journeys could take months, instead of hopping on a flight to anywhere.
Communication was through letters, time-consuming and slow-traveling,
rather than a text message sent and received in an instant.
In the beginning, the basic necessities and family were enough to be happy.
No need for anything more.
Today we have so much, but so many are less happy than ever.
Maybe what’s supposed to make life easier has made it more complicated.
We hurry through life, never pausing to appreciate the beauty all around us.
Maybe in the beginning, they had it right.
© 2010 Julie Carter