Guest Blog: Write by the Rails 2018 Blog Tour:
By Katherine Gotthardt
For a lot of people, the idea of reading poetry is about as appealing as booking their next colonoscopy. They’ll do it, but only if someone in authority tells them to and convinces them it’s for their own good.
Because Jan is a nurse, she might allow me to extend this simile, but I won’t take advantage of her good nature or reduce the level of discourse to the scatalogical (though admittedly, the temptation to make lowbrow puns and silly double entendres is strong). Suffice to say, if you were drawn in by the comparison of poetry to a colonoscopy, you might find poetry actually interesting. Here’s why.
Poetry is wordplay on steroids
The greatest poets of history have relied on the power of wordplay. While some might argue puns are puny interns in the halls of humor, writers and readers have relied on them for entertainment since the dawn of language. Poetic wordplay goes beyond the powerful pun, of course, sometimes in quite complicated ways. So even if you think you dislike poetry, if you enjoy wit and puzzles, the right kind of poetry could be for you.
Poetry is ointment
Nothing soothes the soul like music, many might say. But what goes into music? Rhythm? Poetry’s got it. Lyrics? That’s poetry. Beat, cadence, tone? Poetry has all of those. But when it comes to simile, metaphor, imagery and unique word juxtaposition, poetry blends it all into one smoothe balm. If you know enough to appreciate a good tune, a moving symphony or a catchy ditty, you can easily figure out how to enjoy poetry.
Poetry is internal medicine
All action, all science, all art starts from within. We internally explore ideas, create meaning and look for ways to communicate before we ever begin to write poetry. So for those enamored with the mind, enchanted by self-expression, excited by innovation, poetry often resembles the brain’s most creative output. That means readers won’t always understand particular poems right away. If that sounds like you, no worries. Experiment. Read different kinds of poetry. Examine it closely. Put it under your own microscope. See what you discover about the guts of it and how that discovery affects you.
I would be remiss if didn’t mention my own work and the way life impacts the way I write poetry. Depending on which book you pick up, you will see varying degrees of style and theme. And in my newest collection, Bury Me Under a Lilac, you’ll experience poems that reflect the lifespan. I tend to write short poems packed with puns, images, references, metaphor, along with pinpricks of lessons learned and tiny tablets of wisdom given to me by others. So I’ll leave you with a poem from the book. I hope you enjoy and wish you good health.
Message in a Bottle
Just a little reminder:
you are not an infant,
and I have no bottles
except my own,
and they are filled
written out to me.
Thanks Katherine Gotthardt for being my guest this week! As Vice President, of Write by the Rails, Katherine has been a true joy and blessing to me! The synergy that we have as we work together is incredible. Katherine is a Writer, Poet and Business Owner.
“Katherine is the owner of All Things Writing. ATW – All Things Writing, LLC was officially launched in January, 2014 by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, who has written since she was a child. Thinking she would operate as a traditional freelance writer and editor, Katherine was pleasantly surprised when she became inundated by requests for services. By 2015, she had so much work, she needed a team. She created a network of local, professional partners ready, willing and able to meet the needs of a diverse clientele.
ATW was nominated for the 2016 Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business of the Year Award. In 2017, they were nominated for the Chamber’s Outstanding Professional Service Award.