Thursday, February 4, 2010

Becoming Poemcrazy

I must tell you about a book that I've been reading. I heard about this a few years ago, maybe in a review in the paper. At the time, I tried finding it in the library. Well, my library just never has the new books when they're really new books. I gave up looking.

Flash forward to 2010. I'm currently taking Stephanie Lee's online Thought Threads class. You can check it out at the button on the right margin of this blog. The class is all about keeping a personal journal: creating a habit of writing daily; using it for reflection and responding to your feelings and desires; and using your imagination to really see the possibilities in your life. Stephanie has given us a list of books that we may be interested in.

Well, surprise, here's the book I looked for so many years ago: Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. I immediately bought it from my trusted source, Amazon.

Susan Wooldridge teaches you to recognize that poems are all around you: in a walk through the woods, the view from your window, a moment with your child. She is a lover of words, and finds them in magazines, field guides, and her own imagination, and she links them in unexpected ways.

Am I reading this because I'm busying myself writing poetry? No, but I think I was initially attracted to it because I used to be a prolific poet. I actually haven't written poems in decades, save for the eight haiku I wrote in Katie Kendrick's Spontaneous Haiku Painting class. (My poems are in photos 9 - 14 in Katie's blog post that I linked.) I just want to broaden my writing, expanding it with a greater use of language. My writing could be these blog entries, my personal journal, or magazine articles. No matter what it is, I'd like to sprinkle it with surprising and visual word combinations. Here are a few that Susan Goldsmith uses:

haystack, surge, sidewinder
frozen oceans, bluestone, grass lover
fragile, invincible, white water jug
seaweed, sparklers, tinting
Ligurian Sea, Edgewater, Cheyenne

If Poemcrazy, sounds interesting, you might want to also try her other book, Foolsgood: Making Something from Nothing and Freeing Your Creative Process. In this book, Susan writes stories about transforming what life brings your way. I think we all could use a little of that.


TesoriTrovati said...

I am definitely interested in this book. Thanks for the recommendation. Here is one of my own... Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay. This is a fascinating historical look at 9 different jewels, how they were found, what they mean, who has them... reads like a mystery to me. Enjoy the day! Erin

Carina said...

I have both of these books and reread them at intervals. I had the privilege of meeting the author at Artfest. She was staying in the same dorm and was the driving force behind organizing an evening dance because our building had a ballroom and it would be a shame to waste it. Women with scarves boogie-ing to Marvin Gaye's I heard it through the Grapevine...Oh my!