Tool For Tuesday: Be a Poet. Give Yourself Poetic License.

In school you learn how to write: subject, verb, ending, period. The girl went to school. But if you are a poet, you’re given license to mess things up a bit.

To school went the girl.

Give yourself permission to unlearn the rules you learned. My friend Lily grew up in a very neat house where she was not allowed in the living room. Her house is now one of those cozy kind of flop-down-where-you-want places.

Break the rules. Give yourself permission to be a poet, to see things clearly, to clearly see things, to switch the rules around, to eat ice cream before dinner and go to a different church or no church at all. Or decide to wear white after Labor Day or write a poem that you’ve never written before.

This is your one life. One is this your life. Life is this one your. Do not waste it thinking about what others might say. Do what you must do. Do what you thought you never could do.

Tool For Tuesday: Be a poet. Give yourself poetic license to use wrong grammar. To be bad. Or to be good. To be a different, reckless, hopeful, new you.

Azar Nafisi, an Iranian writer, wrote: “America was based on a poetic vision. What will happen when it loses its poetry?” Do not lose your poetry. Do not lose the secret sonnets in your own heart and soul.

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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4 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: Be a Poet. Give Yourself Poetic License.

  1. When I was teaching h.s. learning center, the best way to get the students to share their poems was to take them outside, give them colored chalk and have them write their poem in one square of the sidewalk. Then they traded for another color and illustrated it. These were 14-16-year-old students who had low reading levels, and suddenly they blossomed into poets. From then on, if they were balking at spelling lists or diagramming, they headed for the cabinets where we kept the chalk, and outside we went!
    Next time I hit a writing snag, I’m going for the chalk!

  2. Cynthia says:

    I love my sister. My sister is love. How’s that?

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