You could say I’m playing around with writing a sonnet today, as long as your definition of “playing around” is broad enough to include tapping aimlessly on my desk to The Guess Who’s Bus Rider. Our Canadian columnist Matthew Kreider loaned me one of his famous Ticonderoga pencils this weekend. It keeps a terrific desktop 70s beat, but writes terrible iambic pentameter. (Don’t tell Matthew.)
The truth? I’m off the bus and riding the rails to a quatrain wreck.
That makes it a perfect time to announce our upcoming Tweetspeak book club: Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, by Kim Addonizio. Ordinary Genius is an invitation to explore your world through poetry — in a very hands-on way.
You’ll find ideas for making poems — a lot of them. Not every idea here is going to work for everyone, but there are some that will turn you sideways, jolt you into something completely unexpected, and keep you up nights. Some of the exercises are also aimed at leading you toward experiencing poetry in all its forms, rather than toward poems as end products. Poems aren’t products, anyway. Poems are what you make when you experience life in a certain way. Alive to yourself in the world, observant of inner and outer reality, and connected to language. (Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius, p. 14)
Beginning Wednesday, September 26, we’ll read poetry together, and write poetry together. By the time we get to chapter 29, we’ll read the words Write a Sonnet without sweat beading on our brow.
Come, with your chewed-up Ticonderoga or fancy Montblanc pen. Beginner like me, or longtime poet. By bus or train or Radio Flyer wagon. Make poems with us.
For September 26, read Part 1, Entering Poetry, and try to do a few of the exercises.
To learn more about Ordinary Genius, view the book trailer: