Poetry and Prose

“Always be a poet, even in prose.” Charles Baudelaire

I’ve never cared much for poetry – and as a writer, I probably shouldn’t make this admission. But there you have it. Something about these past few months, though, has me reaching for the imagery and emotion of poets like Mary Oliver, Rumi, and Emily Dickinson.

And so – another journey down the rabbit hole – this time tunneling my way towards poetry.

Don’t get me wrong – I have no desire to be a poet.

But – as I take my morning walk and listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, the cawing of the blue jays, and watch as the golden glow warms the sky, I am also thinking of ways to express it – in photos, in art, and especially in words.

sun rising in the forest

Looking forward to 2021

I’ve been rethinking my bullet journal – all those monthly photography prompts I ignored in 2020, the art journaling goals, and yoga practice… My 2020 journal has far too many blank pages which I’m scrambling to fill – but that wasn’t really the point. My journal for 2021 – bright yellow for hope. It comes out of its wrapper on January 1, but that doesn’t mean I’m not already planning.


I’m thinking – for next year I’ll create a series of monthly prompts – concepts and emotions – which I can use to work across my favorite three art forms – photography, art journaling, and writing. A series of small creative projects. January begins with “hope.”

And – my mystery novel?

Yep – I’m still working on it! After my NaNoWriMo detour, I’ve returned to my first and most comprehensive round of revisions. I’ve rearranged scenes to strengthen the plot and the flow, added scenes to fill holes, eliminated characters who weren’t pulling their weight, and created new ones to support the theme. And all these changes mean rewriting what’s already been written. Next round – a stronger focus on prose… Learning to write poetry – even bad poetry –  will boost my skills – at least that’s the hope! 🙂

December continues RomCom holiday reading

Keeping it light is making for a fun break. (I’m saving the book on the bottom for January – when I return to my usual mysteries.) Many thanks for your reading suggestions – I have added them to my ever growing to-be-read pile… I always love to hear what you’re reading!

stack of books

Not pictured – A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron – what would Christmas be without a cozy murder mystery?

And now – your turn – poetry – Yea or Nay?


6 responses to “Poetry and Prose”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I am going to give a Bullet Journal a try in 2021 for the first time. I need to get serious about a plan for this creative life. For me, I add one more thing to your list of three, which are the same as yours, to that list I add filmmaking. And all will be based around a single project. Should be good to finally have some much needed structure.

    I am not a big poetry person, but I do love Mary Oliver, and often listening to it will provide a springboard into some writing or a photography project.

    1. Karen Avatar

      I haven’t tried listening to poetry – I think I need to get onto that.
      I’d love to hear more about your projects. I don’t do filmmaking – but am glad you do!
      (think book trailer – wink wink) 🙂

  2. Barb Avatar

    I just saw that Beach Read is listed as one of the best RomComs of 2020. I just started The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs – too early to know if I’ll like it, but I do often enjoy bookshop stories. I’ve always loved poetry, even as a child. My own writing style leans toward brevity – I like metaphor and words that evoke images and feelings. Have you read the poetry of VT’s Jane Kenyon (deceased)? Her descriptions of VT life in an old farmhouse are wonderful. She does have some darkness in her poems because she suffered from severe depression. Happy Solstice!

  3. Beatrice P Boyd Avatar

    Hi Karen, while I wish I had more of an appreciation for poetry, which while I don’t dislike, has never been on my “to read” list. It’s always wonderful to read poems that others have shared on their blog posts, but I have never selected a book of poems by any author to actively read, but perhaps I should try in 2021? I have become hooked on mysteries these past several months, mostly e-books and a couple of audio books read by their UK author Catherine Steadman have been very entertaining. Patrick and myself send our best wishes to you and your family for as joyous a Christmas holiday as you can celebrate and thank goodness for the modern technology that keeps everyone close, while distanced. We are thankful for those gifts!

  4. Carola Bartz Avatar

    As a child we had to memorize some poem and what is called Balladen (lay?) in German. I still know some of them by heart and love them. It is difficult to read poetry in a foreign language and the translations often are not accurate – I don’t think there is anything more difficult to translate than poetry. That said, I did read poems by Mary Oliver and love them. Some Robert Frost. I love poetry because of the beautiful metaphors. In my German creative writing class I taught to write simple poems that we call “Elfchen” and also some haikus, and my students loved it.

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