Tag Archives: poetry

Brainstorming Opposites

Create a mind-map of opposites. Start with a word in the center of your page. Every branch from that word must be oppositely related to the center word. Words branching from those words must be opposites of those, etc. After you have finished an entire page, see if you can write something that deals with two or three of your last few ideas on the page. A story or essay highlighting contrasts would be ideal. If you write poetry (and I usually don’t), you could try working most or all of the words on the page into your poem.

Poetry and Music

I had to retype my poem from scratch the other day. It was either that, or scan it into my computer, and I didn’t figure you all would want to see the product of a very old typewriter combined with a beginning typist. White-out, smudges, and typed-over letters were everywhere! Anyhow, I was struck with how much it affected me to reread my old (and poorly metered) poem. As I typed in the last stanza, I got the chills. Should it have affected me like that since I am the one who wrote it? But it wasn’t the words; it was the message: we are the salt of the earth.

But I would like to know: What is it about poetry that stirs the soul? Why do we identify with it? Why is it that when something is worded beautifully, it resounds within us? Or as in my case, if it merely rhymes.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,

A fountain ever springing:

All things are mine since I am His –

How can I keep from singing?

Even deeper than poetry, music cuts us to the core and lays us open to our emotions. I came across these words while reading Our Last Great Hope. The words stirred me, and I sat there trying to remember the tune. When the melody came to me, I began singing out loud, which didn’t last long because I became choked up and couldn’t go on. Why does music affect me so? Or I guess it’s the combination of music and Truth. It breaks me…

Something Very Different

While dejunking the other day, I decided to look through some old notebooks of mine, and throw away as much as I could part with. Unexpectedly, I came across this old poem that I wrote back in eleventh grade. I don’t think I could write poetry today, because I’m too much of a perfectionist. I would worry a great deal about syllables, meter, accented and unaccented words, etc, all while trying not to sound contrived. There are probably some proper terms for those things, but since I am not a student of poetry, I don’t know them. Anyway, it’s not the greatest poem, but the message is clear and strong, and Jesse wanted me to publish it, so here it is:

Something Very Different

His life has seemed so joyful,

I’ve not understood.

While some have life so roughly,

Others have it good.


There seems a hedge around him –

Gentle, loving eyes.

Watching him from day to day;

Staying ’til he dies.


Of course he’s had his bad days.

Everybody does.

He said since he’s been born again,

It’s not like it was.


Many a day I’ve watched him

Laughing at mistakes.

Is there nothing that can hurt him?

No one that he hates?


There’s something very different

In the way he speaks,

But discord, trouble, chaos:

These he never seeks.


He’s always kind to classmates

Even when they’re cruel.

But they can never hurt him;

He’s nobody’s fool.


I like to be around him.

He will always talk.

If you have any problems,

He knows the way to walk.


He seems to have no troubles.

He’s happy every day.

How he always keeps it up,

I can never say.


He says that he’s a Christian.

I would like to know

What a Christian really is.

What makes their love grow?


Tomorrow I will ask him.

I’ll be happy too.

I’ll find out his mystery.

Then I will tell you.

My Streetlamp

Every light in the house is out.

I walk into a dark room and sit down to relax.

My eyes are naturally drawn to the only spectacle in sight.

I cannot see the source at all, but its brilliance is dispersed in hundreds of tiny droplets of water that cling to my window screen.

Tomorrow I will tell the world of my experience.

Naysayers will laugh and inform me of my mistake.

Streetlamps aren’t real.

But I saw –

The source?

No, the light hits the window above my line of sight.

Proof that streetlamps don’t exist. It follows then, that raindrops must make their own light; it is the only explanation.

For me, it is not enough.

I cannot see the streetlamp, but those raindrops aren’t like the rest – they are extraordinary. The happy, brightened orbs rejoice in the source. I am haunted by their proclamation of the light.

I cannot rationalize away the streetlamp.

For me, it is enough, and I believe.

One day, I trust that I will walk over the hill and behold the streetlamp.

I am persuaded by the light.