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Jim Jackson using his pen name Giles Elderkin has a story in the newly released History and Mystery, Oh My! anthology. Currently available in Kindle format.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Poetic Mystery

I used to write poetry.

It started out as an assignment during my Creative Writing class in high school.  We studied various poets, and all sorts of styles and genres.

I haven't written poetry in several years now, and certainly not regularly since the early 90's, but I was recently looking through my folder of prose and came across one that I had forgotten about.  It's one that combined my love of mysteries with our required assignment.  Since WWK is for people who love mysteries, too, I thought I'd share it with you.

Mystery

My guess was wrong, or so they said,
About who killed their son.
I claimed the mobster guilty,
His prints were on the gun.

He seemed so mean and wicked,
As if he had no shame,
But the court's final decision
Said the mother was to blame.

How could that be? I wondered,
She seemed so warm and kind.
I knew that she'd been wronged,
And began to solve the crime.

My first stop was the station,
To check his crimes afore.
And I was quite astonished
When I found thirty-four.

I gathered up the evidence
To prove he did the crime.
Although he tried defend himself,
The judge said he'd do time.

He swore revenge upon me,
But I am not afraid.
I know he will not find me.
I moved to France, and stayed.

It's no Yeats, but I remember thinking I was pretty clever at the time to write a mystery in poem form.

While taking the class in school, I found that I'm not a fan of epic or narrative poetry, but that I prefer the lyric form. I discovered that - while I enjoy the sentiment behind the poems of Walt Whitman - his free verse style tends to drag on for too long in my opinion.  And the writings of Emily Dickinson seem way too morbid to me.

Although I don't care very much for poems that don't rhyme, or that have no obvious structure, I do enjoy haiku.  It's similar to flash fiction in that you have to convey an idea or story in very few words.  It can be challenging sometimes, but it gets your brain working in new ways, too.  And it can even be very funny, as in this haiku below (which has become my favorite):



So, the next time you're feeling stuck with your writing, try telling the story in poem form.  It might get some creative juices flowing for you.

7 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

What a great idea! I liked your poem, great fun. I've tried my hand at poetry, but I'm not a patient person, which I think is a requirement of this form of writing. Just not me even if I can enjoy it. My favorites; William H. Davies, George Santayana, John Greenleaf Whittier, Robert Frost,William Blake and Walt Whitman.

Warren Bull said...

Despite your travails
Justice prevails

Gloria Alden said...

I like your poem, and I love writing poetry. Yes, it does take a lot of patience and time, and even if I've spent hours on a poem over days, I still find things to change later. Writing poetry is like arobic exercise for the brain,in my opinion.

I personally love Emily Dickenson as well as Robert Frost and so many other poets. Although I don't have one of his books, I enjoy Billy Collins and his sense of humor.

Short, but funny, Warren

Linda Rodriguez said...

Alyx, what a fascinating post! Poetry does take a great deal of time and effort--and patient learning--to write well.

Actually, in Japan where haiku comes from, it's a very demanding form with lots of requirements beyond the syllable and line count.

Warren, love it! Pithy!

Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks, you guys!

Warren: Very cool poem/flash fiction.

Dana said...

LOVE your poem! I'm definitely a fan of lyric poetry when I read it at all, and could only write limericks.

Alyx Morgan said...

OH, Dana...you & limericks...I have quite an image going now. ;o)

I'd love to read them sometime.