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Michelle's Musings

Back to School, Again!

I cannot wrap my head around the fact that fall (and dare I say, the holiday season?) is nigh. I just read something about planning for holiday decorations and... Whoa! I'm still basking in warm summer days. But what really reinforces the advent of fall is that most kids are back to school, including me!


I enrolled in three weekly online writing classes that started at the beginning of the month. Granted, these are non-certificate courses designed for the—ahem—more mature writer offered through a local college extension program. But the nice thing about an adult audience is the presence of several knowledgeable editors and writers who provide valuable feedback to experienced as well as up-and-coming writers.


I re-enrolled into a revision writing workshop that I participated in this past spring along with a literary style workshop, mainly to contrast the two. The revision workshop focuses on feedback for works in progress while the literary style workshop focuses on writing prompts to stimulate new writing. The third course is a class on poetry.


I've recently posted that I've not been a huge fan of poetry, but last spring, at the behest of our instructor, I experimented during National Poetry Month (April). Surprisingly, I found the shorter format amenable to some of my writing ideas for which I'd not yet found a venue. After feedback from the class, I reworked my poem and submitted it, along with an additional poem, to a variety of contests and anthologies. I also subscribed to an email newsletter than drops one poem each day; however, I'm not a fan of most of what I've received. While I understand interpretation and appreciation of a poem require at least three passes, I find the language rambling and flowery most of the time. It feels as if some poets throw together a bunch of miscellaneous words to make their work appear literary.


I know this sounds ass-backward, but as I wait to hear back about my entries (and I'm perfectly prepared to accept rejections), I thought I'd learn more about what goes into composing a great poem by taking a class. While the genre remains a bit of an enigma for me, I'm anxious to see my inner Shakespeare awakened.

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