Rough and Raw writing, for me, has become a way of daily life. I diligently take to the page every morning of every new day. To jump start my mind, I either read poetry by other poets or I prompt myself with jottings and notes from one of my various writing notebooks.
A poet's mind is a curse, as much as, it is a blessing - mind maneuvers are always at full throttle. If I don't get my thoughts down onto the page when they appear, they are trampled on by other thoughts or pushed away in dismay and I am never able to retrieve them as they first appeared in all their naked glory. Nights are the worse. My mind works overtime. Lying in bed, I am bombarded by thought - one after another. Lights go on; I sit up, capture a thought and save it on a page. Lie back down and then another round. Lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off - if someone was standing outside my house looking in, I'm sure; they would think that I was in need of assistance and flashing a distress signal in Morse code. I haven't had a thought less night, for as long as I can remember. I am totally knackered when my morning ritual begins...
a neon light flickers into life
a grotesque figure stares
at itself, through a sheet of hardened silver
the figure looks familiar
Where have I seen it before?
I have become a thought collecting note taking Jabberwocky. I jot down everything I can, wherever I am, whatever the plan. Otherwise, it's a bitch searching for lost thoughts in the sandstorms of my cerebral Sahara, believe me I have tried.
But, in all seriousness it is a gold mine. Many of my Rough and Raw writings have bore perfect poems that I cherish and am very proud to share.
To earn the title of poet you must, first and foremost, be a serious reader, a serious reader of poems and poetry. Most of us tend to read poets that we are familiar with and love. For many of us, they were the ones who inspired us to take to page and pen.
Use these next few days to find yourself a poet of the past to be your mentor of the month. Challenge yourself. Choose a poet whom you have not had the pleasure of reading yet, or a poet whom you have read, yet, were a bit inhibited by because you might not have "got his/her drift" immediately. Then choose one of his/her poems to read and be your writing impetus and inspiration for the week. Jot down your initial thoughts, what appeals to you and what doesn't, adopt words that tickle your fancy and put them away for a Rough and Raw Writing day. Look at the rhythm and/or the rhyme, line length, structure, metaphor, simile...Learn and absorb as much as you can.
This is not just an exercise in "looking into the depths" of a poem - it gives you, the writer insight into what others will be searching for in yours. If you want your poems to linger in the minds of your readers, as every poet aspires to do - then looking into the soul of a poem will teach you how to lure your readers to look into the heart of yours.