The nine stages of trying to write poetry

If you’re anything like me, you’ll understand deeply that the poetry struggle is real. It’s a galactic behemoth, and we but teeny, tiny atoms trying to navigate its interstellar medium:

1. You’ve read a beautiful poem that sings to your soul in such a way that you feel inspired to write your own. It was only three lines long, it can’t be that hard, can it?

confident cat


2. What the actual f— is a haiku!!??



3. You’ve finally completed the first line, but you’re so absolutely buggered by your herculean effort that you’ve descended into a pool of infinite blackness and despair



4. A few minutes later and you’re done. And wow, your poem is AMAZING!!! Like shit, dude, you should have been writing poems all along!!

cat glasses


5. Except, your poem is just not complicated enough, so you jump over to to scoop up some meandering and unnecessary adjectives



6. But now you can’t even understand what the hell you’ve written and it’s all so confusing and a mess and you don’t know what to do and why the hell is life so damn complicated so how about you just eat the bloody thing

cta eating paper


7. You give your poem to a friend to read, but all they can do is laugh. You secretly begin plotting their demise

cat plotting


8. The next day you stare at your poem FOR HOURS AND HOURS trying to figure out how to make it a tribute to the new golden age of modern poetry and thus win the Nobel prize in literature. But you can’t, because it sucks

Intense cat


9. A few years later, completely out of the blue and without any effort at all, a perfect poem magically pops up in your head. A poem so beautiful that it sings to your heart.

waiting cat


44 thoughts on “The nine stages of trying to write poetry

  1. So true. Love the fact that I’m not the only one who waits in anticipation for a comment from a friend but then…its like they don’t get it. So true that out of the blue a poem enters your spirit and boom awesomeness just like that. It’s a gift.


  2. The best part about this all is revisiting that first poem to make it not terrible and realizing that you have no idea what you were trying to write about in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the first 7 stages for me entail remembering that great inspirtational thought that I had and then forgot when I grabbed a pencil. The 8th is loosening the hell up. Nice post


  4. Must be all the Dr. Seuss I read as a child, but to me, a poem must rhyme. Sitting in Nome, I wrote a poem, where I entome, my wish to be home. (Ignore the poetic munging of entomb – entome is actually a word – but a strange one. It “should” mean to inscribe words in a tome, but it actually means…)
    Here’s a challenge, write a poem using only cat picture for words…


  5. love this!! lovely to hear from others who appreciate the struggle :p sometimes writing poetry “flows” for me, but when I took a poetry class and had assignments, my poetry was SO BAD. Thanks for sharing about your writing process and keeping it real.

    Liked by 1 person

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