by Guest Blogger: Sue Roupp
For 3500 years or so storytellers and poets have written stories in various concise forms. We recognize everlasting themes: survival, death, betrayal, joy, amazement, loss, abandonment, sadness, time passing, birth, fear, redemption and much more transcending time and cultural differences.
Imtiaz Dharker in her poem “Tissue” begins with “Paper that lets the light/ shine through, this/is what could alter things./ Paper thinned by age or touching, the kind you find in well-used books.” We poets and writers allow that light to shine through our work touching readers we do not know. Holding reader’s attention tenderly in our hands we provide images, rhythm, metaphors so apt they might suspend the readers’ breath allowing it to ride on the back of our words.
For me, poetry writing began in third grade when I came in first place in a contest. I have always been drawn to the cosmic shorthand of poetry. Storytelling with line breaks - rhythm or not – doesn’t matter to me. I marvel at other’s poetry – not mechanically memorizing a line or poem – but savoring the lines as one does a favorite meal. A meal nourishing mind and body still leaving room for dessert.
Teaching creative writing and poetry and my “Write Your Life in 8 Lines, 24 Words” is a profound pleasure. Those afraid they won’t understand poetry, find they understand AND write it. A woman writes for the first time about her Asperger’s syndrome bipolar son and cries. Another writes about life from the vantage point of a bird learning to fly. Still another discovers how strong she is. Magic happens because poetry touches our unconscious with soft, safe fingers allowing us to experience the sensuous detail of character, time, place, event and scene. Poetry is a gift from the gods for all to enjoy.
Sue Roupp is the President of Off Campus Writers Workship (64 yr. old not-forprofit with about 200 writers hosting a weekly speaker on some topic of writing from Sept.through April each year), her poetry has won prizes and been published in East on Central, Free Verse, Creativity Connection and more. She teaches creative writing and poetry via workshops and classes in schools/colleges, Ragdale Foundation and out of her Evanston home. She also hosts two TV shows: Poetry Today and smalltalk etc., is a Piven Theater actor and is in a film “Turkish Coffee.”