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2020 Treasures: Words

I am a writer, so words are a personal treasure. I love how they work together and how they function alone. I cheer their force, and I revel in their comfort. I am blessed to add my own scribblings to the world’s bookshelves alongside the classic masterpieces. As every writer hopes their books will be those of worn covers and dog-eared pages, I’ll settle for the layer of dust on an occasionally cracked binding.

Here is my most recent offering.

Available on Kindle. Coming soon in paperback!

For three years or more, I have been writing poems with one-word titles for this collection. As I’ve researched definitions and applied those to personal and universal experiences while navigating double-meanings and alternate spellings as well as expanding my own vocabulary, I think it’s an understatement to say that I’ve learned a lot. One thing I discovered is that writing a collection of 366 poems requires at least three times the writing time. Perhaps if I had been in a different stage of life and had been writing full time, I might have reduced that duration. But, because these poems span three years (and reflect on previous years), I have been able to broaden the scope of this book. I hope it will be an unexpected blessing.

One of my other hopes is to dispel a myth. I came across a word recently, and my jaw dropped. Metrophobia is the fear of poetry. Some people fear poetry?! In some ways, I am empathetic. I remember the long-suffering of scansion. I taught it to my children (although I think I made it more fun than torture). But, many modern poems rely less on meter (or at least not in the strictest sense) than classic poems do. So, why fear? I suppose the fear of underlying truth in a poem can deter people from reading it. Much like a song that touches our hearts at a significant point and stays in our heads for days, poetry can stick with us. Sometimes we rue it because it makes too much sense to us. It strikes a chord. Sometimes it is a dissonant one. Yet, in the dissonance, there is often resolve.

Throughout the coming year, I hope aid the reduction of metrophobia by reading a poem from Redefined: A Year of Poetry one day a week. At first, I will choose these poems, but along the way I may ask for readers’ favorites from a particular section. I may provide further explanation about the poem to aid in the understanding. But, most of the time, the poem will speak for itself. I hope if you have metrophobia that you will join me. Sometimes the best way rid ourselves of fear is to face it. (I tell myself that every time I force myself to look at roadkill. I have yet to find the phobia term for a fear of dead animals.)

If you don’t have metrophobia, then I am excited and anticipate that you will stop by to listen and reflect on these poems. I promise not all of them drip with melancholy. Some make me smile anyway.

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