Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Inspiration Fades to Intimidation

By Beth Cotten

Many years ago when I was in high school, I wrote a poem that was chosen to be published in an annual review of high school students throughout the city. The submissions varied and included poetry, essays, short stories, and other types of short literary works. The review itself was small and though I can’t recall with certainty, it seems there were less than fifty submissions that made it into the booklet. I believe the name of the booklet was "The Quill." All students whose work was selected were invited by the sponsoring association to an evening event to honor the participants and winners. We were asked to dress for the occasion, which translated into clothes you would wear to church. I was excited and proud to be included.

My English teacher had encouraged the students in my class to submit something. My poem was about a fawn, standing in a forest, alone on a misty morning. I can’t find a copy of the poem and can’t even recall the title of the poem, much less the poem itself. I do recall it rhymed and had about four stanzas. I kept it for many years in my hope chest with other "important" papers; one of which was the Certificate of Award for my poem.

Since I became of member of SCWW, I have thought occasionally of that poem. I have even put together random thoughts about "poetic" issues I might choose to write about. But after trying to put these ideas into a written format, and reflecting on some of the poetry which our members have written and read to us during our workshops, I feel a sense of hopelessness to even begin to tackle such an effort. We have some TERRIFIC poets in our midst! Look at those who have had their poetry published! Their writings are beautiful and sensitive and inspirational. As I listen to these works, my enthusiasm fades to hesitation and my inspiration to intimidation.

1 comment:

Columbia Writers Workshop said...

Beth, I would love to read and hear your poems, even if they are random thoughts! Everyone's voice and style is different and that's what makes this group special. Cheers, Lisa