To write or not to write – this is the question no more

I remember a time when the writing of a poetry book sounded easy. Well, I should be happy then. This coming March, a few months before the convocation ceremony, I’ll be presenting my Honours Project at The English Honours Undergraduate Symposium at the U of Calgary. My Honours Project is a poetry book. Or rather, a collection of poems ready to be submitted for publication in book format. For some reason, exactly after I found out that my project was approved and I was enrolled in the class, writing a poetry book ceased to sound that easy. Perhaps committing to something I always wanted to do, finding out that I have deadlines, takes the fun right out of it. Not that I remember seriously writing on a project without a deadline to keep me straight.

However, easy or not, that poetry book has to happen. I thought I had it all figured out. Multicultural project. Interviews with Canadians from different cultural backgrounds were supposed to be the starting points for my poems. The subject: love. Except that when I started my interviews, the stories revealed a lot of pain, suffering, and loss. So I decided to write about pain and suffering. I lived in hell for a few weeks writing some poems about the horrors of war. At the end of those weeks I realized I cannot keep it up. It hurt to write about pain. So, I started to brainstorm again. I did not come up with much until after my second honours seminar, when I had to share something from my writing with the class. My Honours supervisor, Dr. Jenna Butler helped me look beyond my scattered ideas into the organized layers of likes and dislikes. I went home and cleared my thoughts for a while. Like a lotus flower, a new idea opened in my mind, taking over everything else. I will be looking for the hidden poetry in stories and beliefs about the creatures of the night of several different cultures. The writer’s block I thought I developed, shattered. I’m already working on three new poems: the werewolf, the vampire, and the rusalka.

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8 thoughts on “To write or not to write – this is the question no more

  1. Hi Elena,

    As I get to hear about your poetry in honours seminar, it’s exciting for me to be able to read about your process here in your blog! It will be a new experience for me, being able to see the struggles and successes of a poet, so I appreciate your willingness in allowing us to follow along with you.


    1. Thank you, Christine! I can see why this project will benefit all of us. Writers are supposed to go snooping and having someone invite you to do it, makes is so much easier! I’m keeping the blog! 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed this post, Elena! I’ve applied to the honours program next year and as I’ve been working on my chosen topic on the side, it’s already taken twists and turns. I anticipate that to happen a few times when I’m actually in it. Now I know that I won’t be alone in that.

    Also, finding “the hidden poetry in stories” is absolutely beautiful. I look forward to reading your poetry book when it’s published!

    1. Thank you, Janelle! If you started to work on it now, you must have very little problems with it when you’ll get there. I wish I had the wit to do it too. 🙂

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