I don’t consider myself a poet, never have, never will be, and I’ll even be the first to admit that I completely suck at it. But, this past month I was taking a summer class on creative writing, which unfortunately (or fortunately) required me to write a couple of poems. I’m still no expert and according to my professor, my poetry could be better, which
I’m not disputing that my poetry needs work, but I am disputing that her feedback is lame. She said, “the literal situation needs to be clear” and that I should “”avoid language that is not concrete as in ‘hope in his eyes,’ “. Also, that I should “Think about whether you are, in fact, creating images.”
Normally, I love constructive criticism on my writing because I believe it will make me a better writer. However, this really rubbed me the wrong way because after so many years of reading poems in school as well as my own ventures, I couldn’t believe this was my feedback. 1) Because I’ve seen so many poems that are so vague they’re incomprehensible 2) I thought poetry was about playing with words and breaking the rules, simply because you can, and 3) All I was thinking about was imagery. More than anything, I think poetry, and all literature is about expression and evoking emotions.
Perhaps, she’s right, after all, she’s the professor and I’m the student writing bad poetry. However, I can’t shake this feeling that in this case, I’m not wrong, and that maybe her feedback is just B.S.
The following poem is one of the pieces I wrote for class and the only one I’m willing to share because. It’s not the original, and while it’s not the same one I submitted, it’s the version I liked best.
“My Only Light” by Saily Marrero
The sea glistened like his forehead
Slick, salty, and sweaty,
But with a hope in his eyes
Hotter than the sun above.
And my tearless tears;
Barren, hungry, and thirsty.
I grew desperate,
But that wasn’t new.
An entire lifetime on that island
Showed me nothing but needs,
And only one viable option.
So we fled at night
In a sea of stars;
A pinpricked darkness,
Swallowing us whole.
With Esperanza in my arms
In 90 miles of darkness
She was my only light
The only light I saw.
Follow Me On: Instagram | Goodreads