Who you are – in verse!

National Poetry Month is April

In case you hadn’t heard

Time for you to express yourself

And mold the written word

Thanks to Joyful Joy

And her accomplice Karen

For busting through my writers block

Getting me back to creating!

See the format here below

Or click the link to Joy

Don’t think too hard, follow your muse

Even if she’s being coy

You’ll find yourself among the words

Some scary, some wise, all true

Courage, now, open the door

Step on the path to You


My friend Karen Anderson blogged about Joy Tanksley’s Poetry Challenge, and being a writer with a profound case of writers block, I decided to give it a try. This is all Joy’s concept, and sometimes working with a prompt or a framework helps get the process started a little easier.

Here’s the format:
Line 1: Your name (first name, full name, nickname, or something else entirely)
Line 2: Four adjectives that describe you
Line 3: “Who loves…” (three things you love)
Line 4: “Who feels…” (three things you feel)
Line 5: “Who gives…” (three things)
Line 6: “Who fears…” (three things)
Line 7: “Who seeks…” (three things)
Line 8: Four more adjectives that describe you
Line 9: Your name (This could be a repetition of line 1, or some other version of your name.)

To borrow from Dr. Seuss:  Share it here, share it there, share it, share it anywhere! 😀

And do visit Joy Trammel Tanksley’s web site and blog. She’s a life coach for “soulful living” and lives up to her name (yeah, not like she hasn’t heard that before!).

If you’ve ever been intimidated, confused, or bored by poetry, give the above prompt a try.  Your poetry doesn’t have to rival Will Shakespeare or Chris Marlowe. (You don’t think they wrote some poetry once in a while that sucked?  Sure they did!) Maybe sonnets aren’t your thing. Maybe your poetry is more akin to the humor of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, or past U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins (Collins’ poem “The Revenant” is still one of my favorites, as is “Marco Polo”).

Like any type of writing, it has to be all about you. Sure, in school you were “required” to write a certain way for a particular project. But you’re probably not in school, and I’m not planning on grading you. So have some fun. Bend the format a little or break it completely. Like Joy said on her page, “Poetry is always an invitation to break the rules!”

If you’re mostly a prose writer, like me, you’ll find that picking and choosing words for poetry helps your narratives. When you’re painting pictures with words, why settle for blue when you can choose turquoise?  Why call it red when it could be oxblood? Is it just green, or is it pine? (My color word choices below were deliberate, by the way. 😉 )

And I throw down the quill of challenge specifically to my friends Isadora and Bodhi Rose.  Go for it, ladies!

This is me, in verse:

Elizabeth, Liz and Beth (depending on who you see)

Red and blue and yellow and green

Who loves genuine smiles, random dancing, and whispered miracles

Who feels too much, not enough, or just okay

Who gives in, gives up, and gives over

Who fears success, failure, and forgetting

Who seeks soul mates, spiritual truth, and simple gratitude

Mother and healer and writer and teacher

Ninja Liz, Amber Tiger, Storykeeper (depending on how you know me)


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8 thoughts on “Who you are – in verse!

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I’m a little behind on some of the postings from April as I was away.

    Thanks for the invite to participate in this poetry challenge. I haven’t written very much poetry. I find it a little difficult as I tend to be wordy in my writings.
    I do like to challenge myself into trying new things. I have done a few challenges put out there by Victoria’s: liv2write2day – blog. I will give this one a try.
    You poem is so colorfully covered in beauty; especially, the line “love genuine smiles, random dancing and whispered miracles”. It brings s miles to my face just reading it.
    Namaste
    http://www.insidethemindsof isadora.wordpress.com/doyouknowme

  2. *Hey, all, I should footnote: when I first heard the poem, Billy Collins was not sure whether he was going to call it “Marco Polo” or “The Hangover.” When his book Ballistics was published the poem was officially titled, “Hangover.” When you read the poem, you understand the Power of the Title!! 😉

  3. I love it! I have already shared in previous comments about my writers block and needing to reconnect with this part of who I am. This reminded me that I used to write poetry…a lot. I have a whole collection of them from high school. It almost makes me cry to think about the fear and insecurity I have had for so long when it used to be a free, creative way I expressed my emotions. Different phases of life requrie different ways of expressing I suppose but I am inspire, nonetheless. thanks!

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