Monday, October 10, 2022

OctPoWriMo 2022 - Day 10: Feeling Is The Way

In line with the theme of 'growing your creative self', maybe recognising our feelings is also a way of doing this.

Being British, it's common to grow up in a culture where feelings are not expressed; the ideas of the 'stiff upper lip' and 'keep calm and carry on' are not just amusing stereotypes but actual ways of life. Luckily, though, this is changing to an extent, thanks in part to the pandemic but also due to paradigm shifts that were under way before this. People are encouraged more now to seek counselling/therapy if they need it and to put their mental health priorities on a par with their physical health. And for us creative types, prioritising our feelings can help us to know ourselves better and so unlock our creative selves. 

A longitudinal study carried out by the University of New South Wales - explored accessibly here - found that it doesn't matter so much which emotions we unlock but the intensity at which we manage to do so - and that your openness to the full breadth and depth of your emotions is a greater predictor of creativity than IQ. So whether it's watching your favourite food shows on YouTube or getting your old family home movies out, find a way to unlock your emotions at a high degree of intensity - and then write those feelings down. According to the research, it's also good if you can show sensitivity to unusual combinations of emotions. So perhaps try to recall a time where you felt both happy and sad simultaneously, or both excited and afraid, and convey that in your poem.

For this poem, you might want to create a poem that resembles a monologue or a diary entry. 

Or you might want to try a Korean poetic form called a sijo, which contains a 'volta' or 'turn' in the third and final line of the poem. The whole poem is very concise, consisting of only 42-48 syllables. The theme is introduced in the first line (aim for a total of 15 syllables), followed by the elaboration on this theme in line 2 (try another 15 syllables). The final line introduces the turn (aim for 8 syllables), ending with a conclusion (maybe another 7 syllables). A famous sijo is referenced in the Korean period drama Love, Lies:

사랑 거즛말이 님 날사랑 거즛말이

꿈에 뵌닷 말이 긔 더욱 거즛말이

날가치 잠 아니 오면 어늬 꿈에 뵈리오

"Love." It is a lying word.
That you love me, another lie.
"The loved one is seen in dreams."
That is still a greater lie,
How can I, who can never sleep,
hope to see you in my dreams?

Perhaps the act of trying the sijo will help you to better express your feelings and in doing so, grow your creative self.

Word prompts:






Remember, our prompts are only suggestions: you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.



    1. Loved these two lines:
      "...and the Trees they moved their branches,
      as if there was a need.." Such a great image.

  2. Today's poem: "Wan, Worn, and Weary."

    1. I love the mix of dark and light in this poem!

  3. Today's poem. Kind of grim, but also hopeful? Maybe?

  4. Sigh. I'm still behind. I'll get there. I'll never give up.



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