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The Poet Within

Written by: Cliff Letts

It is not unusual to discover a friend or relative who one day admits to writing poetry. They seem almost ashamed about it and often need coaxing to share their work.  How many times do poets say, "I don't feel that I write my poems, they just seem to turn up". As for me, I do not consider myself a poet at all, but I do own up to being a ‘rhymester’. I find, writing poetry on purpose to be a bit of a trial between my inner and outer me. I tend to look out for news articles that can inspire a potential idea.

Without alluding to mental illness, I'm sure we all have conversations with ourselves. That is why I called this article 'The poet Within'. I believe it is completely healthy to allow us both to be around. The key is to take note and make a note when the inner-me comes up with an odd thought. These random interjections don't always go anywhere straight away but I've learned to store them as mini-muses until I can find a way to make sense of them. Listening to published poets and writers the bottom line seems to be read and read as much as you can.

Personally, I never had a poetic ambition and as an engineer, my writing skills were developed writing reports and technical instructions. I became reasonably good at technical writing by putting myself in the reader position and being as critical as I could be on what I had written. This I feel, this doesn’t work with poems at the outset. Just write and write fast and then see where it goes. If I can give any good advice it is this: Don't be afraid to write and never ever compare yourself to great writers but do read great writers and aspire to be 'a great you'.

Cliff Letts - Ropey Rhyme