“Poetry is everywhere. It just needs editing” ~ James Tate
Journaling is a deeply personal act. To get the most out of your journaling experience you must pour yourself into it, answering the real questions that your ‘future you’ will want to know the answers to. To express those dreams, aspirations, and emotions, many use simple prose.
Sometimes, stream of consciousness prose isn’t good enough. Sometimes, the concept or dream is so powerful… so gripping that it must be expressed in poetry. Sometimes, the concept is only grasped at in metaphor or in rhyme. When this happens, poetry journals are created.
Poetry journals are simply that: personal books of self-created poetry.
Whether you choose to share your journal with others or keep it close to your chest, that’s up to you. We can say, however, that an extra layer of enjoyment is had when old poetry journals are rediscovered. With little practice, your words can transport readers (even yourself!) back to the emotions that were going on at the time.
Here are some steps to developing the most exquisite poetry journal.
Pick out your perfect leather journal
Those handwritten words must be contained somewhere, right? The leather journal you choose sets the mood of the poetry that you will keep within. And, like the poetry you write, there are so many styles from which to choose. Do you prefer a soft cover journal or is something with a hard cover more your style? What type of paper do you prefer? Are you an expert doodler who can’t stay within the lines? How are you going to transport your journal? Poetry is all around you, even in the journal you keep.
Divide your Poetry Journal into Sections
A little planning can go a long way when organizing your poetry journal. You’re not limited to keeping your writing in chronological order, but that is enough for some. Others prefer to divide their poetry journal into sections or categories or types of poems. For example, you can have one section or category devoted entirely to places or seasons, while having other sections correspond to different emotions, life events, or subject matter such as nature. If you’re constantly rolling with different types of poetry, you could have one section devoted entirely to Haiku, limericks, rhyming poems or free verse. How you organize your journal is completely up to you.
Find the Inspiration of Poetry
When writing poetry, it can be a challenge to decide what topic to write about. There are websites that send topics and prompts directly to your inbox. The easiest way to start writing in your poetry journal is to write about what’s on your mind.
Poetry is everywhere.
If you’ve got nothing on your mind, but still want to write poetry, start listening to your surroundings. If you’re in a public place, start making up stories about the people who are near. See if you can catch snippets of conversations. Try to describe the way that the leaves look.
If that doesn’t work, start simple. Look at the objects around you, say, the pen in your hand. What rhymes with pen? How does the pen feel? Is the surface smooth, rough, riddled with bite marks?
You can also get inspiration from other writers. Authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson have served to inspire writers and poets alike. You can also illustrate your poetry and make your journal a combination poetry and art journal like newly named Nobel Prize for literature winner, Bob Dylan, has been doing for decades!
The most important thing about keeping a poetry or any other type of journal is to keep up with the practice. It won’t do you well to worry about whether your poems are perfect. Unless you’re a professional poet, none of those things are as important as writing it down. Your poetry journal, if you’re keeping up with it, will act like a friend and confidant that’s there when you need it.
Leather journals don’t exclude the poetry writers out there. All you need is a journal, a pen, and a little bit of planning, and you’re off to the races.