The Poetry Project

I’ve been writing poems lately. Some days I’m surprised and pleased by what I write and think I might someday have something worth submitting somewhere. Other days a voice in my head says: You can’t write poetry. Whatever made you think you could? Why are you torturing yourself trying to write something no one will want to read anyway?

This, I remind myself, is to be expected. Crises of confidence are part of a writer’s life. The best way back to the good days, I know from experience, is to just keep writing.

Sometimes I rediscover the joy of writing by working harder, other times by playing. As I did one day in December, when I decided to try my hand at an erasure poem, just for fun. And fun it was! (To write one, you take an existing body of prose, erase a bunch of words, and what’s left is your poem.)

book cover
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orchards pink
frogs silverly
sweet savor of clover

walls white
chairs yellowly
cracked blue jug

something missing

an enchanted princess
riding a coal-black steed
the pie
the handkerchiefs
the brook

one can live down troubles
before dark

after dark
a white lady walks wailing
cold fingers of a headless man
reach out

grab daylight
home a story

Curious to know where these words came from? The visual for this post is a clue!


  1. Janet Barclay on January 25, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I love this poem, and I would never have guessed where the words came from. Now that you’ve spilled the beans, I can definitely remember some of those phrases.

  2. Kathy Stinson on January 25, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks, Janet. I’m glad the poem was fun for you too. 🙂
    It sounds like you have a great memory for things you read, however long ago!

  3. Benedek on January 26, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Hello Kathy! I thought your erasure poem quite lovely . . . (Anne of Green Gables???). “Where do the words come from” is something I often wonder myself, when I am writing. I went through a ‘poetry phase’ a long time ago and wrote quite a bit, as well as poetry for children. Was told publishers were not interested in poetry for children, so never submitted. However, I think writing poetry is an excellent training ground for writing in any genre . . . have just slogged through a few years of writing and finishing a YA speculative fiction novel and I know poetry writing was an enormous help.
    Enjoying your blogs Kathy.
    Ann Benedek

    • Kathy on January 27, 2023 at 11:21 am

      Thank you, Ann. I’m pleased that you liked it too.

      Maybe your next poem will start with “Where do the words come from?” 🙂

      Publishers often say they aren’t interested in poetry because they receive so much that’s not good, but some does get published so I encourage you to submit what you consider your best. The worst that can happen is you get a “no thanks” but just maybe something better comes of it.

      I wish you all the best with your speculative fiction YA novel! And thanks for reading my blog posts!

  4. Wendy Mason Geoghegan on January 26, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Wonderful it is that you are writing poetry! I have written a few that were published in a U.S. magazine issued by Cranbrook Schools. Keep it up Kathy.

  5. Kathy on January 27, 2023 at 11:22 am

    I’m not surprised there’s a poet in you, Wendy. 🙂
    Thank you for your encouragement.

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