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

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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