A couple of months ago, a group of middle school students from a school in Michigan wrote to me with some questions about writing. I thought that I would share some of their questions and my responses here.
1) Question: What would you say to someone who says "I hate poetry"?
To answer the question of what I would say to someone who says, "I hate poetry", I would say that poetry is like music or movies or books or games or food or... well, you get the idea. Poetry is really more a world or a field rather than one particular thing. Just like there might be some foods that you don't like, while you love others or you might like classical or rap music but not pop or jazz, there might be some poetry that you like and other poetry that you don't. That's ok! Many people think of rhyming poetry only, because that is what we are usually first introduced to. There are all kinds of different poetry, though- some that is strict in form, others that's more like sentences or just words or syllables. Some rhymes and some doesn't. There's even something called "found poetry" where people assemble sentences or words that they find from places- magazines, newspapers, etc. There's some poetry that I don't like either, and I write poetry! But, no matter if we like the poetry or not- it can be good to see things in a different way, we can still learn something from it, and it can be fun to try different poetry- like trying new foods.
2) Question: How old were you when you started [writing]?
I first made-up stories when I was 3 years old and my mom wrote them down for me, since I couldn't write yet. My first poetry was around the age of 8 or so- a school assignment to write a poetry book about pigs!
My best to you all,