Writing Crap: The Beauty in Really Bad Poetry

Hello again everyone! I’m so excited to write my first Opus blog post for the semester. As co-editor, I feel a certain pressure to start out our blog posts on a strong topic…I’m not sure this topic lives up to that, but bear with me. In preparation of submitting work to Opus by JANUARY 29TH, I want to encourage everyone to write crappy poetry. “Wait, what? Does she think Opus has crappy writing and art in it? Does she want me to not try my best while writing?” I think a lot of crazy things, but not those crazy things. The writing and artwork presented in Opus is beautiful and important. But here’s the thing, a lot of what you read in any publication started out as really crappy poetry (or prose or art). This semester I’m taking intermediate poetry with Rob Kenagy and he’s making us write a poem a day for fifteen days. As someone who likes to spend a ridiculous amount of time choosing a word, it’s been difficult for me to just dash off poetry without having thought long and hard about the topic and word choice (and it’s only the second day of fifteen. Help.) However, I’ve realized that even though the poems my poor professor has to read might really be pretty bad they have potential to become something much better through revision–even if I end up throwing out ninety percent of the poem to just use one phrase. Yesterday I wrote a really silly poem about a gnome sleeping in my closet. Now, you may think I’m weird for coming up with that idea, but really the weird part is that I have an actual plaster gnome hanging in my closet. What started out being a ridiculous poem ended up making me think about objects in my life that remain in their place as my life changes around them–perhaps a much better idea for a poem. I’ll just have to keep writing crappy poetry to find out. And I encourage you to write crappy poetry. It may be awkward, embarrassing, and downright silly at times, you might be surprised at the material you generate for revision. And then send that revised poetry (or prose or art) straight in to us at opus@hope.edu.

I’m so so excited for this semester. I’m so so excited for you to explore your creativity. And I’m so so excited to receive your submissions.

Abby Klett (Co-editor)

I’m giving up a spot for a traditional funny meme for this fabulous Bowie picture because my heart is a little broken this week.

But I can’t not leave you with a George Washington meme as a bonus.

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