Today’s guest blogger Nancy Julien Kopp muses about capturing and crystalizing a moment.
The Wall Street Journal had an article profiling Maggie Smith, a contemporary poet. One of her quotes was simple but said a lot.
“A poem doesn’t have to tell a story; it can just crystallize a moment.”
I read it two or three times, then copied it on a notepad.
If you’ve ever been stopped by a beautiful sight or sound and wanted to write a poem, you’ll understand her thought to crystallize a moment.
There’s no set number of verses to do that, no rhyming pattern, or anything else . . . just crystallize a moment.
Maybe you’ve watched your children interacting, and there was a moment that you wanted to keep forever. It’s then that you should get that little notepad you keep nearby and jot down the thoughts you had. If you don’t do it right away, you’ll probably lose the intensity of the moment.
Early one morning, I went outside to pick up the newspaper, and I saw something that made me stop and watch and think. I wrote a poem about that one moment and what I saw in that tiny sliver of time, that took me to do a daily chore. It was a moment I wanted to remember, and the poem helped me do so.
Message by Nancy Julien Kopp
The cacophony of geese
caught my ear immediately
this cold, early morn,
as I claimed my newspaper
on the still frosty driveway.
I scanned the cloud-dense sky,
paper clutched in hand,
none sighted, but raucous honking
pierced the dawn as they flew
north from warmer climes.
Yet, their message arrived with
clarity, joy, and triumph.
I smiled, knowing another spring
will grace us one day soon.
Many nature poems are something we see for a moment, perhaps a quick glance at a colorful butterfly on a flowering bush. If that glimpse of something beautiful spoke to you, that’s when a poem might ‘crystallize’ the experience. It might be as simple as a haiku, or it could be a poem of several verses.
As you go about your day, use your writer’s eye to look for that exceptional moment or special sight, and pen a poem. You can ‘crystallize’ whatever it happens to be.
Nancy Julien Kopp lives and writes in the Flint Hills of Kansas. She has been published in various anthologies, including 23 times in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, websites, newspapers, and magazines and The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing (available on Amazon both in paperback and as an e-reader)
She writes creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction for middle grade kids, and short memoir.
Today’s photo is from the Queen Wilhelmina’s Tulip Garden, near the windmill in San Francisco. My crystalline moment.