Why I’m taking a poetry class
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
– T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
I’ll never forget the moment I discovered T.S. Eliot. Sitting in Mrs. Vasterling’s 10th grade English class on a warm spring morning, I flipped to the assigned page in my crusty Norton Anthology of American Literature and took in the first few verses of Eliot’s sprawling epic The Waste Land.
I have no idea what happened the rest of the class.
Sure, I’d studied Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Dickinson, Whitman … but there was something about Eliot. He could make words jump through hoops I didn’t even know existed, gliding me into the center of a sumptuous Eden one moment and drop-kicking me into a parched Hades the next. As much literature as I’d absorbed in my young life (and it was a lot), I never knew words could do what they did under Eliot’s command.
So what the heck does this have to do with content marketing?
Around this time of year — yes, Eliot’s “cruellest month” — my inner Muse starts pitching a fit that would do any toddler proud. “Really, Parker?” she taunts, kicking the backs of my eyeballs, “another soulless how-to blog post with word choices dictated by Google? For this you became a writer?”
And she’s right. It’s come to my attention that my writing has become markedly — what’s the word — utilitarian since I’ve signed on to this content marketing thing. Yes, our content needs to be useful and practical, but there can still be humor, intrigue, and yes, beauty along the way.
Then it hit me: Take a poetry class. Get back to that magic you discovered in Eliot and the other masters, and learn how to harness it. See if it helps you get the old spark back — or find a new one.
So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I returned to my old friends at Writer’s College and signed on for their six-week Poetry Fundamentals course. I have no idea how this will affect what you’ll see on this blog in the weeks and months to come … but it’ll be fun finding out.
Stay tuned …
About the Author
A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).
As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. To learn more, download our complimentary audio 5 Things You Must Know About Content Marketing.
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