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My First Attempt at Publishing Poetry

Updated on September 12, 2016
The freedom of poetry.
The freedom of poetry. | Source

My Love~Hate Relationship With Poetry

I'm doing it. I'm finally biting the bullet. For years I have watched friends on Hubpages publish their poetry, and I looked on in timid admiration. I thought that it's great for them, but there is no way I can do it.

When it comes to writing articles, I'm thoughtful, thorough, and can look at a subject with a unique eye.

When it comes to fiction, I know I have the skills to evoke strong emotions, to hold a reader captive, to thrust a protagonist to the climax.

When it comes to screenplays, there are no limits to potential success.

However, when it comes to poetry, I feel lost and afraid that there are cosmic rules I am breaking—that an invisible poetry Queen is looking in on my work and calling it rubbish. When I even think about writing a stanza, I feel like I'm standing in front of an English 100 class with my pants down and everyone is laughing.

Poetry paints with words.
Poetry paints with words. | Source

Conquering My Fear

I am not usually one to back down from a challenge. I face my fear of heights, I look danger in the eye, I take every fear and stab it through the heart with a silver nail, and I laugh in the face of danger.


  • I will be terrible at it.
  • I will butcher an ancient art form.
  • I will break a rule I didn't know existed.
  • No one will understand it.
  • People will think I'm a fraud.
  • People will judge my writing skills by my poetry performance.
  • It will sound amateurish.
  • people will think I am immature and keep my heart on my sleeve.

Growing as a Writer

I am constantly coaching new writers on how to write better and pull in an audience. I teach them to face their fears and go for broke, to write with everything they've got, to not be afraid of failure, and to find their writer's voice.

At the same time I am agonizing over writing poetry. Yet, there is something inside me that is drawing me to it like a moth to a kerosene light.

What if I'm good at it? What if it improves my fiction writing and my ability to communicate the five senses? What if I find that I actually enjoy it?

When I think of poetry, I think of snobbery. I want to EX that out of my mind, once and for all—discovering that poetry can be liberating and freeing.

With poetry, I'm spreading my writer wings.
With poetry, I'm spreading my writer wings. | Source


When troubles come like raging sea

When despair opens her wide abyss

Darling I will hold your hand

There's no safety you will miss.

When aching heart and broken bone

Doth drive your soul to tears

Darling, I will wipe your eyes

And swallow all your fears.

When feet grow sore from battle march

When youthful eyes go dim

Darling I will carry you

through every battle win.

When peace is far and evil near

When bone and marrow cease

Darling I will raise you up

that your joy, it may increase.

When that faithful day shall come

When breath to me return

Darling I will give you life,

It is faith that you have learn.

When through pearly gates you walk

When saints of old you pass

Darling I will be your light

And rest your soul alas.

To be held in a father's arms.
To be held in a father's arms. | Source

The Hill

Upon a hill the train does pass

Lies blades green with life

And everyday the people pass

They think it's cute and nice.

A man atop the hill

He holds a bucket and a brush

And with unpolished wood

He paints a shade of mush.

Fathers, mothers, brothers, sons,

They climb the hill above

To find the names of causalities

And honor their beloved.

Flag to crosses do attach

And every day the number rise

For it is a war that won't be won

Until no rocket flies.

An Iraq War Memorial

A hill of crosses near my house. One cross for every Iraq War casualty.
A hill of crosses near my house. One cross for every Iraq War casualty. | Source


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    • musing randoms profile image


      4 years ago from In the mist that exists between sanity and having completely lost it

      I faced the same daunting prospect and after much searching and going backwards and forwards I decided to heck with it and wrote it just the way I wanted. I'm sure I broke almost all the rules but hey so what! I do however know that by reading other people's work (more than any practical guide) we can all improve over time

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Your poems are stellar. I enjoy reading poetry but writing it is certainly not one of my good points. I've tried but not with much success.

      Your poems here are beautiful. I especially liked "Darling", so romantic and a joy to read. It seems you have nothing to worry about when it comes to poetry.

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Faith, your words are kind and encouraging. I'm exact to hear that the words moved you, I think that is the goal of every poet. It was a fun experiment.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Mary, I think a lot of Hubbers are nervous about poetry.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Bravewarrior and Kevin, next i'd like to try a non-rhyming poem. There is something about rhymes and rhyme that I find attractive.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Bill, I think, even if you don't like it, trying several different types of writing can be a great learning tool for making all of your writing better. There's no shame in saying it's not for you.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks MizBe, Yes, so you feel my apprehension! The HP community has been nothing but encouraging.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Frank, oh no you didn't! Ha! In my 50 Thoughts on Writing I go into detail about taking a college poetry class that scarred me for life. We didn't write any poetry, just analysed a bunch of the classics. As a 2nd grader, I think I got a silly school poem into a school anthology, and my poetry career stopped there. I can't remember writing anything since.

      Thank you so much for the complement. I feel like I got lucky on those poems and am not sure if I can or will continue. I'd like to, but I feel so inadequate in that area.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Ann, the snobs can keep their rules, I'm freeeeeeeee.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Phyllis, thank you for all of your encouragement. The more I've strained my neck out, the more I've learned that others have similar apprehensions to poetry. It has stretched me as a writer, and I think, made me a better one.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Jodah, that means a lot coming from you. I've never thought of myself as a poet before.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      BRAVO!!! I am with faith reaper, your poems were very moving. I think you caught the poetry bug. It is a great encouragement to others who have a desire to try poetry, to see you take the plunge. You are courageous and inspiring. Nice, nice job.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Both of your poems here moved me deeply. You are a poet, dear heart. Please continue to write if you enjoy writing it now. You have taken the first step and from here on out it will flow freely. Poetry is indeed freeing.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      4 years ago from Florida

      No need to apologize! Your poems are wonderful, I think. billybuc just wrote a Hub wishing poets got more recognition here on HP, so your poems came at a very good time.

      I seldom publish any of my poems for many of the same reasons you wrote about.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Jen, you can cast your fears aside. You did a wonderful job of these two poems. I really enjoyed the first one. It has both earthly and heavenly meaning. At least that's the way I interpreted it.

      I agree with Examiner-1's comment about "learned". It still rhymes and makes more sense. Also, poetry doesn't always have to rhyme. Most of my early poems don't rhyme. It depends on my mood and what has triggered the poem.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      4 years ago

      For your first poem Jennifer that was beautiful. You wrote it fine. I voted it up, shared and Tweeted it.


      P.S. - In poetry you do not have to be exact sometimes. For instance, in "Darling" when you rhymed 'return' and 'learn', you could have written 'learned'. It does not matter.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo! Well done, Jen. I'm with you regarding poetry...I love to read it but I suck at it....LOL...but then I tried writing it about a year ago, and it was well-received, and I know I grew as a writer because of it. I'm proud of you for doing this.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 years ago from Beautiful South

      You did a fantastic job on your first attempt. Keep writing poetry because, well just because. Are we sisters? I avoided poetry writing in high school so adamantly that even today my friends laugh at me about it. When I did finally start writing poetry on HP, I put a disclaimer on it and asked people not to laugh at me. The wonderful poets on this website have given me nothing but encouragement, so even though I'm still shaky, I'll pass it along. Voted up++

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      like im gonna believe this is your first attempt.. please.. your poetry out does so many on here... so again I say pleaseeeee... hashtag: Oh Yes I DiD!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      What a great start to your poetry adventure! Powerful emotions come through both of these.

      I don't think there are many rules in poetry any more. As long as there is some rhythm and flow, then pretty much anything goes. Not like it used to be when I was at school and poetry was a mile away from stories and a little elitist.

      Well done!


    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Well ... there you go Jennifer - your first step of a thousand as you say, but what a big step. I enjoyed reading your poems and felt the empathy of what you wrote about the fears of attempting poetry. We have all been there. Now that you opened to it and put it out there, it will come easier with each poem. Very well done!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Jen, you have done it an taken the first step. Now you have nothing to fear, and believe me when I say that your first two poems are a wonderful success. You can now add 'poet' to your writers resume. I love both of these poem but especially "Darling."


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