Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January Theme: MY FIRST PUBLISHED POEM FOR CHILDREN (Irene Latham)




I love writing novels, but my passion is poetry. And while I have two collections of poetry for adults, it wasn't until 2011 that I sold my first poems in the children's market. And one of them -- "You Cannot Measure Courage" -- appears this month in Scholastic's Scope magazine.  (It's not the first one I sold, but it's the first one to appear in print!)

The poem was written in response to the documentary film TOUCHING THE VOID, about two climbers on a remote mountain in Peru. After my poem was accepted for publication, the editor asked if I might do a video explaining my approach to the subject. In other words, how does a writer get from point A: raw information, to point B: creative work?

Here's what it's like for me:

And here's the poem:

You Cannot Measure Courage
 by Irene Latham


And you cannot
hold
one life

above another.
But what if you must?




Click to read the complete poem.


Writers: how do you get from point A to point B?

3 comments:

  1. I like your description of approaching things "sideways," Irene! Well put. For me, doing my best work is a matter of pulling the covers of life aside; getting past the cliches, the expectations, the familiar to the honest and raw emotions that await.

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  2. Remember those Family Circus cartoons that tracked the way one of the kids got from one point to another--which usually involved long and winding journeys through backyards and up trees and in-between crannies? Yep, that pretty much sums it up for me...

    Congrats on your poem, Irene!

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  3. Congratulations, Irene, and thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes peek into the poem's creation. Oh, point A to point B? I meander. Then I get really focused. Then I think of revisions while changing the cat litter or something!

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