I’m very aware of the importance of rhythm in writing (my own as well as other people’s) and I’ve said before that I’m not a poet. But I imagine most writers do try now and then to create something using the stricter disciplines that poetry seems to demand. A few years back, I wrote a blog which gave examples of some experiments I’d done with the fascinating Fibonacci sequence and, even though I still insist I’m not a poet, those experiments plus some more frequent ones seem to be contradicting me because I’m now officially a published poet.
But I’m only telling you that to draw your attention to a fascinating website devoted to what they call Origami Poems . The mission of the Origami Poems Project ‘is the encouragement of literature and the arts by bringing Free Poetry to everyone through the printing and distribution (world-wide) of free Origami micro-chapbooks as well as through poetry events, both of which engender an increasing awareness of and appreciation for the art of poetry… and for the poet in all of us’. Their explanation of what these poems actually are is simple and intriguing and even leads you through how to write, print and fold your own work to turn it into an origami poems chapbook. You can also download groups of poems that have already been formatted in the necessary way (including mine) and fold them into a micro chapbook yourself. And it’s all free.
The website is based in Rhode Island, one of my favourite places in the USA, and I sent them my efforts at the suggestion of Helen Burke, a real poet whom I met at the literary festival in St Clémentin last year. She gave me one of her own chapbooks (all of which are available to download from the site). As I said, she’s a real poet and she’s a great advocate of poetry as fun. Her poems are on serious subjects but there are plenty of laughs in them.
I think trying challenges in other literary forms is stimulating. Irrespective of how successful or otherwise the attempts are, it refreshes your approach to your own genre and makes you think differently about your normal style. The same is true of looking at the creations of others who’ve worked within the constraints of such challenges. So I recommend a visit to the site. You never know, you may find out you’re a poet, too.