I know that no matter what I write there will always be people who like it and people who don’t, people who think I meant one thing when I meant another, and people who will be able to see straight through to the heart of me in my work.

One of the struggles I have had of late has concerned my love of writing free-verse and verse novels and my continual worries about what the rest of the world thinks of verse novels and whether my type of writing is actually poetry or prose with line breaks or something else. It has stopped me in my tracks and caused me to doubt myself before I even get the words on the page.

I don’t know how to conquer this fear, I really don’t. But I know I can’t let it win. I can’t let it stop me from writing what I love to write.

Is it a poem because it rhymes
(Seussian or otherwise)
or perhaps because the lines fall to expected feet,
scanned to please the ear?

Is it a poem because of the hours I spent to find just the right word
to craft just the right sentence
to show you how the green gold of the hummingbird’s chest
was the exact color of my great grandmother’s brooch?

Or is it a poem
just because
I say
it is a poem?

Susan Taylor Brown.
All rights reserved.