Sometimes, Poems Just Happen

There are times when you spend hours, days, or more working on a poem. A poem that you tweak and re-write and struggle with. Then, there are the other times – when poems just happen. When it’s like you’re walking through a field, trip on something, and unbury it only to find that it’s something wonderful and new. And somehow it didn’t exist until you tripped on it (wrap your mind around that one!).

There Comes a Time in Every Life” was one of those poems. I was driving home, and suddenly, it was there in my head. Line after line. No hesitation, no fumbling. It just appeared. Like I waved a magic wand. One minute, I was thinking about a hard situation and people’s reactions to it, and the next, I could practically see the poem take shape in my head.

Em T. Wytte Poem There comes a time in every life when the choices all are hard when the options all are dim and dark the chances all are slim to none when the house holds the cards there comes a time in every life when something has to give but even once it bends or breaks you somehow have to live

Originally posted on my creative writing blog, twytte.

Of course, I spent the rest of the drive home chanting it in my head over and over again because when poems just happen they tend to happen in the most inconvenient places. Places where giving them the right amount of attention or even writing them down is hard. Or impossible. Here are a few places where I’ve run into this issue.

  • In the shower
  • On horseback
  • On a treadmill
  • During a presentation in class
  • Driving on the freeway

It hasn’t happened on a date yet, but I imagine it’s only a matter of time. With “There Comes a Time in Every Life,” it was the freeway – a fast-paced one with a lot of curves, ramps, and reckless drivers. Sad to say, even knowing how dangerous and stupid it would be, I was tempted to pull over long enough to write it down. I also considered getting off a few exits early to find a convenient parking lot.

This is where voice recognition software might’ve come in handy (very handy). But I, of course, didn’t have one. I decided to drive straight home and do my best to keep it in my head until I got there. Apparently, my brain didn’t think that was enough of a challenge. When I got about halfway home, still chanting the poem to avoid possibly forgetting any of it, my brain decided to “discover” another poem.

Did I mention that when poems just happen, they often come in multiples? Or in multiple stanzas?

It’s like when ideas attack. You never know for sure how big and ruthless they are going to be about holding you hostage. You could have a few lines to think about and miss 5  minutes of class. You could have a novel to think about and miss most of class. All in all, I guess I got lucky. I only had 9 lines to remember (well, 13, if you count the other poem, too).

And out of both poems that appeared, there was only 1 word choice that I went back and forth on, and it was in this poem. Can you guess which one? (Hint: It was a conjunction conundrum.)


Forget the Drinking Class, Work Is the Curse of the Reading Class

Actually, it's getting in the way of everything...

Try bringing that up at your next performance review.

Actually, although enjoyable, my formal work also gets in the way of writing (another form of work), and squeezing in the writing is also getting in the way of reading. On the one hand, I’m very happy and satisfied that I’m getting the writing done. On the other hand, I feel like an addict who’s gone too long without her drug of choice: I need to read.

Think Gollum and the ring, and you have a pretty good idea of my relationship with my books (Yes, take my book, and I might bite your finger off.). I’m sure I have well over 1,000 books already, and I’m not even half-way through my “expected” lifespan. If I run short of books to buy and read, that simply means I need to try new authors. If I run out of money, I need to get a loan*. Not being able to sneak in a couple of books a week (re-reads are fine – and faster) is making me twitchy.

Unfortunately, right now, I pretty much have a choice between not reading and not sleeping.

….it might be a long night.


*This article may contain hyperbole.


We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

What can I say? It's an addiction.

What can I say? It’s an addiction.


Write: Reach into Hearts

When you reach into hearts to create everything Write Acrostic Em T. Wytte

Conversely, if you create everything (life), you reach into hearts.

Life is captured in the words we join. That is their beauty and their horror. That is their power.