Poetry is solving Maverick problems


Poetry is solving Maverick problems. Stuck with a problem? Can’t figure out the answer, the solution? Write a poem.

I know, right? Crazy!

But hear (read) me out!

All a poem is, is an exploration of an idea, a theme. It a stimulus (the beloved for example) and then responds to it and explores all the emotions and associations of that thing, to arrive at a conclusion about how the poet stands in relation to that stimulus.

When solving problems, it is always a good idea to first get clarity, to understand WHY the problem exists and how you (and/or everyone else) feel about this.

The Method

  1. Get the problem clear in your head. What is the situation? Who is involved? What is the current outcome and why is that a problem and so on.
  • Now, write down all the words that come into your head while you reflect on this situation. Don’t judge them, just do it as an automatic writing exercise. In other words, pretend a ghost is driving your hand and you have no control over what words come out. Just pour out a pile of words onto a page. Once the flow slows, stop.
  • Assess the list. What is the dominant emotion? Write that down. Find all the words that are most closely associated with this emotion
  • Good, now turn as many of the words in the list into short sentences … don’t worry about whether they make sense together or not. Just make sentences using the keywords and your feelings about the stimulus.
  • Now generate a list of words that are the polar opposite of the list of words most closely associated with the emotion of the first list. Again, don’t overthink, just do it as a mental, vocabulary exercise.
  • Now, reflect on what would need to happen to turn the emotions from the first list your wrote into the emotions in the 2nd.
  • Now you have a progression, an exploration. If you are feeling moved and daring, you could now take the various sentences and arrange them to show a development from one state to another and generate an actual poem.

Remember, there is nothing in the definitions of the word poem that says it has to be GOOD! It can be a steaming heap of verbiage and still be a poem. But what I do when I write poetry, is explore how I feel about things. In doing so, I often find the clues I need to resolve painful situations, reconcile emotions and move forward with life.

This is exactly what we do when we problem solve, so the poetry writing metaphor is an actual tool that, on the psychological, emotional side, can get us in to a place where a problem can be solved, by changing the emotional angle we are coming from.

I have just published my new collection of poetry. Called, B-Sides, it is a collection of poems that I wrote in between the social-media projects that generated my two previous books, For You OR Someone Like You and With All Of You.

In B-Sides, I wrestle with daily struggles, purpose, love and meaning. Poetry is a powerful tool in my self-care. I use it to analyse how I feel through the lens of language and it often gives me clues as to how I really feel, giving clarity on what I need to do next. Get yourself a copy form your favourite eBook retailer HERE.

I hope you are inspired by it and can use this somewhat Maverick approach on the problems You need to solve.