Monday, March 17, 2014

Fear of Poetry - Wild Woman Waking ~ Guest Post by poet and friend Morgan Dragonwillow

Let me introduce you to my friend and fellow poet, Morgan Dragonwillow, who appears here today as  a guest blogger. Morgan and I have never met in "real life," but we share a love of words and poetry and freedom of expression. So, we connected on the pages of each others' blogs and on  her creative outlets, OctPoWriMo and Poets on the Page. Through her poetry challenges, Morgan has inspired and taught and encouraged so many of us to stretch ourselves.  

It is with great pleasure that I am taking part in Morgan's Blog Hop and sharing her words and new book Wild Woman Waking with you today via her guest post.

You hear the word poetry and your eyes grow blank or dart from left to right looking for a way out. Flashbacks of teachers, criticism, rules... so many rules. You back away saying, "No I can't write poetry and I have no desire to read it, thank you, but no." I don't know where or how poetry became such a convoluted thing; where meanings had to be placed, where it had to be dissected, where it became so scary you refused to look at it let alone write it. Unless you had a deep passion and love for poetry you ran in the other direction. So I did a little digging. First I asked my partner Christie who has been known to say that she doesn't think she can write poetry but I have seen her words on the page:
You hear the word poetry and your first thought is of love poetry or you think you have to stop and break into a soliloquies. Or you think you are to take a moment and put words to it that no one ever uses. One may think their vocabulary is not expanded enough to allow them even the possibility of writing poetry. I think someone is going to break it down and tell me it means something that it doesn't mean. It's my poetry, my words, I know what it means. And then I become apprehensive about writing poetry at all.
Some would say that a fear of poetry is silly but fears are not logical no matter what the fear is or where it came from. On I discovered there is actually a name for it for those that have a severe fear of poetry, Metrophobia. Here is a short quote from
Metrophobia, or the fear of poetry, is surprisingly common. Many people first develop this phobia in school, when overzealous teachers encourage them to rank poems according to artificial scales, break them down and search for esoteric meanings. Others simply feel that poetry is somehow “beyond” them, belonging only to the realm of the pretentious and highly educated. read more...
I understand it. For a long time I avoided poetry myself as well as writing in general. But the more I pushed myself to do what I love, what I have a passion for, I had to explore it. It puzzles me when I see an obviously talented person who writes beautiful lyrics and engaging blog posts say they can't write poetry. For instance my co-conspirator, Tui Snider, I thought for sure the first time I mentioned joining me in one of the poetry challenges that she would jump at the opportunity. Not at all. She has avoided it at every turn and even though she can write lyrics she balks at writing poetry. I asked her to free write her thoughts and feelings about poetry and this is what she wrote.
Calling something a poem scares me. I worry that it will be sophomoric and cliche and clunky and just awful... and that all these faults will be obvious to everyone except me!
Calling something a poem makes me feel like those fictitious head-bangers, Wayne and Garth (Dana Carvey and Mike Myers), in those SNL skits where they'd bow down to Aerosmith going, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
I'm not sure why (and I'd really like to figure it out) but calling something a poem feels pretentious, and I never want to be that way.
I have read many a poem that made me cringe and I would hate to do that to someone else. I feel like a "real" poet will come across my poem and sneer at my well-intentioned feelings laid bare and vulnerable before them.
I write poems from time to time, but I rarely show them to anyone.
On the other hand, I feel completely comfortable with and entitled to write lyrics.
Isn't that odd?
That is pretty intense and you can't help but wonder if there wasn't such a teacher in her past that was mentioned above in the quote from Or maybe she saw someone that was ridiculed for what they wrote. As you can see a fear of poetry can be quite debilitating and could possibly keep a person from fulfilling his destiny. At minimum it can prevent him from being able to enjoy poetry; rhythmic and melodic words that are meant to invoke feelings in the reader. What's a person to do if they have such fears? I didn't find a lot of credible sources discussing treatment for Metrophobia but the article on brings up the movie, Dead Poets Society and this particular scene: 

According to HuffPost there is hope. For the first time the popularity of poetry in the U.S. is finally on an upswing; I am hoping that means those that have had fear around poetry are healing. Maybe, just maybe all those that are afraid of poetry need is gentle encouragement from those of us that know the exhilaration and wonder from writing poetry. If we allow them to explore their words on the page without the fear of being criticized, they will one day be unafraid. Do you have a fear of poetry? What do you think of the fear of poetry, also known as Metrophobia?  

Wild Woman Waking Book Launch!

Tui Snider and Morgan Dragonwillow combined their talents for the book Wild Woman Waking. Tui's artistic photography mixed with Morgan's poetic ramblings create a unique journey indeed.

Description on Amazon

What part of you have you suppressed, keeping it buried so deep inside that you almost forgot what is most important to you? Almost. As you read the poetic ramblings something stirs inside, your foot starts to tap, and you can hardly sit still. Maybe you turn on some music and dance into this new feeling, moving your hips as thoughts roam your head. From Wild Woman Waking: "broken smiles surrounding you listening to ghostly secrets desires of the heart prisoner to your life woman wake up and dance" You grab your notebook and pen and begin to write. You realize you can't sit still anymore because your eyes are wide open. Wild Woman Waking will have you looking at things differently and hopefully taking action for yourself. Wild Woman Waking: "Sleeping isn't possible once you explore the inner and outer world of poetry; transformation happens and your eyes open wide." If you grew up trying to be what others wanted and never sure who you really were or are, now you can choose to live and embrace your inner wild woman and maybe you will be inspired to write poetry of your own! Check out Wild Woman Waking!

This is a blog hop!

Promotion 5From March 10th through March 22nd there will be a blogger interviewing, reviewing, and guest posting for Wild Woman Waking! Every one of these women is amazing in her own right! I can't help but smile and feel such admiration when looking at all of their lovely faces! Check them out and spread the word of the fun happening here and there!      
Prizes! We have prizes for you as a thank you for participating! I will be giving away personal poems, soul messages (you can read one here), a $25 Amazon gift card and paperback copies (which aren't for sale yet) of Wild Woman Waking! The Winners will be announced on Monday, March 24th, 2014. Enter for your chance to win a Rafflecopter giveaway    

During the month of March for Women's History Month you and I can help in making sure the women fighting for our rights and not allowing our rights to be taken away again, and continue to help bring equality for all women - I will donate $1.00 for every full priced purchase of my ebooks, Dancing within Shadow and Wild Woman Waking, from the royalties to Now don't let that name scare you off. Feminism has been given a bad rap over the years, but  they are there to help women live complete and full lives with all the rights to which every human being is entitled. Check out their website to see more of the wonderful things they do to help women everywhere. 

Morgan Dragonwillow is a shadow poet and recovering perfectionist who strives to inspire other poets and writers. She especially enjoys helping those whom have had trouble letting go of the fear holding back their words from landing on the page. It thrills her to her marrow when her words inspire someone to write; it is one of her greatest joys. Morgan released her first poetry book, Dancing within Shadow, in March 2013. She is intimate with shadow and dances into the heart of it. She believes that diving into what most people try to avoid makes great fertilizer for all types of creativity, especially writing and poetry. She writes poetry to be able to say things, feel things that she can’t seem to express or feel anywhere else. Morgan lives in Marietta, GA, with her partner, their Pekinese, and their long-haired Tabby. She loves creating of all kinds, but words are her passion. You can connect with Morgan from the links below.

Tui Snider is a freelance writer, travel blogger, and photographer specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cultural traditions, and quirky travel destinations. Her articles and photos have appeared in BMIbaby, easyJet, Wizzit, Click, Ling, PlanetEye Traveler, iStopover, SkyEurope, and North Texas Farm and Ranch magazines, among others. She also wrote the shopping chapter for the Time Out Naples: Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast 2010 travel guidebook. For Tui, travel is a mindset. Her motto is "Even home is a travel destination," and she believes that "The world is only boring if you take everyone else's word for it." She has worn a lot of hats in her life - literally - and is especially fond of berets. Her first book, Unexpected Texas, is a guide to offbeat and overlooked places within easy reach of the Dallas - Fort Worth region of North Texas. You can find Tui all around the web.


  1. Hi Annis!

    Thank you for hosting Wild Woman Waking on your blog today. I love the topic here today: Fear of poetry!

    In answer to the question in Morgan's guest post: Yes! I did have a particular teacher who really trampled over my poetry. She embarrassed me in class and I was not only mortified, but I blushed terribly. Ugh!

    Thanks again for sharing the news about our poetry/photo project. :) Morgan worked so hard putting together this blog tour. It's been wonderful for me; meeting all these creative people has been a real treat!

  2. Tui, I loved the combo of your photos and Morgan's words as soon as I saw the book. Great job.

    I was a teacher for 34 years. I sure hope that I didn't cause such embarrassment to any of my students. And, I am so sorry that it happened to you!

    Cheers, luck, and continued success. xoA