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Announcing the SparkLife Poetry Club

Announcing the SparkLife Poetry Club

By Ricki Hurtado

I used to think I was the only person in English who actually looked forward to reading poetry. I thought it was weird that sometimes I could connect more with a poem than I could with a story. That is, until I saw this viral video. It's amazing how much these word have accomplished in less than a month. After all the stories people have heard on bullying, it was a poem that got the most empathy.

Everyday, Sparklers express their love of writing, theater, and music—so why not poetry? That's why I want to introduce the new SparkLife Poetry Club. Some of the best young writers are on this website, so here's a chance to show off your talents! There aren't any requirements to join—this club is open to everyone!

Here are a few guidelines for the new club:

  1. Each week there will be a central theme. When it's announced, you have until that Friday to write a poem about the selected topic. I'll show a different poet each week to inspire you!
  2. The best place to submit your work is the Sparkler Posts section. To make it easier for all of us to find, tag your post with "SPC."
  3. If you have a camera, a YouTube account, and extra-strength confidence pants, post a spoken word video! Again, you can go the Sparkler Posts to submit your link and do the same thing with the title.
  4. When I announce the new topic, I'll feature some of YOUR poems from the previous week! I'll try to feature 5 poems a week, but considering the amount of awesomeness on this site, it might be more. As long as your poem is tagged "SPC," is related to the theme of the week, and is all kinds of win, then you'll be featured!

So for the very first Sparklife Poetry Club, this week's theme is: anything!!

Seriously, write a poem about anything you want! The first week is a free-for-all! Write your little hearts out!

The Poet of the Week is: Sarah Kay. She did an amazing performance on TEDtalks and explains how to start getting into poetry.

For those of you who are new, you couldn't have picked a better site to write poetry on! Everyone here on SparkLife is friendly and supportive of each other. You don't have to worry about being embarrassed by what you've written or being criticized. Welcome to the family.

If the whole concept of poetry is new to you, here are some writing tips. And please note that it doesn't have to rhyme in order to be poetry. Sometimes it's hard to express yourself when you can't find the perfect rhyme.

And to prove that literally anyone can write a poem without any talent whatsoever, here's a poem I wrote a couple years ago under the name... Banjo Betty:

SPC: Ode to Banjos

The dusk grows clearer, a December 'morn
I am tucked in my bed,
With thoughts of Chuck and Darren Criss
Singing in my head.
When in a flash, a ghost appears
I scream, "Is this a beast?!"
His belly bounces and he laughs,
"I am, to say the least!
Young BanjoBetty, don't you know
That I'm the Banjo King?
And yet you'd rather hear the young
and mighty Crisses sing!"

We argue for a little while
On why Chuck and Darren are quite
Fantabulous and beautiful
And the Banj-king said, "A'ight,
But can they play the banjo
and sound better than can be?"
I exclaimed that Chuck could and the king replied,
"Well not as good as me.
You see, Banj-Bet, the banjo isn't
Just some lima bean!
Hop on your zebra-unicorn
And I'll show you what I mean!"

And so I got on Daffodil
And we flew into the sky,
We flew right past the Milky Way
And kissed Saturn good-bye!
"The banjo isn't just a drum
With four or five strings!
The banjo is a piece of mind
And lots of other things!"
"But what about-" "Hold up!"
He said, "There's something very wrong.
It seems the scene is lacking
An awesome banjo song."

"But what about the history
of the banjo?" I asked.
"Why it's right here," the king slowly said
And his banjo was unmasked.
Instead of hicks and picks and punks
A fairy did appear
And said, "Oh Betty, dontcha know
The banj was always here
In your heart, Betite (pronounced petite)!"
And then I let out a gasp
For the thought had never occurred to me,
'Twas something I could not quite grasp.

And then I awoke, dazed and confused
For I had been asleep.
Turns out I had slept through Christmas
So I began to weep.
But then I remembered that I found out
The true meaning of the banjo
And I began to dance as if I
Had a brain and was a scarecrow.
After I leaped into the air
My dance began to bog,
A smile spread across my face and
Said, "I should write a blog!"

Now that you've seen the worst, you can feel better about your own ability. Get writing!

Topics: Life
Tags: poetry, sparklers, writing, sparklife, literature, poets, sparklife poetry club

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