What is Poetry to You?

By Galylea, age 17


It was the morning right after first semester finals. I really didn’t want to wake up at 8 AM to drive to San Marino, but after convincing myself to get out of bed, I arrived at the Huntington Gardens for WriteGirl’s 2019 Poetry Workshop.

First, I got together with the other Bold Leaders, a group of juniors who practice leadership skills through extra responsibilities. We discussed our duties for the day.

The workshop began with a burning question – “What is poetry to you?”

One of the guests, Darby Price, responded, “Poetry is an experiment all the time…until you really feel that your voice is in your writing.” This spoke to me on a different level. I had always tried too hard while writing poetry because I wanted it to relate to other people, when really it just has to form a connection with myself. We learned from incredible poets Ryka Aoki, Neelanjana Banerjee, Ashaki M. Jackson, and Yazmin Monet Watkins.

All the advice and activities really helped me to open up and let my words flow, instead of filling my page with “big words” to sound poetic.


Poem using repetition:

Hungry and indecisive walking,

Too eager to stay at home walking,

Emptiness all around walking,

Looking through every crowd walking,

Never finding what I need walking,

Starving until arrival


Although I wanted to sleep in, I’m so glad I didn’t! I now feel more motivation and freedom in exploring poetry, and in taking ownership of my creative skills and embracing what I’ve been too afraid to try in the past. I’m proud to be a member of WriteGirl and can’t wait to see what this 2019 writing season holds!