Poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske discusses writing love poems

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Kellogg Community College¬†English professor and poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske participated in a live chat on MLive.com this afternoon on the subject of writing love poems, an appropriate topic given that Valentine’s Day is Thursday.

Poets Kathleen McGookey and Dianne Seuss also participated in the live chat, and you can read all of the questions they were posed and their responses in the comments section of the MLive post online at http://bit.ly/VSAto1.

Some highlights from Kerlikowske’s comments:

“I write a poem each year for my wedding anniversary. This year it’s about a potato. Two years ago it was about how weird trimmed poodles look. There’s lots of different ways to talk about love.”

“Sometimes an oblique approach is best. If you’re in that spot between like and love, what do you do? You don’t want to ‘declare’ but you do want to ‘insinuate.’ Those are tricky because you end up ice-skating around the fishing hole. That situation requires restraint and the ability to read the poem from your point of view as well as the intended’s. You don’t want to get in too deep.”

“Do not feel a poem has to rhyme. Writing with the King of Rhyme forces people to say things they don’t really mean. It’s important to be honest and say what you feel with your heart and not artificially red/blue/sweet/you.”

The bottom line for those interested in writing their sweetheart a love poem this Valentine’s Day: “Be yourself and say what you feel in the language you actually use.”

To view all of Kerlikowske’s comments from the chat on MLive click through the link above. To view only Kerlikowske’s comments, click here.