Dive Into the Wordpool

Come and learn about one of the great inspiration tools for writing poetry from Erica!

Erica Goss

I discovered wordpools in Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’sPoemcrazy. “I collect…hats, coins, cougars, old Studebakers,” she writes. “That is, I collect thewords. Pith helmet, fragment, Frigidaire, quarrel, love seat, lily. I call gathering words this way creating awordpool. This process helps free us to follow the words and write poems.”

When I read this, I’d been writing poems a long time, but the idea of collecting words to spark creativity was new to me. That a poem might be lurking in some random words—surge, hit, new, kiss, overallfork, innocence, bumblebee, fingers—was exhilarating.

Around this time, the late 1990s, Magnetic Poetry kits appeared. I received many as gifts. They came in sheets, requiring the recipient to detach the words from each other. I’ve lost count of how many kits I processed this way, only to find the words I’d carefully separated uninspiring. Staring…

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