Poetry of travel: An introduction

Poetry of Travel — By on October 13, 2010 at 7:20 pm

chalk poemTravel, I think, lends itself quite well to poetry. I’m not referring here to poetry in the strictest sense, defined by metrical patterns or rhymes, but rather to poetic language. Just a few lines that manage to evoke a visual or emotional response, or a few paragraphs that transport the reader to the sounds and smells and tastes of a faraway place.

I may have played with poetry when I was younger, but any early efforts at being lyrical were eventually buried beneath an avalanche of business writing. Information, grammar and spelling were really all that mattered. In recent years, though, as I began writing more about travel, I found myself reaching for more evocative descriptions in my pieces. Just a phrase here or a few lines there, but I found it exhilarating to search for just the right words to describe a particular place or experience.

Then, more recently, I discovered Trazzler, a website that publishes descriptions of travel destinations in bursts of 60-140 words. Trazzler is not all about poetry – some entries are humorous, some are quirky, some are simply informative. I was drawn, though, to the poetic possibilities. I’m no poet, but what I found fascinating was the challenge of describing a travel encounter in a single paragraph and doing it in such a way that the reader could perhaps see and feel some of what I was seeing and feeling. So, yes, even a non-poet can enjoy the poetic possibilities of travel writing.

Was I successful? I don’t know, but it’s a fun practice, so I decided to try to produce a series of these pieces. You can be the judge after reading the posts in this category. Let me know what you think.

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