I joined Domo and Mitchel’s Poetry Club last year knowing that I wanted to try something different. I have never in my life practiced poetry or even performed it; in fact, the closest I’ve ever gotten to poetry were the Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau poems I would analyze in class during high school.
I loved having their Poetry club become a part of my routine while at college. I looked forward to every Thursday from 7-8pm as a way that I could connect with my group of peers. In fact, you couldn’t find a more diverse group of individuals. We all came from different backgrounds -- from international students to a student who lived only a thirty minute drive away -- but we always came together in the works that we created. None of us were poetry aficionados like Domo or Mitchel, but we soon learned that creating beautiful poetry is not as intimidating as it may have appeared.
Domo and Mitchel presented us with a goal early into the club: a performance at the end of the semester. At first, this seemed immensely intimidating: what am I going to write that will be impactful, how do I create a theme in such a short time frame of speaking, and, most importantly, does it need to rhyme? Luckily, Domo made the effort to have one on one meetings with all of us to help us throw around ideas for our poems. She gave us incredibly detailed feedback on our poems and created a safe, comfortable space for us to share our ideas with her. Mitchel would accompany her at our club meetings. These meetings were not at all tedious, but rather made us all wish we could stay longer than the allotted hour!
I wrote my first performance poem on the idea of growth. Growth is not only something I experienced immensely in my first year of college, but also the goal of Domo and Mitchel’s poetry. They so much do not care for the precision of your diction or perfection of your syllables in each line --- although these are still important facets of poetry! Rather, as poetry newbies, Domo and Mitchel sought to find connections between ourselves and the poems we created.
Today, I carry Domo and Mitchel’s wise words into my own writing, whether it be poetry or not. I learned that writing is not about perfection but rather about progression. Progression stems from having an idea and consistently working towards it. Holding on to this thought, I realized that I should no longer follow the writing standards I have been once taught, but rather create my own.