Guest post by Karen Schindler for National Poetry Month

ntl-poetry-button_purpleToday, as a part of the National Poetry Month Blog Tour 2010, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring a guest post by my dearest friend and my mentor, Karen Schindler. 

I was anxiously waiting for her reply and just as well that her response to my invitation to visit with me on Life’s a stage – WebBlog came in the form of an email and not Skype with sound and vision cause as soon as I read it, I jumped up screaming in excitement (and scared one of my cats)!

I will forever be grateful for all of Karen’s help and guidance, for being such an amazing, supportive friend, and thought this might be a good way to show her how important she is to me and try to make up at least a bit for everything she has done for me!

Now, without further ado, meet Karen Schindler
*insert cheers and applause here* ;)


dancing queen Karen Schindler hosts Miscellaneous Yammering, is the managing editor of Pow Fast Flash Fiction and edits other people’s work for a living.
When she’s not writing she goes out into the world and has adventures so she can write about them.
Odd things happen to her and she seems to attract aliens and woodland creatures. She takes all this in stride and smiles a lot.
I mean a lot. Sometimes it’s quite unnerving how much she smiles…..

Karen has been published online in  VoxPoetica, Eclectic Flash, WeirdYear, Flashes in the Dark, InkNode, Blink/InkNegative Suck , 52 stitches and in various print publications including Art Around the World Poetry and Pill Hill Press.

~ ~ ~

"A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times."
— Randall Jarell


I don’t write traditional poetry, and I never write structured poems. I sometimes appreciate poetry that is structured, ideas that have been made to fit into rigid guidelines of length and rhythm, but since I don’t even like to be led when I dance, I tend to write my own poetry free form.

When I read something that speaks to me I feel connected to the person who wrote it. Even if it’s just for a moment. For that moment they touched my heart or my mind and got me to feel the emotions that they felt when they wrote the piece. I think that is what poetry is all about. Touching another person.

Estrella asked me what motivated me to write poetry, which pieces I’m most proud of and when I first decided that I was a poet.

The poetry that I’ve written that I like best is work that deals with the human condition. And in my case, it’s my own human condition. Usually the subject matter is something that I’m grappling with to make sense of in my own mind. When I can boil an idea down to just a few words and put it into a poem it helps me to sort out how I feel. Summoning the courage to show my most intimate thoughts to people is the next hurdle.

I just recently started calling myself a poet. Prior to that I would demur and say that I was a writer who sometimes wrote small snapshots of life that could be considered poetry. I’ve been published online and people seem to like my work, but I still had a hard time calling myself a poet.

Then I had a poem published in a book of international poetry that is being sold to raise money for Greenpeace. So I guess now I can call myself a published poet.

Estrella asked me which of my current pieces made me make the biggest effort.

I have to say that Dispensable was the hardest poem to boil down to essentials and it was the one that made me take the most deep breaths to be able to push the “publish” button and share it with my readers at Miscellaneous Yammering. I don’t think that there has ever been a time in my life when I felt more naked, more vulnerable than I did by sharing my pain in a public forum. The great thing is that the piece seemed to be universally accessible to the people who read it. And surprisingly enough, their warm reception of the piece and the fact that they connected with it and by extension with me, really did lessen some of the pain behind the poem.

I think that poetry is an amazing place to dump angst. You can think about whatever is hurting you inside, boil it down to its barest essentials, nail the pain to the words and flush it out of your system by putting it into your art.

Writing is an awesome adventure and I feel so blessed that there are people willing to read my work.

Thanks to the very lovely Estrella Azul for inviting me, thanks to Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit for organizing the blog tour and thanks to everyone who stopped in to see me visiting in Romania.

[I hope I get to take home a tee shirt]

~ ~ ~

Thank you so much for accepting my invitation Karen, I saved this very special sparkly tee shirt with Minnie Mouse just for you!

31 Responses to “Guest post by Karen Schindler for National Poetry Month”

  1. I really enjoyed this piece. It’s very thoughtful and…real. This really got to me

    “You can think about whatever is hurting you inside, boil it down to its barest essentials, nail the pain to the words and flush it out of your system by putting it into your art.”

    Exactly! This is actly what our art is, whatever form it comes in.
    Your poem cuts right through my heart. Wonderful.
    I’m so glad I didn’t miss this.

  2. Estrella, thanks for bringing Karen to your blog. I love what she has to say about poetry. And, her blog looks like it’s worth going back to again!

  3. That was a great interview!

    I loved hearing about how Karen felt about publishing her poetry and stories. The part about feeling vulnerable when sharing your poem especially touched me.

    I’m a bit of a coward when it comes to sharing personal poems. It’s nice to know that its not just me that’s scared and that you are able to be brave and awesome at the same time, Karen. You’re great.

  4. Lovely thoughts and guest post!

  5. Good thoughts, and I love the opening quote about lightning strikes and poets.

  6. Congrats on winning the contest!

  7. Read this in a heartbeat, loved what Karen Schindler said about poetry being a great means to release the pressure.

  8. The best post in the National Poetry Month blog tour! Well done both of you!

  9. Nice post, loved your description of Karen. She seems like an amazing person indeed :)


%d bloggers like this: