In Chapter 8, “Ci Vediamo,” I got from it that it’s important to write about your past experiences and to sit on them for a bit. I could tell that Hugo really cared about the experiences and that he needed to find those areas in Italy so that he could get closure. I thought it was really cool that he was even able to find the spot in the field in Italy again. “I saw it just for a moment as we sped by in the car and I didn’t ask the driver to stop,” (Hugo 86). It was interesting to me that he didn’t feel the need to stop in the field. When I was reading it, I was expecting for him to sit back in that field and write a poem right there. He honestly surprised me with his decision to not say anything. It was enough for him to see that spot and it seemed like he needed time to get his thoughts together before he could write. I really like that you don’t have to think of something on the spot. You can wait and let the words form on their own, you don’t have to force them.
In Chapter 9, “How Poets Make a Living,” I thought it was really interesting that he said “To be a poet you must live with an intensity five times, nay a hundred times more furiously than that of those about you,” (Hugo 100). I thought that was important to a poet to be able to live more than others, otherwise, the poet may not have much to write about. At the very least, they will have more interesting stories to tell if they live life to the fullest. Often times, when I think of the stereotypical poet, I think of someone who is a recluse and never leaves their house. Hugo is saying to break that thought and live life the opposite.
I have learned that it’s really hard to criticize others work. I never want to be the bad guy and say something mean. But I think it is really helpful to the author to hear what others think would work better. I also learned that it’s not as scary as it seems to have other people read what I have written. Normally, I refuse to let other people read what I have written because I have an irrational fear that they will make fun of me and tell me how awful of a writer I am. Even though that has never happened, I think of the worst case scenario. However, these workshops are helping me get over that fear! It really isn’t that scary to have someone read your work, it’s actually a really fun experience. I did like having people tell me the good and bad on my poem. It helps me to see what I need to work on and what I have done that works well. I will take those comments into consideration when I revise my poem. I want my work to be something that people understand and enjoy, and I think being able to hear feedback from other writers in the same boat is really helpful.
Word Count: 541