Yoga influenced a lot of the poetry in the last section of my book, A Time for Winter, including the “Vulnerable,” a poem in which I detail the struggle between wanting to unfold and fold in.
Over the past two years, yoga has taught me focus, stillness, and how powerful the breath is. In the past year, during deep waves of depression and social anxiety, yoga has helped me get out of the house as I graduated from at-home practice to public classes.
It was in public classes that I really felt the vulnerability that comes with yoga—the vulnerability of closing my eyes in front of strangers, of breathing loud ocean waves in front of strangers, of lying flat on my back and kicking my feet up to the sky in front of strangers, of rising out of forward fold and shouting “Lumos!” in front of strangers (hello, Hogwarts Yoga!).
My debut poetry collection, A Time for Winter, is now available on Amazon!
One of my greatest life goals has been to publish a poetry book. It wasn’t until I seriously started thinking about publishing one that I saw a theme unfold in my poetry, a story that I could envision as a full collection. It was as if I’d been writing this book for years without even realizing it. After spending a year of writing new poems and editing old ones, organizing, designing, and proofreading, I’m thrilled to finally share my book with the world and only slightly scared of how vulnerable I feel sharing my darkest, most secret thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Published under my pen name, Kait Quinn, A Time for Winter is a journey through the hard seasons of my life. Feeling the hurt and dead weight of anxiety, depression, and regret over a past long gone by going inward and pulling it all up to the surface before letting it go so that the real work can begin: stillness, self care, and healing. My hope for this collection is that it helps readers find understanding and belonging, something and someone to relate to. I hope that it inspires others to find their own path to healing.
To purchase a copy of my book, please visit the Amazon link above. If you have read A Time for Winter, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. While you’re on Goodreads, give my author page a follow to check out my current reads, book ratings, and “Want to Read” shelf.
Day 7’s theme is Surya, or sun. The practice was about honoring the sun, rinsing, softening, finding clarity.
I have to be honest. I’ve had a bout of writer’s block the past couple of days. My creativity is null. And tying to write this, trying to capture the perfect yoga pose for my feature photo, trying to write a poem… It all feels forced.
Like, I want to tell you that I honored the sun yesterday by practicing before sunset rather than after. But really, I tried to practice before sunset so that I could get a picture for this post while I still had decent lighting.
I want to tell you that I’m journaling and writing poetry for myself, then sharing it on my blog. But I don’t feel like I’m journaling. I don’t feel inspired to write poetry. I feel like I’m trying to write something for my blog, which is not what I intended. It doesn’t feel like I’m doing it for me. It doesn’t feel like self-care. Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 7: Taking the Pressure Off
Day 5 is here to remind me to flow—find focus, stay present, and seek the ever elusive flow state.
As I was thinking today’s theme, the idea of “flow state” came to mind. Or, as defined by good ‘ol Wikipedia:
…flow, or also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.
It took me until this evening to make my way to the mat, but I did it. I showed up. I challenged myself to stillness. I listened to my breath, letting it guide me through and calm me in the moments that I wanted to give up. I found strength. I zenned out. I went inward to discern why I showed up to this 30-day journey. I stepped off the mat feeling lighter and creative. The result was a poem full of loving intention.
– after “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore
‘Twas the eve of Halloween when all through the mansion
not a creature was stirring, not even a phantom.
The pumpkins were carved, their innards aglow
in the hopes that strange creatures would knock on their door.
The children were stiff in their coffin-shaped beds
while visions of candy corn danced in their heads.
Mama brewing potion and I game for haunts
had gathered ‘round the table for a Halloween seance,
when piercing through the dark came a knock at the door,
I leapt from the circle giddy for gore.
Away to the window I flew like a wraith
to see what ghosts had arose from their graves.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
– John Keating, Dead Poets Society
I recently found an old copy of Eight American Poets, an anthology edited by Joel Conarroe, at a yard sale, amongst a smattering of poetry and writing books that all wanted to come home with me. I was immediately reeled back to college–specifically, to a Modern American Poetry paper in which I explored confessional poetry through the works of Lowell, Berryman, Sexton, and Plath. It was my favorite academic paper I ever wrote. Not only because I got to read all the Plath poems, but because I was introduced to more poets who stirred up the dark, honest truths inside of me the way Plath’s poetry did. Because I found a home for my own poetry to curl up in. Because I could put a name to what I was doing when I vulnerably put pen to paper. Continue reading How Confessional Poets Influenced My Poetry (and a Special Literary Announcement)
even the small poems mean something. they are often whales in the bodies of tiny fish.
‒ Nayyirah Waheed, salt.
In her first book of poetry, salt., Nayyirah Waheed addresses heavy and vulnerable topics using the increasingly popular short form poem. I’ll call hese types of poems—the “whales in the bodies of tiny fish” kind of poems—smallpoems.
Because they don’t leap from metaphor to metaphor in intricate, lyrical detail like a Plath poem or sprawl across pages in winding exploration of language like Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” small poems appear as small as they look upon first glance. But when written creatively, a small poem carries a weight of meaning without making the reader dig, decipher, and analyze to find it.