The Minimalist Poet

The Minimalist Poet - student project

Completed Project for:

Cameron Conaway Poetry Class

Poetry I: Introduction to Making Poems

By Ruth Hartmann

A friend invited me to take Joshua Becker’s minimalism course which in turn has inspired me to actually minimize. I’m writing poems about my journey to minimalism as a way of processing my emotions and attachments to stuff.

Theme: Minimalism

Thread: Why I care to write poems about minimalism (partial list):

to process emotional attachment
to discover why I’m attached to things
to let go
to honor my relationship with my things
to notice my things and enjoy their presence
to be with my things
to make up for lost time
to notice the qualities that I appreciate about everything I own
to notice what I use and don’t use
to acknowledge what I have
to shine a light for others who have strong emotional attachments
to sooth myself as I let go
to be mindful in my letting go
to celebrate the loveliness of my things
to remember beautiful experiences with my things
to explore the value of objects
to explore the cost of owning things
to explore the benefits of owning things
to explore how owning things has affected my relationships
to hopefully be able to let go
to process the emotional attachments to things so I can let go
to compare the pleasure from owning things to the pleasure of experiences

This process allowed me to get even more excited about using poetry to process attachments and to have freedom to explore my relationship to stuff.

Small Noticings

you’re everywhere
all around me
you surround me
your presence
stays with me
the table wiggles as I type
the keys make soft sounds as my fingers touch them
my fingers rejoice in the pleasure of the smoothness of the keys
my left pinkie feels left out it doesn’t get much use
Do I really use the letter a so little?

I wonder ho many objects I have in this room

the old-fashioned metal lamp
sits, rests on the black plastic bins
I keep the lamp for its heft
I enjoy its heft
I enjoy knowing its heft is in my life
is that a reason for which an item can be kept?

Literary Tools


I found enjambment particularly effective because it created tension in the poem. The reader doesn’t know what’s coming next.

On Poetry II

I want to take Poetry II because I want to write a book of poems.

5 Poems

I've only written one poem. I'll post the rest as I write them. I value your feedback. 


That lamp,
I keep it for its heft.
It’s pewter head,
base and joints encase
cinnamon brown stems;
wood smooth to the touch.

That heft,
who knew an object's
weight would make
it keep-worthy?

That object,
it’s nature refutes
planned obsolescence;
incites pleasurable
rebellion against
throw-away culture.


I'm writing about my journey to minimalism one poem at a time on Instagram@TheMinimalistPoet. This being my first poetry class, I'm curious to see how my poems evolve. Thanks for reading!