Writing Innovative Poetry
Writing innovative poetry, the kind of poetry that reputable literary journals publish, entails knowing exactly what each word of a poem does to the reader. A good poem should be evocative, skillful, and cohesive, but before attempting to hone these attributes, a potential poet should be knowledgeable of the various forms and attributes of contemporary poetry. A good way to become familiar with the aspects of contemporary poetry is to take classes, join writing workshops, and subscribe to contemporary literary journals. Reading and understanding good poetry is vital to being able to write good poetry.
The first phase of writing a good poem includes a process of brainstorming. There are various ways to approach this process, but after a good deal of experimentation, the poet will find the one that works best for his or her personal style. Some poets will begin this process by actually writing a poem. Other poets will write prose or notes until he or she spots something that could be developed into a poem. The most important concept to consider with regard to this first phase is to write fearlessly. Write without trying to sound poetic, avoid abstractions, and be as detailed as possible. Write what is on your mind without worrying too much about grammar, literary devices, and line breaks. Often, when a person engages is this type of free writing, he or she will naturally write in some sort of rhythm or pattern. It is in the next phase of writing that these natural literary finesses are smoothed out and heightened.
The next stage of writing involves looking for a shape within the words that have been freely written. Read the words out loud, paying careful attention to phrases and words that leave an indelible impression. Then, prune some of the language by omitting unnecessary lines and hackneyed expressions, such as "I walk this lonely path," or, "My heart cries out." A good poem is going to have fresh images and is going to offer unique perspectives. If you find hackneyed or overly abstract expressions in your writing that are pertinent to the overall theme of your piece, try rewriting them using language that has never been used before to describe these situations or feelings. Also, pay attention to whether your poem is telling its message to the reader or if it is showing the message through unique images. An example of telling would be, "I am sad and lonely." An example of showing would be, "I fall into his empty chair, listlessly holding his photograph?"
Once you have found the shape of your poem and reworked the language to include fresh images, you will need to read it out loud. Listen to the line breaks. Listen to the actual language. Ask yourself whether the line breaks are appropriate. Are there abrupt words dangling at the ends of any lines? Do you have conjunctions or prepositions trailing at the ends of your lines? If so, you might need to rework the lines, and at times, you may need to reword entire lines. This stage also includes getting constructive criticism from writers or poetry enthusiasts who will be objective with their feedback. You can look for or start a poetry critique group in your local area, or you can join one of the many critique forums and workshops online. This part of the process can be the most difficult for new poets who are not accustomed to having someone digging around in their creative endeavors with a scalpel. Understand that even incredibly well crafted poems will get their fair share of comments from the critics. Also, adhere to your intentions. If a critic misreads your piece, it could very well mean that you need to rework your piece within your own aim.
Finally, after having written your poetry with the knowledge and understanding you have gained through classes and reading, and after having reworked and submitted your piece for critique, you are ready for your final draft. Your final draft is not a final product. Your final draft is what all your hard work so far has produced, but you will need to read it again, possibly a day, a month, sometimes even years after you've written it.
When there is nothing more to prune, add, or change to the poem, you may consider submitting it to one of the literary journals you have subscribed to when you first began your journey as a good poet.
Devrie Paradowski has been published by several literary journals such as Adagio Verse Quarterly, Eclips e-zine and Meeting of the Minds Journal. She has also published articles with Poetry Renewal Magazine. She is the founder and editor of the online literary journal, LE Quarterly: http://www.literaryescape.com/journal/
Lord Byrons She Walks in Beauty
Lord Byron's opening couplet to "She Walks In Beauty" is among the most memorable and most quoted lines in romantic poetry. The opening lines are effortless, graceful, and beautiful, a fitting match for his poem about a woman who possesses effortless grace and beauty.
Since Youve Been Gone...
My life has changedin so so many waysIt seems to always bein a state of disarray...
Two Poems Written During Recovery
Since my wife and I are moving, or preparing to move, we've been going through our things as most people must, to prepare for the new location, and in doing so, I found two poems, ones I wrote in 1990, now 15-years old, never published, and so I'd like to publish them today. I was a heavy drinker up to 1984 (some twenty years drinking), when I quite, and so these poems must have something to do with it, a slight reflection perhaps. They were never numbered, as I have done in the past to most of my poems, but I assume they would be around #125 and #126, or so, out of #760. I did not have a name for either of them, so I shall name them accordingly?now:
Three Poems: The Monkey Man of Lima, Plus Two More
What Hides behind the Minute?
Four Poems: Two for the Devil, Two for Peru
Here is some witty poetry (not sure if that is the proper word: witty, but it will do): one poem on the Aztec year 2012, a year that has been in the public's eye quite a lot; one on cloning, and the biblical end time events--which, if I may add seems ripe for the monster events that are said to take place; and two poems dealing with some tradtions of Peru; one imparticular, on vacationing, where not to go; all the makings for some thought.
Rules for Writing Poetry
You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your high school writing class. You know the rules about writing poetry, right? Are there rules? Well, if you frequent the poetry forums across the Internet as much as I do, you'd find that there are a lot of amateur poets who adamantly declare that there are no rules for writing poetry and if someone even suggests reading poetry or books on poetry, many of the amateur poets will throw up a defensive front. My opinion seems to swing fervently toward the opposition. You have to know the rules before you break them; at least that's what I always say.
The Time Has Come and Buzzing
Most of my poems are written late at night, often, as this one was, after I have turned out the lights to go to sleep. It seems that is the time when I am most creative. I hope you enjoy these two poems that talk a little bit about where my ideas come from.
Satirical Poetry About Tony Blair
Breathing-in, Minnesota [a poem: now in Spanish and English]
In early fall, in Minnesota, the rain falls, falls, In buckets, buckets and more buckets-: dropsLikened to music from its many streams-landOf ten-thousand lakes; moistened gravel, gravelEverywhere?
For My Mother
I cannot bear to thinkof when you will be gone.
Black Blood, in Jeremiahs Vines - A Poem and an Article
Black Blood, in Jeremiah's Vines[A Dream Poem]
Way of Life: Rhymes of the Inca [four poems: see in Spanish and English NOW!]
Way of Life: Rhymes of the Inca
Growing hurts sometimes;saying goodbye to friends,to things you've known and doneto things you wanted to do. Growing heals sometimesthe shattered dreams and hopesof a life you once knewleading you to a new knowledge of yourself. Growing is fun sometimesmeeting new friendslearning new thingsmaking changes that feel good and moving on. Growing is necessary always.Without change there is stagnationdeath instead of life.To choose to live is to choose to grow. Copyright 2002
Tale of the: Old Hunter and the Golden Hare [In SPANISH and English now]
There once lived an old man and his goodwifeOn the edge of the thick of the woods;They lived in an old run-down shackFor forty-years and some.The old man hunted for his living,And his wife sewed on her lap.
Shakespeares Sonnet XVIII, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day?
Shakespeare's sonnets require time and effort to appreciate. Understanding the numerous meanings of the lines, the crisply made references, the brilliance of the images, and the complexity of the sound, rhythm and structure of the verse demands attention and experience. The rewards are plentiful as few writers have ever approached the richness of Shakespeare's prose and poetry.
It Was Not Me
It was not me as I am now.It was not me as I was then.It was then when God was truly in me.When God was in me, I was a young man.A young man with hope, will and desire.Desire to give my love and the gift of God to the ones in need. You see, that was me.
New Poetic Work By Ethiopian Immigrant Promotes Respect, Courage And Cultural Sensitivity
McLean, VA - "The Healing Conscious" tells the story of an Ethiopian immigrant boy on his fascinating journey to America and adulthood. Author Kifle Bantayehu, a 23 year-old second-generation Ethiopian immigrant, recounts this poignant tale in poetic format. His inspirational collection of poems reflects the final words and thoughts of a dying man who traveled across the world, raised a family and became successful-finally fulfilling the American dream.
Have you ever experienced infatuation with someone you know is not a good match for you? Or how about an interesting relationship that roots itself deep in your memory... Here's my double take on someone who caught my eye years ago and invited me to play footsies in a work cafeteria. Although nothing ever involved from this infatuation, he has never left my thoughts.
Out of the eight poems provided here [all previously unpublished], four are Poetic Prose, a few Visionary [what I call Vsionary anyhow], a few Free Verse, and a few with more form and structure, more closely to the Auden style of: stanza, metrical rhythm, and rhyme. In saying that, I do believe all the poems are conveying a rich network of meaning, some of them painfully close bond between pleasure and destruction. They should appeal to the senses and create images in our minds, for poetry is just that kind of language that most complexly and effectively qualifies.
Find the Magic
FIND the MAGIC
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