Posts Tagged ‘tips’

This is some advice I’ve received about writing poetry. I’m just relaying it:

  1. Concrete images trump metaphorical or abstract concepts. “Red grit bricks” trump “the voice of God,” “calloused knuckles” is better than “soul.” No one knows what a soul looks like. Concrete images are usually examined under the lens of metaphor anyway.
  2. It takes years to cultivate your voice. Try new and different things. Try traditional forms. Experiment with perspective and tone. Stay on things for a while. Try writing lists for a month, then try sonnets, and then try love poems.
  3. Write early in the day, or late at night. What you think is great in a moment may turn out to be crap later. Come back hours later and look at what you’ve written. Keep what you like. Cut what you don’t like. Don’t just try to change it. Get rid of it.
  4. Your heart is the center of your poetry. Get in touch with that, and let it pour out. You have time to rein it in later.

Happy writing. ūüôā

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A few things I’ve learned from other poets and my own experience:

  • Experiment with form and style– try new things, and find which fits best with which poem. There’s also nothing wrong with trying to emulate one of your favorite poet’s style.
  • Verb your nouns– “lip”, “trash”, and “access” are examples of this.
  • Drop your articles– avoid use of “the” and “a” as much as possible
  • Concrete conquers flowers– concrete descriptions are far more interesting and adaptable than vague adjectives- they are much more visual and give more meaning to your words, as well as making what you’re saying more understandable for readers. Adjectives should be used sparingly.
  • Writer’s Block happens– do whatever you think will get rid of it.
  • ¬†Read your finished poems out loud– reading out loud allows you to check for mistakes, and printing ¬†physical copy before hand and reading¬†that is always a good idea.
  • Have¬†someone else read your poems– readers rarely have the luxury of being able to ask the poet what he or she means, you can leave the meaning of your poems up to interpretation, but you want to make your main message as clear as possible so no one pulls a conclusion out of left field.
  • “It’s the poet’s job to know¬†everything.”– whether it be anatomy, mathematical terminology, or various plants, a poet should refine his or her knowledge of many, many subjects
  • There’s poetry in EVERYTHING– from the most mundane tasks to the grandest events, famous poets have covered both, as well as many things in between.