Friday, July 15, 2011

Po-poe-poetry? Breathe deeply...

Poetry? Me? Now way! Long gone were the days when I poured my angst onto paper. But when I heard a well-known local poet read his prose-poetry/free verse, I knew for sure, if that was poetry, I could do it.

I had submitted an essay to my critque group which did not garner the responses I had hoped for. I went home, cut the essay in half and the next week I submitted it in the form of a poem. The comments made me realize that I was on to something.

"This sounds like the essay you read last week, but this poem is so much stronger and visual."

That's the key. Eliminate flowery description and get to the meat. You can still show emotion without over talking. If this sounds scary to you, try writing a 100 word paragraph. Okay, do not fear if brevity is not your thing. It might be two hundred words when you begin, but figure out a way to cut it in half, and THEN put those 100 words into poem layout. Simply write from your heart on a topic of importance to you.

Let me know if you were successful and if you were as impressed with your poetry as I was with mine the first time I tried this. I have won many poetry contests. Perhaps you will too.
Feel free to post your poem here with your blog link and share with others, if you'd like.


Susan said...

Hi Linda...I've done a little poetry but nothing much. Post one of your funny ones again sometime. You have a great sense of humor. Susan

Beth M. Wood said...

Poetry...UGH! I confess, Linda...I've tried this! It didn't work (i don't think it worked anyway). I think you just make it SOUND easy! YOU are talented, my friend! Just admit it...You are a POET, and Damn girl, you KNOW it!!

Bookie said...

Very nice blog post...I used to use this in teaching 7th graders poetry. Sometimes it works better than others...but always worth a try!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

When I was in high school I wrote poetry all the time, but haven't put pen to paper that way in a long time. The method you mention sounds like a great writing exercise, though, so I'll probably give it a go!

Hope you're having fun on your trip!

Val said...

I am the Weird Al Yankovic of poetry. I steal from the poems of others and reshape their words to fit my needs. I particularly enjoy mutilating The Raven. Or if time is short, William Carlos Williams will do:

This Is Just To Say

If you've eaten
my plums
that I saved
for breakfast

and which
I dipped in bug spray
last night
to teach you

not to touch
my stuff anymore...
for your death.

I am not well-versed in poetry. In fact, when I started to write the word "poems" a few minutes ago, it came out "peoms". But I will file away your poetry exercise and give it a try when I feel ready to give up my flowery descriptions.

Southhamsdarling said...

Hi Linda. Poetry is something that I have never ever tried. Don't think I would be any good at it! I would have liked to see the poem that you rescued from the essay that you originally wrote, just to get the general idea!

Gerry Mandel said...

Enjoyed your post on poetry, Linda... probably more than I enjoy most poetry. But I like the kind of which you speak. Recently I have been reading poems (yes, you read that right) by Billy Collins and George Bilgere. Now that's poetry I can live with, easily. Maybe I'll take the next step, at your recommendation, into actually writing the stuff.