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Writing Poetry

Discuss ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas about how to write better.
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Michael Shepherd Male, 85, United Kingdom (4/10/2005 7:21:00 AM)

As a Rather Ancient Brit, perhaps I should try to answer PH's question about Andrew Motion's poem on the Royal Wedding. But it's difficult to judge it without some sense of context. And I haven't studied this. When the wedding and the required poem from the Poet Laureate was announced, I was glad it wasn't my job, even at the official stipend of (I think - Linda?) £2000 per annum...
A quick superficial reaction might be: a neat job of sitting on the garden fence, in Spring - avoiding the pitfalls of a factual, psychological, political, or brown-nose job, as Private Eye might put it. Motion instead goes out into the garden and appeals, subtly, to Nature, which the prince loves anyway - it's Spring, a new beginning, let nature take its course, just as a stream in Spring clears away the old twigs and blockages of the previous autumn. Neat? Positive, optimistic, upbeat. A troll-free 9 or 10 on poemhunter, I'd say?

Of course, for any other poet but the Poet Laureate, there is a fabulous classic fairy-story to be spun. The great framework of fairy story, as, say, a Hindu would interpret it, involves recognising that the 'Christening' in fairy-tale is effectively the birth of the new soul; the 'fairies' are the 'fates' who bring the tendencies, the fruits of actions in a former life; so there are good and bad 'fates' present. The Wicked Witch brings an Aristotelian major weakness of (former) personality which will bring the major crisis of the new life; while the Fairy Godmother, presiding over all (or the Lilac Fairy in the Perrault-based ballet of Sleeping Beauty) , brings the one gift of divine grace and love which will ultimately triumph.
So you can see that there's a terrific classic fairy story to be spun from this saga of Fairy Prince as protagonist, and those good and bad christening gifts (self-pity? timidity? love of nature?)
And - no thanks...let's stop there...

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