Eric Paul Shaffer
(7/4/2005 5:10:00 PM)
Jamie-I read the first five of your poems. As a beginner, you probably need to read some poems as you begin your attempts at writing lines of your own. At this point, I suggest you read 20 poems for every one you write. Sample all kinds of poems. An excellent collection is GOOD POEMS, edited by Garrison Keillor, which you will find at any Borders or B&N. Take a copy from the shelf, buy a cup of coffee, sit down and start reading anywhere; it is an amazing collection of high-quality contemporary poems. Read the poems out loud to get an idea of how voice works in lines. Finally, before you show your poems, always proof-read. Misspellings and confusing punctuation are disrespectful to your readers, and most will give you only one chance. Read, then write.