Writing Poetry

Discuss ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas about how to write better.
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Foster Blaine Male, 31, United States (2/4/2006 3:13:00 AM)

Poetry, like independent music, is in essence a minority pursuit. Realisitically, probably less than 5% of people on the planet really READ and are 'into' poetry. This is the first and most important point one must consider when one decides that he/ she is going to become a poet; Your audience is not the average Joes and Janes of the world who sit each night stultified before their televisions; You are not on some grand platform with every human ear attuned to your metaphors and clever little lines. Your readers are people who breathe verse and literature, art and expression. You must satisfy them. I'll say it once more- poetry is a minority pursuit. Your target- the few and the critical. Are you part of that minority? Probably not but why not try? Everyone else does.
I think another problem with shitty poets is the fact that they don't read enough poetry. They have a simple idea of what a poem is and they don't stray much from that concept. The result is usualy an ABAB rhyming confessional poem with the main point stated early somewhere in the first stanza and relentlessly milked throughout the rest of the poem. My advice... If you weren't born with, you're going to have to work like Hell to get it. So, why not try an easier medium like photography jewelry making?

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  • Rookie Fil LeBoeuf (9/20/2006 7:59:00 AM) Post reply
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    If you were so 'into' poetry I don't think you would slam others so much like you do. If you were really 'into' poetry you would offer helpful criticism when you feel it is needed. If you were so 'into' poetry you wouldn't want poetry to be a minority pursuit. If you were so 'into' poetry you would know that NOBODY is BORN into it. If you were so 'into' poetry you would realize there is no such thing as a 'shitty' poet, only those who require help. But are you the one to help them? No. You're so high and mighty you're too good for helpful criticism. You write about how others 'exploit' poetry, but yet here you are! Exploiting it for yourself! Exploiting it to make you feel better about yourself, because you feel poetry is something you do well. You're so egocentric its pathetic!

  • Rookie Sonny Rainshine (3/1/2006 3:25:00 PM) Post reply

    Good advice. Too many would-be poets don't take the time to learn the craft. But a good friend of mine, responding wisely to my complaints that it's too hard to get a poem published these days, reminded me that, yes, getting people to read the poems you write is important and encourages you to keep writing. But it is not the ONLY reason to write. I knew what he was saying was true all along, but it was good to hear it from an outside source-he's a Ph.D in English. Since then I write mostly for the enjoyment of creating something and expressing myself. I read all the classic poets that appeal to me regularly and often leaf through books about crafting poetry. It's fine to write bad poetry, I think. But those people need to understand that usually people don't read bad poetry, so they should just do it for the enjoyment it gives them, not for accolades. Your message is good advice for beginning poets. It's easy to write a ditty (and fun to boot) , but writing a poem worth reading-now that takes experience and hard work.

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