(10/9/2005 8:59:00 PM)
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I disagree with Tony. When you're feeling a strong emotion, it's a bad time to write a poem. You can jot some notes down or do a first draft, but then you should wait until the emotion is not as strong so that you can use your intelligence to structure the poem. This is particularly true when it comes to romantic break-ups. There are a bazillion emotion-laden poems about that subject, and they're all pretty much the same. Find new topics to write on, or find an unusual viewpoint on a topic (it doesn't even have to be your own viewpoint) , and the Number One most important rule is: Avoid cliches at all costs. It's actually hard to do because we use so many cliches in our everyday speech. But you really have to scrub them out of your poems. The second most important rule is avoid adjectives, or at least don't use too many. They tend to bog down a poem and they end up being a lazy way to describe something. Instead of using an adjective, come up with a poetic image. For example, instead of saying the used match was blackened and shriveled, you could say the used match was a dead priest. Just an example, but you see what I'm getting at, I hope. Regards.
(10/9/2005 4:22:00 AM)
Don't write a poem when you get an idea - write one when you get a feeling be it anger sorrow sympathy - whatever. Don't worry about the meter; that will come as you write and you can tidy it up as you revise. If you choose to rhyme avoid too many assonances. Breaking the meter occasionally is a good way to underline a point you are making - particularly at the end of a stanza (see my poem Anglesey Dodos) 'Overrunning' a sentence into the next line occasionally is a good idea. It helps to tidy up the rhyming pattern and makes the reader 'Double take' Punctuation is important. There is a world of difference between: 'What do you think? I'll shake your hand and buy you a drink' and ' What? Do you think I'll shake your hand and buy you a drink? ' Finally technique embraces crtiticism and discipline. My waste basket brims with rejects