With experience as a writer comes certainty about clichés (and their exceptions). Don’t use ’em exclamation point period. These worn-out formulas add nothing to the writing. Setting aside characters like Hamlet’s Polonius who spout clichés as a way of demonstrating that very fact. Yet I have students in upper level creative writing classes who willContinue reading “On trying to teach students not to use clichés”
If you’re into poetry, then you’ll love this series celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Poetry Society of America. Here’s Major Jackson reading a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. Check out the series of readings here: poetrysociety.org/features/reading-through-the-decades. Enjoy the reading of a wonderful poem (I’m going to add it to my classes).
I think poets should avoid certain kinds of titles. Particularly one-word titles such as, for example, “Claustrophobia” or “Illness.” Now, not all one-word titles are a problem. I mean the kind that explain or broadcast the poem’s “theme” to the reader. By “theme” in this case I don’t mean literary theme, a general statement aboutContinue reading “A little advice on poem titles”
Absolutely the hardest habit to get students to break is thinking of poems like little papers, whose purpose is to create meaning decorated with pretty, poetic language. No! The purpose of a poem is to convey experiences and emotions, which carry possible meanings on their backs. Related Posts:
Good morning! Continuing my travels through W. H. Auden’s Selected Poems, I arrived at this lovely verse. Auden seems to be channeling Shakespeare in this stage, with formal syntax and even in setting looking backwards (nothing like the American inventions of, say, William Carlos Williams et al.) But my, how he is finding his ownContinue reading “Poetry Quote: Auden 3”
Lately I’ve been reading the Selected Poems of W.H. Auden and posting bits I find interesting or inspiring. Here are two. This first one is very sombre, and fits with our pandemic times, as it did with his world sliding toward World War II. The sky is darkening like a stain, Something is going toContinue reading “Poetry Quote: Auden 1&2”
Recently, writer Nancy McCabe asked me to fill out a questionnaire for her Spalding MFA program faculty blog. Her questions prompted me to put into words, maybe for the first time, how I’ve come to understand the way I write as a person with a pretty strong case of ADD. (Since my girlfriend/partner has itContinue reading “The ADD Writer”