Poetry Quote: Auden 3

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”

Poetry Quote: Auden 1&2

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”

Generative Exercise on Margaret Atwood’s “You Fit into Me”

Model Poem The model poem we’re using as an illustration of what a poem does, and how to respond to a poem, is “you fit into me,” (1971) by Margaret Atwood. The poem is very short, consisting only of four lines in two stanzas, or two couplets: you fit into melike a hook into anContinue reading “Generative Exercise on Margaret Atwood’s “You Fit into Me””

Poetry: Six Essential Principles

Here are six essential principles for writing lyric poetry. They are based on my many years of writing and studying “ars poetica,” the art of poetry. Keep these principles in mind when drafting and revising. 1. Poetry is Music A poem isn’t just words in a certain order. A poem is also made up ofContinue reading “Poetry: Six Essential Principles”

Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight”

LOL – this is not a poem I’m ever going to send out, I don’t think – so I’m sharing it with you. I promised to do a generative exercise along with my poetry students based on an assignment called “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” by Jim Simmerman in The Practice of Poetry. The exercise hasContinue reading “Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight””

Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry

As a teacher of poetry, I often hear dislike of poetry expressed. When I hear it, I’m dismayed, and struggle to understand why. At least until I discovered Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry at a conference presentation. Seventy years ago, Muriel Rukeyser wrote these words explaining why people hate poetry that seem to meContinue reading “Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry”