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”

Poetry as Music: The Fundamental that Poets overlook

Music is so important to poetry, that not developing it is equivalent to being tone deaf and trying to create a song. Remember, Sonnet means “Little Song” in Italian, and lyric poetry is so named for its musical qualities. Yet so many poets omit taking the time to train the ear.

Finding the Words 2: The “Eight Words” Poetry Generative Exercise

In FINDING THE WORDS 1: BLACKOUT/ERASURE POETRY I presented a lesson on how to get out of your word rut and discover new vocabulary through that form. In this lesson, you’ll discover new words by playing the “Eight Words Game.” The game also works as a poetry generative exercise.

Finding the Words 1: Blackout/Erasure Poetry Generative Exercises

Overview Writers default. That is, without quite realizing it, we write using preferred words, preferred sentence styles, preferred voices. This means a universe of possibilities is not occurring to us during composition. So we need ways to break out of our habits, to find new words. Here is the first of two poetry generative exercisesContinue reading “Finding the Words 1: Blackout/Erasure Poetry Generative Exercises”