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”

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.