Monday, 26 November 2012

You are here— life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse. ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Hello, hungry young poets.  Just checking in...

How are your poems going?
Are you flowing or are you stumped?
If you are a little stuck and find yourself staring at white space because of the voices in your head ... well,
say it with me, ignore them both. 

Ignore both of them' by Eleni Kalorkoti

Whether it's that reason or another, here is what I have to say to that...

piece by UK illustrator Dale Edwin Murray
Seriously,  I've seen a lot of great work. From sitting with you and/or lurking in your google documents and blogs, I see you.  So chop, chop.   :)  You can do this.

Now, flowing or needing that little nudge, here are more tips to consider while you compose your verses.

  1. Don't tell the readers what they already know about life.
  2. Don't assume you're the only one in the world who suffers.
  3. Some of the greatest poems in the language are sonnets and poems not many lines longer than that, so don't overwrite.
  4. The use of images, similes and metaphors make poems concise. Close your eyes, and let your imagination tell you what to do.
  5. Say the words you are writing aloud and let your ear decide what word comes next.
  6. What you are writing down is a draft that will need additional tinkering, perhaps many months, and even years of tinkering.
  7. Remember, a poem is a time machine you are constructing, a vehicle that will allow someone to travel in their own mind, so don't be surprised if it takes a while to get all its engine parts properly working.
original source (c/o Mr. R.) 
Finally, just wanted to share an all time favorite poet reading cum short film.  
Tada! Tim Burton's "Vincent." It's one of his earlier pieces and something that inspired me today.  I love stop animation, Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Price's creepy voice, Burton's work and style and'll see what I mean. Just watch. 

“And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrased, perhaps also protesting. But don't give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and the day will come when, instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers--perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life.” 
― Rainer Maria RilkeLetters to a Young Poet


  1. Hi Miss. Paula (:
    I liked your blog post and even though I am not stuck on my poem, it gave me some great tips for writing some poetry in the future. So thank you for that!

    1. Ella! So glad you found the tips useful. :) Can't wait to sit with you and talk about the rest of your work.

      Ms. P