Thursday, June 28, 2007

1. Poetry

Does the urge to write poetry sometimes hit you when you least expect it? Don't worry about whether you produce good, bad or somewhere in between poetry. Pick up a pencil, grab a notebook and just write it. For the first draft, write whatever comes to you. You can polish it when the words are all out. Keep all your masterpieces in one notebook, something special if you can manage it and add favourite quotes and other poems. Make sure you sign and date your own work so you can look back over it later on and know exactly which words are yours.

Polishing your poetry can be as technical as you like it. If you really want to delve into the murky depths, obtain a copy of a book like Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled" and learn as much as you can. A step down from that is to simply read lots of poetry and copy the styles that you like best. On an even simpler level, go over your poem and, if it reads fine to you, leave it. If, on re-reading, you can think of better words or lines to use, use them and leave it.

If you want to publish your poetry, but don't feel skilled enough at writing, try either attending a poetry writing course or workshop, or search the web for online groups. You'll want one that welcomes beginners and offers critiques. Strict critiquing guidelines are okay as long as they also offer help with how to critique. If you're not sure of your ability to crit work, let the group moderator know and ask for help and/or flexibility in requirements.

Do I write poetry? Yes. I call it "bad poetry". I think it's fine, mainly because each piece reflects something about me at the time I wrote it. An inspiration, an idea, or just a feeling I absolutely had to get out. I call it "bad" because 1. I have no intention of ever publishing it and 2. On the off-chance that someone actually reads it, they can't say I didn't warn them. I have no pretensions. The poetry is written for me and me only. Of course, my "bad" is in comparison to people who I think write great poetry...

Somewhere, in all my writings about writing, I've said - don't compare yourself and your work to other writers, it's not good for you - or something along that line. I obviously have work to do on my poetry-writing confidence levels.

In the meantime, I keep it to myself.


surjit said...

A good informative post.Nice blog.
My best wishes.

Beginnings, Middle and Ends said...

Thanks Surjit. Hope you found something helpful among all the words.
Cheers - TrishA