Sunday, April 08, 2012

How To

The How to Be a Poet Exercise

In poem form write “rules” for yourself.  Remind yourself how to be a poet.  Leave in the quirky humor.

Have fun with words; write often and with joy
don't try to be too clever. Cleverness is not wisdom.
read your poems aloud in order to hear
what your words are really saying,
don't overstate the obvious -
don't drape blue jeans poems in rhinestones.
force a rhyme at the expense of rhythm,
sit your words on horseback
and teach them to post before they


Tabor said...

Oh, this is nice...very nice. I must start trying to discipline my thoughts once again.

Out on the prairie said...

My poetry is sporadic and knows not too many rules.I had fun in my Poetry class in college and can still see the wrinkled brow of my instructor.

Brian Miller said...

most def...i love your rules...most keep having fun with it...cause otherwise its work...smiles...have a wonderfull day!

Anne said...

This is a great help. I am thinking of plunging back into poetry. But for some reason I am reluctant to publish it when I write it.

Judith said...

This is super-duper!
Clever plus ++++++++

Kerry said...

This is good. The line between cleverness and wisdom is sometimes thin. I like Billy Collins, but I see why some serious poets dismiss him as merely clever.

Ruth said...

Very good advice in poem form. And this is the second "How to" on poetry writing I've read in a week that mentioned a horse. The other was at the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog in a list like this:

1. Eat the raw heart of a horse. This will distinguish you from a cast of thousands.


Pauline said...

Tabor - that's one of the things I like about poetry, especially the forms.

OOTP - your pictures are poetry!

Brian - that's my rule for most things ;)

Anne - I write for my own pleasure. I publish for the fun of it.

J - thank you (scuffing toe in dirt)

Kerry - I think it takes true skill to be as 'clever' as Billy Collins!

Ruth - I prefer to ride horses... the thought of eating the heart out of one makes me shudder. I'll remain a mediocre poet, thanks.

Barbara said...

Pauline, you are truly a poet! Love this one!

Hilary said...

Fun piece
and fine advice
I can't write a poem
to save my life.


Pauline said...

barbara - thanks. I'm still working at it.

Hilary - I bet you could, I see you did!