helpful hints for beginning poets

so you want to be a poet.

Here are some hints on how to get started.

first of allw rite from you gut or your heart, not your head. Don’t stand back and “think about” how to write a poem. You will soon get stuck in the details. I often recommend closing your eyes while the pen unspools words or the keyboard. You have all the time in the world to go back and edit and tinker afterward.

Use a contrasting emotion to a clear image that captures the reader’s mind. For example a friend of mine recently lost her dog. She talks about the box they built for his casket and his funeral on the hill in her yard..a tree she ordered and planted over him..and she also talks abotu the times they laid back in the sun on this same hill, how funny he was when he’d curl up in bed or how obnoxious when he’d roll in the neighbor’s horse poop..

it is possible to contrast the good memories wiht the sad imagery of his loss. She coudl also surprise us if she added hwo tired she was over time tkaign care of him in his terminal illness. Or how she sometimes resented the fear she felt on his behalf..the necessity of making that hardest decision, for euthanasia..and the peom could go on from there to allude to a person’s death as well.

Especially when w riting about animals it is important not to be cutesy and obvious– the “button eyes” for example


One Response to “helpful hints for beginning poets”

  1. Erin Says:

    Excellent feedback! Thanks! Do you do critiques for beginning poets?

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