Monday, April 08, 2013

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, April 08, 2013 12 comments

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, I'm scattering poetry love among my fellow bloggers. 

Photo by d3designs, morguefile.com
Today I'm over at Connie Keller's blog "A Merry Heart," with tips for beginner poets, "Make Words Your Playground." 

Many writers fear poetry based on misperceptions: it is old-fashioned and frivolous, or else it's much, much, much too hard to read or write.

 Honestly, most poetry is not highbrow and esoteric; it can be very FUN to write. Yes, it's more condensed than prose, but who needs a PhD to trim things? And no matter what genre you most often write in, you want your work to stir your reader's imagination and give them a sensory experience. Learning some techniques used in poetry can help you do just that. I guarantee your prose will get stronger from experimenting with poetry.

If you're trying to build a publication history, it's often easier to break in with poetry. Literary journals typically publish three to four times as many poems as short stories per issue, simply because they take up less space.

Do you have fears about writing poetry? Would you like to learn more about poetry techniques and how to use them in prose?

12 comments:

  1. I may have to give this a try. Other than writing it with kids as a learning exercise, I've always shied away from poetry. Something to think about, thanks! :)

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    1. It is a great creativity stretcher that will strengthen all other kinds of writing you do. Hope you'll give poetry a try.

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  2. I really don't feel like I can write any good poetry. I greatly admire those that can.

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    1. I'd challenge you to read a poem a week all year. Start with poems for children. I'm willing to bet you'll feel a whole lot less intimidated.

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  3. Yes Yes Yes to your last question, Laurel!!!

    I borrowed Writing Poetry for Dummies or something like that. I didn't get too far. lol

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    1. All right, now I know a new series topic for ye olde blog, beyond my homophones posts (which have been a bit sporadic, but they take time to compose). I'll try to make the posts fun and introduce concepts slowly.

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  4. I haven't written poetry in a long time, but I used to love it when I was in college. You never forget the techniques and joy that comes from free verse. --But alas, there aren't enough hours in the day. When the choice comes down to poetry or music composition, the melodies in my head win out. ;)

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    1. There is a close connection between poetry and music. Both use rhythm and tonal change to convey emotion. Obviously song lyrics are a sub-genre of poetry. So that might be where writing, when you're also a musician, could lead you.

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  5. After reading this and your other post, I feeling less intimidated. I'm going to dip my toe back into the poetry pool.

    BTW, I'd love to read more posts where you encourage and give guidance to beginning poets and those who want to give it a try.

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    1. That's encouraging to hear. I'd love to provide tips for beginning poets. Poetry has become so professionalized that it's mostly taught in MFA programs. Folks who don't have an academic bent are hard pressed to find craft resources that don't make your brain hurt. Personally, I don't think accessiblity and quality are mutually exclusive.

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  6. Hello, blog hopping and found you. Good post, glad to meet someone who loves poetry !

    Thanks
    Rajiv
    http://www.magnificentdewdrops.blogspot.com
    http://www.magicalpresent.blogspot.com

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    1. Nice to meet you, Rajiv. Poetry is the underdog genre these days, though playwrights would argue they're really struggling for audience too.

      I'm thankful for National Poetry Month as a time to do my part to stir interest in poetry.

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