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Oct. 10th, 2007 | 07:10 pm

Wow, been a while since I posted.

So have a snide piece of writing. (Also, I do like poetry. Really.)



First and foremost, if a kid can make it rhyme, damned if you can't either. And if Sylvia Plath can get away with making it not rhyme, then you can too.

Second, it doesn't have to really make a lot of sense. If your poem is more comprehensible than an R.E.M. song, then kudos to you. If it doesn't, put it to guitar music and you'll be more successful than any of us.

Third, sentimentality. Despite the general conception of poets as tortured souls, sentimentality is a good general starting inspiration. Then, when you're desperately poor because you're trying to make a living off your poetry, you'll have another, grittier, set of circumstances to write about.

Fourth, the emo factor. I hear from reliable sources that the line "the strings of my heart play a minor chord" is taken seriously in some quarters. I suspect the only way something like this will not be taken seriously is if you write "the strings of my heart play a diminished seventh". So, if you want to be taken seriously by at least part of society (albeit pseudo-gothing angsty teenagers), emo is a good idea.

Fifth, rhythm. You are not Edgar Allen Poe. Don't even try to copy the rhythm of "The Raven". You have been warned. And while we're at it, iambic pentameter is soooo Shakespeare, and by that I mean don't try that either.

Sixth, the Romantic movement. Daffodils and abbeys are very pretty. Wordsworth told us so. Similarly, roses have already been covered, as have snowy woods, and Paradise. If you must write something about pretty things or places, try a gerbera. Maybe a nice sunset. But not lilies. Too morbid.

Seventh, write about what you know. Except don't write about your school days. We don't wanna hear about them. Or the sunset you saw yesterday evening. Or that lunar eclipse. Poetry about the migrant experience, however, is always acceptable.

Eighth, blank verse. The important thing to remember here is that 'blank verse' is not the same as 'carte blanche'. That is all.

Ninth, cliche. Shall I compare it to a summer's day? Overcooked, and there are far too many of them. Also, the sound of cliche is almost as grating as cicadas. Basically, step away from the cliche, and nobody will get hurt.

Tenth, metaphor and simile. Simile can be as clumsy as a polar bear on stilts. Alternatively, it can illustrate what you want to say perfectly. Metaphor is a treasure map and an old train rushing along the rails, i.e. cryptic and sometimes clunky.

Keep these ten things in mind and you're on your way to writing a decent poem, or becoming the next R.E.M. lyricist. Whatever.

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Comments {7}

Crimson Sun

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from: ocean_flute
date: Oct. 10th, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Lolz! XD

Isn't it sad I went through the list going, 'oops, I might've breached that one', or 'ah-ha! I hate that too!' etc etc.

And while we're on the subject I think I'll make an excellent REM lyricist. XD

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korigatachi

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from: korigatachi
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
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she would respond to this post with a limerick about a mushroom,
MSPaint-and-Photoshop occupied mind wont work any time soon,
Lost track of what i was going to say,
chances are I wont remember anyway,
O(h). And neridabean, your comments stab poets like a harpoon.

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ebontane

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from: ebontane
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC)
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Hey, I really do like poetry. It's just that some of the conventions are so easy to mock. You know, poke fun at what you love and all that.

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korigatachi

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from: korigatachi
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC)
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Hmm, that is true. never liked reading poetry, most of it makes my eye glaze over for the very reasons specified in your list.

I quite like my limerick. Not much to be proud of, but it *rhymed* (no semi-rhyming. no mushroom-room rhyming. XD.)... but the ending it weak in my opinion. Harpoon sounded like a fun word to use. I havent used it for a while.

harpoonharpoonharpoonharpoonthisisspamharpoon

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Merc

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from: eatsyourface
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
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*cackle*
*runs away*

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notfoundyet

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from: notfoundyet
date: Oct. 25th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC)
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OMG, that rocked.
That cheered me up.

BTW, you're not talking about me when you're talking about the emo factor, were you? I get the most bizarre notion that I've seen that line somwhere before.

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ebontane

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from: ebontane
date: Oct. 25th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
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No, I was thinking about my brother. And his well-publicised contempt of anything remotely emo.

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