Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

See and share Beautiful Nature Photos and amazing photos of interesting places

Debbie Guzzi's Blog

About Debbie Guzzi
(Show Details...)
Bloggers Photo

Deborah Guzzi travels for inspiration: China, Nepal [during the civil war], Japan, Egypt [two weeks before ‘The Arab Spring’], and most recently Peru. First published at the age of sixteen, she writes articles for Massage and Aroma Therapy Magazines. Her poetry has been accepted in the Literary Journals of Western CT. University, Inclement Magazine, Pyrokinections, Jellyfish Whispers, Grey Wolf’s Summer Legends Anthology, The Germ, Wilderness Literary Review, The Anthology Sweet Dreams & Night Terrors, Bitterzoet Magazine, haiku journal, Contemporary Haibun Online, Bella on line, The Autumn Sound, Eskimo Pie, and Ribbons, The Inwood Indiana Review, Five Poetry, Tanka Society of America Journal, and 50 haiku. She has published two illustrated volumes of poetry, The Healing Heart and Heaven and Hell in a Nutshell.


Oh The Roses in MY Cheeks


Blog Posted:6/14/2013 3:41:00 PM

Just dropping by to let you know what we poets have to deal with in the RW [real world] below is a magazine editor actually attempting to help! GAH! Do you know how many of my writes fall into this category shall I kill myself now?

Poetry Clichés to Avoid

* A wall separates us from others.
* Life is like a tree, the seasons cycle around.
* You miss a loved person and want to see them again.
* You are growing and changing and have to accept the alterations.
* Life is difficult but you can persevere.
* A person is a lump of clay to be molded by someone else.

          These are all wonderful thoughts, but remember that we have already read them
          many, many, many times. After the first 300 times or so, they can feel a bit stale.

If your poem is very basic - "I miss him. He has been gone for so long. When can I see him again?" then it is the same as hundreds of other poems. Your poem will not stand out.

Make sure your poem is unique to you and your situation. Are you pining away in the dusty basement, gazing through a grime-smeared window? Are you sadly desolate on a sunny hilltop, sitting beneath the apple tree where you shared your last picnic? Are you morosely walking down a flight of concrete stairs into the depths of a subway platform, turning your head to avoid the stench of pee from the wooden bench? It is all of those specific details that help the reader really connect to YOUR experience, to learn why your heartbreak or joy or resolution is individual and visceral.

Think about the details. Yes, hair can "blow" in the wind. That is a generic, non-specific image. Hair can more explicitly curl delicately in a breeze, whip like a flag in a gale, stream gently behind you, rise playfully in a gust. Paint a visual image for your reader, let them know exactly what you mean.

Here are some clichés which are best to avoid.



Building a Wall

One of the most common poems we see involves a sad person and "a wall" which blocks out family, friends, and society. The wall was built to protect the person - but over time they realize that the wall has held them in as well. They want to tear down the wall, but they are nervous about it, or unable to do it, or run into other problems.

To see just how cliché the wall image is, get yourself the double album of "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, and rent the movie! Not only did they do two full length albums on this topic, but they even made a full length movie going
into this topic. There are thousands and thousands of poems by innumerable poets on the topic of walls. This is one of the most common themes in poetry. If you are going to make your "wall" poem stand out, it absolutely
must be unique, with great visual details and with a very unique point of view. If not, it will be no different than the myriad of other wall poems which have already been read.


Life is a Cycle of Nature

Especially in the fall and winter, we are inundated with poems about "Life is like nature. In the spring, the little seedlings grow. In the summer, we enjoy the food! In the fall, the crunchy leaves hit us on the head. In the
winter, everything is cold and nasty."

Fall seems to bring these poems out in force. We always get an avalanche of poems in fall about how fall represents a cycle of nature. It becomes quite mind numbing.

Yes, the theme is cute the first ten or twenty times - but by the time you've read this the 1,000th time it gets to be a bit overwhelming. Yes, we know life is like nature. Yes, we know that old age is like winter. Please find another
metaphor to express your thoughts on how life progresses.


Longing for Someone who is Gone

Maybe the nature of poetry is that the desire to write poetry strikes when you are miserable and alone. Maybe that is why so many poets write angst-filled poem after poem pining after the boy or girl who is no longer in their life.
These poems tend to run along the same course. "Before, things were great. We walked hand in hand in sunny meadows. Two hearts were never so in tune! Now, I hear your voice on the wind. The meadow is barren. The flowers have stopped flowering. The butterflies have stopped butterflying. I am alone...

Yes, we have all been there. We all know the angst of losing a loved one. You need to tell us YOUR version of what happened. Instead of generic, seen-a-thousand-times images of "happy hand in hand in meadows", tell
us YOUR specific images. Did you used to have cappuccino in a red-brick café by a cobblestone fountain? When you go by the café now, do you see the menu lying at your favorite cast-iron table? What visions are important to YOU? We want to be drawn into your world.

If you take a serious look at your own poetry posted here on Soup, have you written as many of these cliché topics as I have??

Please Login
 
  1. Date: 6/15/2013 5:21:00 PM
    Hey, Debbie... I think it all depends on who the poet is writing for :D Same goes for writing (as you know I split my writing between the real world and the kinder one ;) ) Now, if (for say) a mom/dad is writing for their family (and also sharing these poems with soup) then I think the cliché is A-Okay. Maybe, they will speak of the old oak planted at the family farm, the graveyard beside it, how that tree means life and death... now, won't turn on an editor, but the granddaughter after her grandpa's death? Ah, then... that poem will be a beloved inheritance... cherished and honoured. So, I think all is good, and I'm proud of you for pushing ahead! But don't be pink-cheeked... all is good!

    Login to Reply
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 6/15/2013 5:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Nette is one of the best poets of today, off and on soup. Her style is strong, her voice WHOLLY hers and her mastery of language stuns the reader with a completely new look at what may be a familiar situation or location... she could teach this! How to avoid the common... :D
  1. Date: 6/15/2013 5:59:00 AM
    Chris so nice to here from you, and thanks for the boot in my butt as you see I am submitting less here and saving more for the publishers who don't accept reprints, even after I whined to you in soup mail YOUR advice did help!

    Login to Reply
  1. Date: 6/15/2013 5:57:00 AM
    Well, I think I got my first paying publication 3 verses in an anthology pay $12 & 2 copies, [I got a contract!!] LOL

    Login to Reply
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:40:00 PM
    Bravo, Chris! I like your honesty. Honest, but not brutal. You are among the few. (No, I'm not kissing you up, pal. And I'm not a masochist, either.)

    Login to Reply
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 6/15/2013 5:27:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Bet, looking forward to the next "daily." I writing for your contest, come Monday, I hope and then back to my crown, the poor thing is withering on a shelf... Hugs!!!
    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 6/15/2013 5:54:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    just join my group & we will edit your verses and give you actual line by line critiques when needed aleezadelta@aol.com
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:11:00 PM
    Oh! And poems about writing poems....such a pet peeve of mine.

    Login to Reply
    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/15/2013 12:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    : ) or I 'm here.. You're there : )
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:31:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ... and of course, the comment ends with the classic: I've been there! : D
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:29:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Wonderful!
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Stunning!
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Amazing!
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 6/14/2013 7:16:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The infamous "Writer's Block" poems: "I have writer's block, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-so sad-blah-blah-poor me-blah-blah-blah, hey! I no longer have writer's block because I just wrote a poem about it! Yay me!" ....... those types of poems. And then the comments added to such poems are like: "Bravo! A Masterpiece! This is the best poem I have ever read! Made me breathless!"
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:09:00 PM
    Yeah, of course I've written my share of cliche poems. I do try very hard not to anymore. The biggest culprit for me isn't always an overall cliche topic, but writing a line within the poem that is cliche. I suppose when writers are new, only taking their first baby-steps(<----a cliche right there lol), they tend to do this more often. I had several lines that I didn't even realize were famous cliches until much later. The Pink Floyd analogy in your blog, is a good one. I have to be careful not to do the "autumn-life-is-a-cycle" one, and I have quite a few poems with the "Life-can-be-difficult- but-one-must-persevere" topic.

    Login to Reply
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:05:00 PM
    Actually, this is exactly the kind of professional feedback that can be helpful, if you're mature enough (I don't doubt that you are, Debbie, just making a point.) I feel that we have to walk on eggs here on PS way too much. The least little misunderstanding gets blown way out of proportion. Theodore Sturgeon said 90% of everything is crap, anyway. We have so few clues to know what is really good, despite contests and comments. I know what people think is really bad, because it doesn't get any comments. Can't seem to get a real critique. Maybe trying to publish????

    Login to Reply
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 5:58:00 PM
    Hello my sweeties... ;) so nice to hear from all 3 of YOU, Frank how was your painting trip? Ruben where hades have you been, little one..how is your wee one? I wonder how many contest winners are in these categories aye?

    Login to Reply
    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/15/2013 5:51:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hi my little one is nine months old now Deborah.. She s trying to do her first steps..Such a nice time in life and She s growing so fast.Have a lovely weekend sweet lady-big hugs
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 4:53:00 PM
    Thanks for posting this interesting blog Deborah..and yep I'm guilty too :)

    Login to Reply
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/15/2013 8:42:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Waaaaaaaaa hahhahahhahhaha! When you're mad at me ... you're super adorable !!
    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/15/2013 12:59:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The song is amazing stunning wonderful.i ve been there :p
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 5:03:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    And the song?
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 4:50:00 PM
    YES! Im guilty!! : D Thanks for posting this blog, dear Deborah! How are you? I have to check your poems ... A big hug!

    Login to Reply

My Past Blog Posts

 
Doowop
Date Posted: 7/30/2014 3:16:00 PM
Thank Ruben! OH Oh, Mr. O
Date Posted: 7/24/2014 7:38:00 PM
SHUF Home of Experimental Poetics
Date Posted: 7/22/2014 3:52:00 PM
Grrrr PS please STOP
Date Posted: 7/17/2014 8:27:00 AM
Dead Snakes
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 11:30:00 AM
I got 'splaining to Do!
Date Posted: 7/7/2014 11:03:00 AM
Sijo
Date Posted: 6/14/2014 3:42:00 PM
Tincture - A Fine Magazine
Date Posted: 6/5/2014 3:22:00 PM
Smart and Small, Yet Says it All
Date Posted: 6/1/2014 5:42:00 PM
I'm Waiting!!
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 8:22:00 PM
Help Me
Date Posted: 5/17/2014 12:40:00 PM
Last Call Anyone Else want help? Spring haiku Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 11:37:00 AM
Some Good Advise
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 3:21:00 PM
Andrea Dietrich, Joanne Grisetti, Susan Burch
Date Posted: 4/14/2014 9:17:00 AM
A Ghost Hunt by Jack Horne
Date Posted: 4/9/2014 5:32:00 PM
Intro to a VERY Friendly Publisher
Date Posted: 4/6/2014 5:17:00 PM
Thoughts on Faith
Date Posted: 3/29/2014 7:07:00 PM
God, Spring, Resurrection & Reincarnation
Date Posted: 3/21/2014 7:49:00 PM
What did you look like at Five?
Date Posted: 3/12/2014 9:00:00 PM
Writing, Writing, Writing
Date Posted: 3/6/2014 2:02:00 PM
Susan Burch [Black Eyed Susan]
Date Posted: 2/28/2014 12:24:00 PM
Five MONTHLY Poetry Magazine
Date Posted: 2/26/2014 2:21:00 PM
Haibun
Date Posted: 2/11/2014 10:41:00 AM
The Crown Polished
Date Posted: 2/6/2014 6:24:00 PM
The LAST Jewel in the Crown the 7th Sonnet
Date Posted: 2/5/2014 10:16:00 AM

My Poems

12345678
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
8/19/2014Bewitching PowerRhymemen,power,
8/15/2014Unknown InnocenceSonnetfaith,
8/13/2014Mi CorazonLyricromance,
8/12/2014What Ever Gets You Through the NightVersefaith,
8/10/2014A Different FearVerseabuse,
8/7/2014Prayer for HarvestVersesky,
8/4/2014Black Ships SailTail-rhymeabsence,
7/31/2014The Sky Larked MoonVersemoon,
7/31/2014White Shoulder DreamsFree versemissing you,
7/31/2014Masked at MidnightBlitzmurder,mystery,
7/28/2014Velvet as Laughter - BlitzVersejoy,
7/24/2014Soar Among StarsVersegrowth,
7/22/2014Peek A BooVersebaby,
7/19/2014Ride Sally RideBalladsexy,
7/19/2014sun showerHaikucelebration,
7/19/2014Turtle BridgeFree versemythology,
7/17/2014The Scent of WaterVerselife,
7/15/2014The Great Turtle and Sky Woman Rhymemythology,
7/12/2014The Clarity of EyeSonnetuplifting,visionary,
7/11/2014Shattered StagesVerseloss,
7/4/2014Debbie's Rhyme SchemaVersefun,
7/1/2014Moonlight KissesGhazalsea,
6/25/2014SomnabulantSijonature,
6/24/2014Going DownLimericklust,
6/24/2014Dick's PickLimerickgirlfriend,
12345678

My Photos


Fav Poems

1234
Poem TitleFormCategories
GodFree verselife,mystery,
Hard TimesCowboycowboy-western,family,fun
For Things Once CountedRhymeintrospection,loss,uplift
PetalVerselove,
Defender of the WastesFree verseart,life,parody,world,
BirthImagismchildhood,life
this is why i woo wordsVerseart,inspirational,philoso
ForbearFree versesad,
BelongingsRhymeloss,love,mother,peacewor
Gold FeverFree versefaithfaith,political,
SplatteredI do not know?life
EchoQuatrainlost lovewords,love,
Bells (after Poe)Lyricpassion
Respectfully, Emily DickinsonLyricintrospection
Give the End Back to the BeginningFree versededication,faithme,
The Bruised and Rotting PearCoupletfaith,hope
flyFree verseanimals
ABC's for a Young CaptainABClife
Not Entirely About Living In New YorkFree verselifeworld,light,light,
WoodcutterI do not know?warold,old,
DreamsFree versefaith,forgiveness
A Feed of ChipsNarrativefunny
Weep O WillowsVersedeath
Harlem BluesFree verseblack-african amerchildre
Summers EverlastingFree versenostalgia
1234

Fav Poets

PoetCountry 
Carolyn Devonshire United States Flag United States Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
Deirdre Omaidin Ireland Flag Ireland Read
Andrew Crisci United States Flag United States Read
Jim Fish United States Flag United States Read
Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Nigel Fawcett Italy Flag Italy Read
L'nass Shango United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Robert L. Hinshaw United States Flag United States Read
Chris D. Aechtner Canada Flag Canada Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Sidney Beck Russian Federation Flag Russian Federation Read
Sami Al-khalili Canada Flag Canada Read
Charlotte Puddifoot United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Cyndi MacMillan Canada Flag Canada Read
T Wignesan _Not Listed Flag _Not Listed Read
Elaine George Canada Flag Canada Read
sharon Winter United States Flag United States Read
Michael Smith United States Flag United States Read
jack horne United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read