Dear Novice Poet,
Welcome to the wide open wonderful world of poetry! Today more than ever before, a poem can easily be whatever you want it to be. The rules are simple. There are no rules unless you choose to write a particular type of poetry. Then there are plenty.
When I wrote my first poem I asked myself, “Is this really a poem?” because I was not sure. It is not a cut and dried thing to write poetry. It is a process that you are unsure of, even after you have been doing it for years. Poetry to me means putting your feelings onto paper in a variety of ways. You can
Rhyme, but you do not have to. As long as the reader can relate to what you are saying, you have accomplished your job as a poet. At first most of my poems started out with the word I because I know myself better than I know anything else, and I know myself in a variety of ways – spiritually, emotionally, financially, and socially.
Reading poetry is imperative if you are going to improve your craft. I read as many poets as I can,
As often as I can, so I can see what they are doing that works. I am always figuring out whether or not it would also work for me, and it usually will not. But I look at the way they twist their words, and I marvel at the combinations and contrasts. Sometimes I take notes. I do not study them, but my subconscious mind remembers what I do not. No matter what endeavor you undertake, it is best to study the craft. Poetry is no different. I am amazed by other people’s word choices, sentence twists, and surprise endings. The ending can make or break a poem. If you are unsure, you might want to run your possible endings past a few other writers, especially poets.
My advice is to write what you know, and do not try to copy what others are doing. Poetry has a personality of its own. To fully honor your poetry personality, you must be still and listen to it.
To write poetry, relax. The best poems I have written have come to me suddenly, and unexpectedly, without coaxing or any forethought on my part at all. Meditation is a great way to coax your muse, without writing something forced or contrived. My muse sometimes wakes me up with the last line of a poem she has given me in my sleep, so pay attention to your dreams. If I have taught you nothing else from this missive, please let me teach you this. Pay attention to your heart, not your head, write what you love, what makes you happy, or what makes you sad. To me feelings and poetry are the same; they need to be acknowledged, appreciated, felt, and respected. I feel that to write good poetry, listen to your heart. Write about your life now, and your former life, or write about what you want your future life to be, but write about something you know. Capture the now moments; write them down before you forget them, even if you do not use them yet. Make word lists, read other people’s poetry, and figure out what you like about it. Also, figure out what you love about it, and let them know. The world of poetry is a connective world, a world you can join with gusto, to learn more, and to make friends.
My favorite references are people, my own imagination when it is relaxed, and word lists which I am unceasingly writing. I write words whenever I can, wherever I am. Poetry Soup has become my go to reference site because I like learning and experimenting and I appreciate the immediate feedback and recognition that I get with some poems as well as the complete ignoring of others. I have started collecting books of poetry, which I had never done before and they inspire me to try to develop a new poem each day.
The titles of my favorite poems usually begin with the word the or I, which I did not realize until I started looking through my poems to write this paragraph. My favorites in order are: Lickety Split, So Glad They Are Back, Raised by Everyone, What is Your Soul Dream, Twin Flames Support Each Other, Cat Ninette, and Plumber Acrostic. I do not use profanity if possible, and it is almost always possible, and I avoid throwing things in that would sound crass or vulgar. After you turn your audience off, they sometimes do not revisit your poetry.
My literary background is simple. I fell into writing because I was good at it. I started writing plays when I was in junior high school, in college, I wrote a science fiction story that was thirty-seven pages typed, and my dorm mates had me read it aloud at many parties. We laughed insanely at it, and that gave me a charge. As a bored young mother, I began writing newspaper columns, and eventually wrote a regular column titled my name, that I thought was hilarious. It appeared weekly in forty-two newspapers in seven different states for a year or two until it began to bore me. Then I turned writing off completely, so I could return to school and get a degree in something so I could finally obtain a job that paid more than minimum wage. I did not start writing again for about forty years, when I again felt bored, and began looking around the internet for something new to do. I found Poetry Soup in February, and have written two hundred poems in five months because it is fun.
Suggestion for title of book might be Live your Joy, Feel your Rage, Call Your Soul to Action.
Writing poetry has been a brand new hobby for me, it has awakened the sleeping muse in me whom I thought was gone forever, it has made me feel young again, and it has brought me many new, gloriously helpful exciting friends. I have never had so many pen pals from other countries. I do now. I have discovered that poets have warm souls, and a readiness to help. They are the bravest of the brave in some ways, because what they are doing is spilling their souls onto paper, for the pleasure of others. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary. For you see, dear writer, people can tell when your writing is heartfelt, and emotional, and they can see your feeling level down to its bottom grain.
Good luck, Dear Writer. You have my prayers and my love.
Copyright © Caren Krutsinger | Year Posted 2018