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Writing Quality Poetry

Blog Posted:1/7/2019 5:12:00 PM

Some, too many here on the soup or other sites for that matter, feel the euphoria of writing poem after poem after poem....guys and gals, that's fine but don't post them because it's the same as blurting out every thought you daydream of every moment of the day. It's like tossing your dreams to the wind or to here, what amounts to other poets tossing their dreams with nothing else to do but call everyone elses dreams "stunning" when most are not. Take a step back and think of yourself as a quart of paint per month and every poem you write dilutes that quart. SLOW DOWN and like a thirsty desert traveler, don't drain your canteen so quickly. Do not pour all your energy out so quickly---store your best and revisit it many times. Even those most concentrated colors where most of your art was spent, can usually be improved if we pour it through a fine sieve - why - because like any other pursuit in life, quality trumps quantity every time.  Take care of your true thoughts - make them undiluted!

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Date: 1/21/2019 5:08:00 PM
Craig you should have been a diplomat, very well expressed, a subject dear to my heart and one that keeps me quiet as I'm not as diplomatic as you... as to the rigors of quality I fall short more often than I would like...
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Date: 1/11/2019 12:28:00 AM
Thank You!
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Date: 1/10/2019 1:17:00 PM
I have seen many brag about the # of poems they have posted and I think, that's ok, if it makes you happy. I personally agree with most of your blog's message, though everyone is different. I always try to wait before posting, rereading many times, changing as needed until I have what I feel is a good work to post. It doesn't mean it is, but I try. Though on sites like this, if you don't read and comment other's work in a positive and praiseful way, your poem sits on the soup conveyor belt constantly moving down until it falls off the end, never to be seen again. I guess some think, if I post 10 per day and get 1 comment per, that's 10 comments as opposed to posting 1 and getting 4 comments
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craig cornish
Date: 1/10/2019 2:23:00 PM
What you say truly shows Chris, and though you write prolifically, you do it with much more care than most, even your acrostics flow without any hint as to the form, anything you write that requires meter or you choose to use is done perfectly, but more importantly, no matter the subject, you leave the reader, especially the ladies, swooning. You are among the exception to the rules - a scholar and a gentleman who wastes neither.
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Chris Green
Date: 1/10/2019 1:34:00 PM
I feel that the way this site is set up, it promotes quantity over quality and I don't mean that in every case. There are many fantastic poets who share their work on here. But the fact that so many poems disappear it pushes you to post more and more just hoping someone will see. So I do agree with your message, I think anything we do we should do to the best of our ability. And I would appreciate any help and guidance I can get. I want people to be critical of my work and I don't want praise that isn't earned but how do any of us know what is the poet's best? Poetry is very subjective and it really is another's thoughts.
Date: 1/9/2019 9:43:00 AM
IMO when people are patted on the back for a substandard poem it only encourages them to produce more of the same. It teaches them absolutely nothing. A writer's reputation is all they have. They should take that into account before they sign their name at the bottom and post. Personally i would rather have one quality poem as opposed to a hundred average poems. These are my personal opinions for what it's worth.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/9/2019 9:33:00 PM
Thank you Daniel and that's why all your poems are worth reading, because it should be a responsibility for the author to respect the reader. Also, the reader has a responsibility if they choose to comment to be less effusive on writes that are not deserving. Fine, be supportive and encouraging, but not in the same way an obviously wonderful artwork would be.
Date: 1/9/2019 3:04:00 AM
(3) Let FREE the imagination, listen to that voice from elsewhere, be humble and open to honest and KIND critique, and write your very best each time ... I don't think you can go wrong that way. I have been writing two years, and while I still am unsatisfied with results, I can see at least that I have improved and learned a bit from being here and all of YOU, and that is the true valuable resource here ... I would not have done so otherwise, (and you, Craig, have helped me learn how to write a decent Sonnet, something I originally didn't want to write at all). When I STOP growing, well, that's when I'll put the pen down, until then, I will write as my soul and heart moves me to. Great blog!
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Daniel Turner
Date: 1/9/2019 9:45:00 AM
Greg my friend, you got so much talent you do not know what to do with it all. I wish I had half your talent.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/9/2019 8:50:00 AM
You are a truly gifted as an artist Greg and we've seen the story many times where those that don't have the gift want it and those that have it create the greatest of sins and waste it. That is not the case with you. You were writing good poetry right out of the gates and improved from there - you take pride and it shows. You set a high bar that intimidates, but that's what makes everyone else better.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/9/2019 5:30:00 AM
What he said!
Date: 1/9/2019 3:00:00 AM
(2) ... and always with HUMILITY, for you can NOT improve without it, and none of us here have it all figured out. Let the creative spirit move inside you, and don't be confined by ANY restrictions beyond writing the best poem you can, each and every time. I am RARELY pleased or satisfied when I finish a poem, (same with songwriting and production), but I'm beginning to understand that I have LEARNED something with each piece, whether about myself or poetry or whatever, and THAT is the treasure for me ... when we stop learning and growing and are "satisfied" with our work, then we should probably stop at that point ...
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Date: 1/9/2019 2:52:00 AM
Humbly, I believe one should ALWAYS try to do their best, and make each thing said or done or dreamed in this life, a creation of quality. But also, write when the spirit moves! My beliefs have changed greatly in the last couple of years, (for many reasons), but I still feel we are just tools for something much greater than ourselves, whether that is "God" or "The Creative Conscience" or whatever your beliefs, and the key to Art, for me, is learning to listen to and HEAR that still, small voice from elsewhere that has blessed us with these tools for building phrases "grand and furtive" ... if three-a-day, then sweet! If it's once-a-month, then also sweet! But ALWAYS the best made ... (cont'd)
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craig cornish
Date: 1/9/2019 1:58:00 PM
Good analogy taai but then...the top of any profession makes good money, but then it all depends upon the definition of "good" My Dad once said that if you never do more than what you get paid, you'll never get paid for more than what you do---I truly believe...and then, what is the definition of "PAY", little or much are we to expect and appreciate for anything we do---hmmm
Date: 1/8/2019 7:03:00 PM
I say plant as many seeds as you can and what blossoms blossoms in your garden of life. Who cares how others cultivate their roses. With a finite amount of time of life, I rather be funmonger, hobbymonger, poetmonger and be the least suppressed than worrying how others line up their ducks. To each it's own path.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:56:00 PM
In the tragic end there is just one to blame and it is not without/not outside the mirror - with passion I have witnessed that you have, you have all it takes to be very special (within yourself) with your words, and yes, then all can go screw - but be special first and not by accident.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:47:00 PM
I feel much negative here with a screw you attitude. Instead of being an idea killer which defeats any goal, why not offer truly usable thoughts other than throw stuff where I may and "hope". There must be some compromise. This has NOTHING to do with lining up ducks and much more to do with the pond they float in, and like the "seeds" you wish to toss in the wind, perhaps some care taken where and why they may take seed. You're a hundred percent correct in that in our finite time here we should make every effort to make the best of it than toss it all asunder.
Date: 1/8/2019 9:58:00 AM
Thank you for this important reminder, Craig. The problem might also be exasperated by the to my mind over-abundance of contests. I enjoy the challenge of entering and being inspired by themes I might never have thought of but feel that a pause in the rollover or reduction in number of those offered might be beneficial.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 10:59:00 AM
Wendy, you're a natural, keep the ball rolling!
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 10:33:00 AM
BTW, there are many very talented writers who have moved on from this site which was a stepping stone to being multi published like Cyndi MacMillan and Debbie Guzzi among others. There's a side story which I won't get into but I will say that having been here since 2012 - I know, I removed my account so it doesn't look that way but I learned so very much (kicking and screaming) and got dragged into the new reality of poetry while still honoring the traditional writes that spawned them.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 10:24:00 AM
Hi Wendy, what you say is exactly true because the contests can be intoxicating especially to those who never truly knew the wealth of different forms and had always written in the familiar and that is the true value of the contest in addition to the promoted muses. Yet, still, if these are to enhance our portfolio we must be able to have some vision of how they add to our excellence, if we care, otherwise it becomes a hobby and not an art. You are a talented writer, continue to nourish that and help it grow.
Date: 1/8/2019 2:54:00 AM
Following my previous comment... I always say to others that they should wait 24 hours before posting, to let the poem “marinade”. It’s an opportunity to read the poem fresh the next day and spot awkward little corners. I do often - but not always - take my own advice. I tend to post more quickly if the poem is “just a fun one” Maybe if I let the fun ones marinade too, they would be better fun ones!
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Nina Parmenter
Date: 1/8/2019 10:00:00 AM
Why thank you Craig! Yes fun ones have a big value too because the fun and connecting with people are the other things that drive me to write here, besides the urge to improve.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:09:00 AM
Yup, you do it a healthy way and I'm quite sure that if a write is for something "more" important you turn up that filter a few notches. I truly think you have a natural talent for taking a muse and turning it into something special. I agree with you as well that we all need "fun ones".
Date: 1/8/2019 2:51:00 AM
There are some irresistible mechanisms at work here. The folk at social media sites spend a long time “working with” (ie exploiting) our need for approval. We post, we are validated by others, we get the feel-good chemicals, we post again. The same mechanisms are at work here, and for me, they are much stronger than on any social site because they revolve around my poetry, something that sits at the core of who I believe I am. We shouldn’t feel bad that we are subject to these temptations - we are only human - but rather acknowledge that they are there and try to rationalise them.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:04:00 AM
Nina, firstly I think you are a quality writer, not that you or anyone needs my approval - it's just a different opinion which by the way has been shared in many poetry journals. Some are happy with back scratches, that's always fine if that's all one desires but in reaching higher some must be cautious of the true value of the praise.
Date: 1/7/2019 8:32:00 PM
Forgive me for butting in again, but I would like to direct attention to a rather old "poem" of mine titled On Writing Poetry (which I would appreciated anyone interested visiting here on poetrysoup….) -- it states, in a little different manner, generally the same idea that Craig has presented here.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:21:00 AM
Thank you Leo, well said, and I notice Chris left a lengthy reply to you and his opinion on writing is always of great value.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:05:00 AM
Will check it out Leo - thanks
Date: 1/7/2019 8:20:00 PM
I think your advice should be heeded and valued. Many of us who post on the soup seem to regard quantity of output (and number of posts) as some sort of measure of value. Although we all may be guilty of posting some less than stellar poems, we need to hone our thought processes and editing skills and not be so influenced by the urge to post as many of our less successful pieces as we possibly can.
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Date: 1/7/2019 7:16:00 PM
Ironic message, considering it's been made in a blog post- the original arbiter of blurting out every thought.
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craig cornish
Date: 1/8/2019 7:12:00 AM
Thanks for your thoughts Jonathan.

My Past Blog Posts

Something I Am Not Winners
Date Posted: 9/2/2019 3:53:00 PM
Contest Rules
Date Posted: 7/13/2019 7:12:00 AM
The Cancer Contest
Date Posted: 6/23/2019 4:32:00 PM
Contest Advice
Date Posted: 5/31/2019 1:30:00 PM
The New Contest EDITED
Date Posted: 4/23/2019 6:18:00 PM
Bougainvillia Praises
Date Posted: 4/20/2019 12:15:00 PM
Andrea & Jan
Date Posted: 4/14/2019 2:53:00 PM
Bougainvillea Contest
Date Posted: 3/17/2019 11:56:00 AM
Song Lyrics Contest
Date Posted: 2/17/2019 3:56:00 PM
Sapphic Contest Judged
Date Posted: 2/13/2019 9:43:00 AM
A Thousand Words
Date Posted: 2/1/2019 4:03:00 PM
Sapphic Perfection
Date Posted: 1/28/2019 11:54:00 AM
Sapphic Stanza Contest
Date Posted: 1/26/2019 5:22:00 PM
Tontoism and other thoughts
Date Posted: 1/23/2019 10:05:00 AM
Sapphic Stanza with a JUX
Date Posted: 1/13/2019 12:36:00 PM
Are You Blue
Date Posted: 1/11/2019 2:14:00 PM
Writing Quality Poetry
Date Posted: 1/7/2019 5:12:00 PM
Raindrop Contest Judged
Date Posted: 11/25/2018 4:31:00 PM
Just a Reminder Every Year
Date Posted: 11/13/2018 11:02:00 AM
Thomas Wolfe
Date Posted: 10/7/2018 11:38:00 PM
Date Posted: 8/16/2018 8:21:00 AM
Follow Up on the Poet Doctor's Blog
Date Posted: 7/14/2018 7:58:00 AM
Date Posted: 6/30/2018 3:50:00 PM
Date Posted: 6/29/2018 1:50:00 PM
An Exercise in Writing Poetry
Date Posted: 5/11/2018 3:42:00 PM

My Recent Poems

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8/25/2019 Muhammad Ali Clerihewfunny,
8/22/2019 On the Beach Free versebeach,
8/13/2019 Alone Free verselife,
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8/3/2019 Something I Am Not Blank verselove,
7/30/2019 Silent Stares Free verselife,
7/25/2019 lost and found Free verselife,
7/18/2019 A Dream Free versedream,
7/14/2019 The Leaf Free versenature,
7/10/2019 Jalopies Free verselife,
7/6/2019 A Moment Free verselove,
7/4/2019 Until One Day Abecedarianlove,
6/30/2019 The Hatch Shell Free versecelebration,
6/28/2019 Five Minutes More Free versetime,
6/11/2019 Synesthesia Free versesenses,
6/9/2019 Event Horizon Free verselife,
6/9/2019 Life's Shores Free verselife,
6/6/2019 Ezra Crown of Sonnetslife,
5/25/2019 The Topic of Cancer Free versecancer,
5/19/2019 Night Shoes Iambic Pentameternight,
5/15/2019 Crannies Free versememory,
5/5/2019 invasive Free verselife,
4/30/2019 Period Free verselanguage,
4/27/2019 Until the Dust Settles Free verseanxiety,
4/24/2019 Lost Smiles Quatorzainlife,
4/15/2019 Haiku 13 Haikufunny,
4/9/2019 Fickle Flight Sonnetlife,
3/31/2019 Olfactory Humor Rhymehumorous,
3/18/2019 Bougainvillea Free verselove hurts,
3/7/2019 The Tooth Fairy's Confession Rhymefunny,
2/22/2019 I'm Always Right Here Lyriceulogy,
2/19/2019 The Face of Love Free verselove,
2/10/2019 Golden Rules Free verselife,
1/31/2019 The Siren's Song Villanellelife,
1/29/2019 The Dreamer Rhymelife,
1/27/2019 The Bounty's Fate Sonnetlife,
1/23/2019 Stay Sonnetlife,
1/22/2019 Outback Souls Quatraineulogy,
1/19/2019 The Dawning Sun Villanellespring,
1/16/2019 The Elders Free verselife,
1/1/2019 forgottens remembered Free versememory,
12/24/2018 Culinary Sonnet Sonnetfood,
12/22/2018 Grown up Lullaby RhymeLullaby,
12/20/2018 simple gifts Free versememory,
12/18/2018 The Forgotten Marionette Free verselife,
12/17/2018 Our Journey Free verselove,
12/11/2018 life is about Free verselife,
12/7/2018 Lickin Sugar Free versechildhood,
12/7/2018 The Barbs of Life Sonnetlife,
12/6/2018 Ten Again Free versechildhood,
11/20/2018 No Place Like Home Rhymelife,
11/19/2018 Johnson's Field Free verse8th grade,
11/18/2018 Paradise Free versefire,
11/13/2018 Raindrop Dreams Free versedream,
10/30/2018 Halloween Night Free versehalloween,
10/27/2018 Bridal Veil Falls Free versenature,
10/2/2018 The Marina Free verseboat,
9/13/2018 The Last Hurrah Free versedeath,
9/4/2018 Repurposed Evolution Free verselife,
8/25/2018 E Klaman Bottles Free verseart,beauty,
8/17/2018 Born a Smile Sonnetlife,
8/14/2018 Sour Grapes Sonnetinspiration,
8/10/2018 Synathroesmic Cat Coupletpets,
8/8/2018 Gone 'Til Dawn Free verselife,
8/5/2018 A Fragile Wish Sonnetlove,
6/30/2018 Back Home on the Farm Free versefarm,
6/14/2018 Poetry is Born Free verselife,
6/8/2018 The Night Free versenight,
6/5/2018 Smiles Free verseloss,
6/4/2018 Pie Eyed Rhymefantasy,
5/22/2018 The Grist Mill Free verselife,
5/17/2018 Sophistication Free verselife,
5/16/2018 The Perpetual Pessimist Free verselife,
5/16/2018 The Bard of Avon Sonnetwriting,
4/23/2018 So Many Worlds at Work Free versespring,
4/16/2018 Twenty Years of Spaces Filled Quatorzainloss,pets,
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3/30/2018 Await The Breeze Sonnetlife,
3/29/2018 Au Revoir Sonnetlove,war,
3/13/2018 In Silence I Stand Villanelleheartbroken,
3/10/2018 Fiddleheads on the River Walls Italian Sonnetlife,
1/27/2018 Strings Free verselife,
1/23/2018 Coming of Age Rhymefunny,
1/20/2018 Birthday Girl Sonnetbirthday,
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1/10/2018 Just A Few Clerihews Clerihewfun,
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12/31/2017 Lies Free verselife,
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12/27/2017 The Morning After Rhymememory,
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