Poetry a Passion
We all love to write poetry but it is much more than scribbling words out of your head.
Poetry is writing using concentrated language to make specific emotional responses through meaning sound and rhythm.
To write exemplary poetry as opposed to ok poetry one needs to understand those elements… the ability to manipulate language, how words and syllables create sound and how to work with these – the rythmic quality of speech and of life.
So here are some thoughts on what you as poets need to do to write good poetry.
Tap into your own feelings and emotions
Poets instil parts of their psyche their beliefs and feelings into their poetry. If people don’t bring their emotions and passions then I tend not to be terribly interested in what they’re saying it ceases often to be authentic.
I don’t mean to say that they are writing bad poems, but those aren’t the poems that I like most. The poems I most like are where the heart of the poem is a very emotional one, where the warmth of strong feeling is very powerfully present. I think poetry is an emotional form and when it isn’t that, I’m not very interested in it
Write about subjects that matter to you
Choose subjects that interest you, you understand or you are prepared to research.
But if you want to write about love, death, sadness you need to find a new angle.
The best poems get written, not by going in the front door of the subject, but round the back or down the chimney or through the window.
‘Tell all the truth but tell it slant,’ said Emily Dickinson and that’s always been a very important remark.
Don’t try to imagine how someone else feels about something you can’t and it will come across as crass or mawkish.Write from a different viewpoint.
Celebrate the ordinary and be choosy
Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. What we very badly need to remember is that the things right under our noses are extraordinary, fascinating, irreplaceable, profound and just kind of marvellous.
Look at the things around you and relish stuff that can lose its glow by being familiar. In fact, looking afresh at familiar things is a very important part of what poetry can do.
If you can, be choosy about what you do, so that the things you do write are the things that you do best.
Use everything in your toolbox
It is important to bear in mind that as poets we have a kind of toolbox, in which there are all kinds of different pieces of equipment, not available to any other kind of writer or at least not used in the same way
That means understanding words, their connotations, their sounds and relationships. It means understanding musicality and rhythm.It means understanding vowels and syllables and the sounds they generate.