Use an inspiration tool

This is Day 27 of 30 Poems in 30 Days The Search for Inspiration Sometimes I get stuck for ideas to write about. It is easy to get stuck in a rut as a poet. Staring at a blank page or a blank screen can be intimidating. Here are a few ways, presented in the tried and true list style, which can help you get started. Call a friend and talk about old times Collaborate with another poet Exercise Give yourself a deadline Give yourself permission to write badly Go someplace new Interview yourself Just start writing anything that comes … Continue reading Use an inspiration tool

Write the first draft of your poem in paragraph form and then change it into a free verse poem

This is Day 26 of 30 Poems in 30 Days Trading Safety for Freedom I’ve touched on the subject of free verse before, most notably in the article about the pros and cons of meter. Free verse is poetry that does not use a regular meter or rhyme. While poetry without rhyme dates back many centuries, the practice of using neither meter nor rhyme was a poetic movement that began in French and Europe during the 1800s. The first popular American poet to write in free verse was Walt Whitman. Free verse does not mean that there are no patterns … Continue reading Write the first draft of your poem in paragraph form and then change it into a free verse poem

Write a poem that begins and ends with the same word

This is Day 25 of 30 Poems in 30 Days You May Already be a Winner There is nothing wrong with entering poetry contests. It is one way of taking part in the larger world of poetry. It also gives you the motivation to write well and to keep writing. If you win a legitimate contest, it is a great honor. Unfortunately, many contests are not legitimate. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. There is no quick or easy route to get rich as a poet. Even making a living as a poet is a difficult … Continue reading Write a poem that begins and ends with the same word

Include a verb in every line of your poem

This is Day 24 of 30 Poems in 30 Days Let the Reader Decide On October 15th, 1995, when the Internet was first getting noticed, I sat down and wrote a list of tips for poets. This was long before poewar.com, when I had a little spot on a newspaper’s server and dial up access that went out whenever it rained. I don’t quite know what made me think I was qualified to give advice. I was five years out of college with a degree in Creative Writing and I guess I thought I knew a thing or two. The … Continue reading Include a verb in every line of your poem

Write a poem that discusses a real moment in your life without discussing its larger meaning

This is Day 23 of 30 Poems in 30 Days The Personal Postmodernist The current era of poetry is commonly referred to as the Postmodern Era. Postmodern thought is a complex series of philosophical and literary responses to the post World War II changes in world view and the acceleration of society. It isn’t the sort of thing you can explain in a blog post. I’ve taken entire classes on postmodern thought and I still can’t really explain it. The important thing to remember though, is that postmodernism is greatly concerned with challenging the traditional conventions of thought and communication. … Continue reading Write a poem that discusses a real moment in your life without discussing its larger meaning

30 Poems in 30 Days: Breaking the Rules

This is Day 22 of 30 Poems in 30 Days Doing What You Can’t “Can’t” is a word that should rarely be applied to poetry. There is very little that “can’t” be done in a poem. The beauty of poetry is that the risks are so low. While it would be stupid of me to say that you “can’t” get on the bestseller’s list with a book of poetry, I can tell you that the market for poetry is significantly smaller than the market for fiction. You can choose to be saddened or frustrated by this, or you can embrace … Continue reading 30 Poems in 30 Days: Breaking the Rules

Write a three stanza poem that shows a progression with each stanza

This is Day 21 of 30 Poems in 30 Days On the Move Poetry, unlike prose, is not reliant on plot. While it is possible to create a poem with a plot, a plot is by no means a requirement for a successful poem. It is merely one option out of many. Progression, however, occurs whether a poem has a plot or not. There should always be a reason why one line appears before or after another. There should be a reason why the first line is the first and the last line is the last. Even in an Imagist … Continue reading Write a three stanza poem that shows a progression with each stanza

Write a poem that begins with a negative image or statement and ends with a positive image or statement

This is Day 20 of 30 Poems in 30 Days The Other Kind of Stress Poets can be a sensitive lot. In a way, that’s what poets are known for. Unfortunately, it can be a poet’s undoing. Writer’s block, in most cases, is simply a lack of confidence. A person gets so wrapped up in negative self talk, that no matter what they put on the page, it never seems good enough. When it reaches the point that the poet can no longer put words on the page at all, it has become a severe problem. Try to recognize when … Continue reading Write a poem that begins with a negative image or statement and ends with a positive image or statement

Write a poem that has a variable line length rather than a set meter

This is Day 19 of 30 Poems in 30 Days Get in Line The first and most recognizable difference between poetry and prose is the line. Poetry is written with line breaks and prose is not. While it is possible to write “prose poetry” without line breaks the reason it is called prose poetry is because it is written in a prose style. All other types of poetry rely on the line. There are many ways to play with and manipulate the line in poetry. The most established way to define your line is the use of meter, which we … Continue reading Write a poem that has a variable line length rather than a set meter

Include the words “formal” and “casual” at some point in your poem

This is Day 18 of 30 Poems in 30 Days Take your Place One of the great things about this poetry project so far is that we have started to develop a community. We have regular contributors, occasional contributors and readers. A sense of community is important in poetry. Because the market for poetry is so small compared to the fiction market, it needs constant support to keep going. There are many benefits to joining or creating a poetry community. You gain the support of your peers. You have the opportunity to compare yourself with and learn from other poets. … Continue reading Include the words “formal” and “casual” at some point in your poem