Poetry Friday: More on Kooser

Last week I was lazy.  I thought about posting for Poetry Friday but then I never got to it.

Chapters 5-7

“Poems do not have to rhyme but rhyming can add to the pleasure of reading.”Rhyming sometimes makes them easier to memorize.”

 Something I hadn’t really given much thought. I generally stay away from rhyming poems.  What I am learning is more about the internal rhyme of a poem.  It always surprises me when I do so one my own.

Kooser compares poetry forms with a package of ham cubes from the local butcher.  Love this paragraph:
“The form of a poem ought to be just that. What’s important, after all, is the ham cubes-that is, the words and images of the poem, not what contains them.  The form ought to fit the poem just like that shrink-wrap, and be just that transparent, so you can look right through the form to the ham.”

Write from the soul and heart, let poems find their shapes and then revise.

Isn’t that great?  It is generally the way I approach writing.  For me, the thoughts and ideas I have usually take shape on their own. And when I try to force the form, it usually hits a dead end.

Prose Poetry: forgoes the tool of line endings, and a line ending is a powerful tool. That open space out there at the end of a line of verse is a kind of punctuation.

This is where I think reading aloud really helps to shape the poem as one can hear where the break naturally lands.

Let the poems age for a few weeks before revising.

I do this constantly.  I am in the process of revising my little photo and haiku book to make those poems be a bit stronger.  I am really trying to let go of the 5-7-5 pattern drilled in my head as a student.

Take care not to get too sentimental, too gushy.

As I was reading this section I kept wondering if my poems were too sentimental, I think not.  I tend to write with spare words. 

 The most timely passages I read this week regarded the use of article in poetry:
“Another stylistic trend in contemporary poetry is to drop articles in an attempt to heighten the energy of the language.”  Kooser goes on to say that such a practice might work or it might make you sound like a robot.

The timeliness of this was amazing.  I received confirmation about a poem to be published in the Haiku Society of America’s member anthology on biodiversity.  Guess what the editor suggested?  That I add “a” to line 2 of my haiku.  Boy, did I have a good chuckle.

Chapter 7 is loaded with tips for revising and editing to guarantee the poem will stand out.

Poetyr Friday will be HERE. Thank you, Irene for hosting us this week.

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