Mechanical Poetry; Part Two

What do you do when you want to write poetry? I hope your answer is "I start writing." Even writing a bad poem is better than waiting for the "right words." You can always throw it away, and the process has begun. You'll start to find the words sooner than if you had just waited. Here are some more ways to get started.

Sing A Poem

Try a little experiment - alone in the basement if you must. Describe something, then describe it again, singing instead of talking. You'll notice the words you use change. Your sentences will generally be more rythmic. It is also easier to rhyme when you are singing.

Singing comes from the right side of the brain. This is the side that handles pattern-recognition. When you sing, you access this part of your brain, and you'll get ideas or patterns of words that are difficult for your analytical left-brain to create. Try it.

Start With Poetic Materials

You can create poetry by listing words most likely to result in decent poems. Look for emotional content, for example. "Love" and "worship" have more poetic potential than "like," right? Scan a book, pick out powerful words, and write them down. You may want to write words that rhyme with them alonside. Then start using them.

Say something dramatic, like "I sing of death," or "Your eyes called out." Try to let it come from somewhere deep inside you. Then start explaining what it might mean. This will almost certainly give you material for a poem.

Play with short verses, long verses, rhyming and non-rhyming poems. Try haiku. Try writing down your thoughts as fast as you can, without stopping. Don't worry about quality at this point. You just need to get that creative mind working. Then, when you find gems in all the dirt, you can start polishing them.

Steve Gillman has been playing with poetry for thirty years. He and his wife Ana created the game "Deal-A-Poem," which can be accessed for free at: http://www.dealapoem.com

In The News:

Intimidated by verse? ‘Don’t Read Poetry’ explores how to enjoy poems.  Christian Science MonitorStephanie Burt entices readers into an appreciation of poetry by demystifying the act of poetry reading.
Paul Simon, Alice Quinn honored by Poetry Society of America  Fox NewsPaul Simon doesn't care much for requests, but he might ask you to sing along. The singer-songwriter's latest honor came from the Poetry Society of America, ...
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Jim Harrison’s Essential Poetry  National ReviewIn the spring of 1956, the popular poet and critic John Ciardi, *fresh* off his iconic translation of The Inferno, became the poetry editor of Saturday Review.
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Mayor John Dailey reads favorite poem at Big Bend Poets meeting  Tallahassee.comBig Bend Poets and Writers hosted Mayor John Dailey Tuesday evening, June 11.
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The Last Word review – young artists speak truth to poetry  The GuardianThis festival gives voice to up-and-coming performers, from poetry slam winner Rakaya Esime Fetuga to the painfully funny Jack Rooke.
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The Making of Poetry by Adam Nicolson review – when Coleridge met the Wordsworths  The GuardianThis investigation into the birth of the Romantic movement is the perfect marriage of poetry and place.
Andrew McMillan interview: ‘Retired women tell me the most intimate details about their sex lives’  Telegraph.co.ukThis week a small number of voters will choose a name for the history books, in an election race that has, in past years, been plagued by in-fighting and scandal.
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DREAMFINDERS: Sophie Jo Talks Writing Disney Parks Poetry and Her...  wdwnt.comSophie Jo chats with Nathan about writing Disney parks poetry, her first experience in Phantom Manor, and how Disney makes her happy cry.
Les Murray's memorial largely celebrated in his own words  Sydney Morning HeraldIt was Les Murray who insisted that his own poetry should stand on its own merits, without the need for mediation. So the first state memorial *service* given to a ...
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Poetry and art collide, cascade in new Artworks exhibition  Loveland Reporter-HeraldFrom provocative paintings to soothing sculptures, Artworks Loveland has developed a deserved reputation for being a place to see the newest visual creations ...
ICC World Cup 2019 | Dhawan Tweets Philosophical Poetry to Keep Spirits Up After Injury Blow  News18Having been ruled out of at least India's next two matches of the World Cup after picking up a thumb injury, Shikhar Dhawan took a philosophical and poetic view ...
Kitchen Sync partners with arts council for monthly poetry open mic  Denton Record ChronicleThe Greater Denton Arts Council has partnered with Kitchen Sync to present a monthly open mic at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center.
Kate Tempest interview: ‘Poet Laureate? That obviously wouldn’t appeal to me’  Telegraph.co.ukFor a poet whose work never shies away from hard truths and often exposes her deepest vulnerabilities, Kate Tempest can be extremely guarded.
The Life of Forgotten Poet Letitia Elizabeth Landon  JSTOR DailyThe newly published biography L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated “Female Byron,” written by literary critic ...
Going Home With Ocean Vuong  The AtlanticHe's best known as an award-winning young poet, and he's now getting attention for his novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. But I first knew him as a ...
Detroit poet's latest work is an Afrofuturistic world of poetry, dance, and techno music  Michigan Radiojessica Care moore is an award-winning poet and activist who grew up in Detroit. This week, she returns to her hometown to debut a unique performance.
Bill Murray Helps Honor Waldman and Whitman at 24th Annual Poetry Walk  Bedford + BoweryAfter 24 years, the Poetry Walk Over the Brooklyn Bridge has become a literary tradition in New York City, and it was especially significant this year because of ...
Poetry about intense heat, the unsaid and an orang-utan in a suit  The Irish TimesReviews of poetry collections by Pat Boran, Moya Roddy and Anne Casey.
Lana Del Rey shares new poetry on Instagram  The FADERLana Del Rey recently shared that some of her poetry will be featured in the latest issue of Vogue Italia.
Poets with a cause  India TodayMultilingual poets and slam poetry sessions are spawning a new sub-culture in the city and taking up contemporary issues.
‘Don’t Read Poetry’ is a literary manual for the Instagram era  The Washington PostStevie Smith, best known for her macabre short poem “Not Waving but Drowning,” could have furnished an alternative title for Stephanie Burt's guidebook “Don't ...
Logan student receives nation's highest honor for youth poets  Cache Valley DailyTaylor Fang has been keeping a secret for several months and she's “super excited” to finally be able to share the good news. The 17-year-old Logan High ...
The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and their Year of Marvels by Adam Nicolson  Financial TimesA new kind of literary biography relives the 'year of poetic marvels' that Wordsworth and Coleridge spent in Somerset.
Sights and Sounds: poetry at the UCD Festival  The Irish TimesPoetry jukebox features 10 poets reading a poem of their own and one by a precursor.
Long life and poetry  Illinois TimesI recently sat down with John and Peg Knoepfle at their residence in Hickory Glen to ask questions about their life experiences, both personal and literary.
Writers Read: Upcoming event features new poetry by Armand Brint  Ukiah Daily JournalThe leading headline. in Thursday's local paper reads,. “Hay Truck Overturns.” The article- which appears above the fold—. includes a photo of stacked bales.
Ted Kooser's 'American Life in Poetry' (June 16) | Living  Omaha World-HeraldHere's a fine poem about a loving, attentive father, by Elise Hempel, who lives in Illinois. Notice how deftly she's placed her rhymes so that we scarcely notice ...
Budget 2019: When finance ministers invoked poetry to make budget speech lively  The Financial ExpressUnion Budget 2019 India: Budget speeches are generally seen to be long and mundane as these are usually higher on numbers and policy initiatives.
West Chester’s star-studded poetry meetup has a new twist: Cheap tix for schoolteachers  The Philadelphia InquirerThe West Chester University Poetry Conference is one of the country's biggest and best regarded. Along with reaching out to teachers and students, the ...
Poet Gregory Orr Has Been Teaching 'How to Save Your Life' for Four Decades  UVA TodayThis moment represents a true sea change for our Creative Writing Program,” one of retiring English professor Gregory Orr's students said recently. “Greg is the ...
Rare seventeenth century poetry manuscript at risk of export  GOV.UKManuscript of works by the poet John Donne is at risk of being lost abroad unless a UK buyer can step in to save it.
Poet Kabir Das was the original Insta poet and you cannot tell me otherwise  DailyOLong before Rupi Kaur, Lang Leav and other Instagram poets, Kabir Das was the poetic force that popularized the style.
Poetry & Playlists: 2 Poems by Emily Brown  scalawagmagazine.orgApocalyptically quiet, Emily Brown's poems make demands of the reader and the world.
Retired law enforcement officer turns to poetry  LocalNews8.comWhile most people enjoy retirement by traveling or catching up on reading, other's get a creative spark. That describes one Pocatello man who enjoys writing ...
He Hears America Singing Guns N’ Roses  The New York TimesIn “Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems,” Campbell McGrath celebrates chain restaurants, rock music and the joyful raucous stupidity of pop culture.
The Making of Poetry by Adam Nicolson, review: a Romantic year with the dandy and the slob  Telegraph.co.ukAdam Nicolson is admirably qualified to write about Wordsworth and Coleridge, the founders of English Romanticism.
'until I am' wins 2019 Georgia Poet Laureate's Prize for Marietta teen  SaportaReportBy David Pendered. This year's teen winner of the Georgia Poet Laureate's Prize explores questions of self that respond directly to Henri Cole, another ...
Victoria poet Eve Joseph recalls her journey to winning Griffin prize  Times ColonistWinning the Griffin Poetry Prize — the biggest cash prize for poetry in Canada — felt just like having her first poem accepted for publication, says Vic West's Eve ...
Caterpillar Poetry Prize: a Wonder-pudderful win for Andrew Weale  The Irish TimesThe Caterpillar Poetry Prize, an annual award of €1,000 for the best unpublished poem written by an adult for children (aged 7-11), was judged this year by one ...
Loveland Today: Thunderstorms coming, weekend story roundup (plus, submit your poetry)  Loveland Reporter-HeraldGood morning, Loveland! Thunderstorms! According to the National Weather *Service*, Loveland has a few thunderstormy days ahead. Today, a 50 percent ...
Two writers to be awarded $65K Griffin Poetry Prize at Toronto gala  CityNewsTORONTO — Some of the biggest names in Canadian literature will come together tonight to see which two writers will win the lucrative Griffin Poetry Prize.
Finding your inner poet — beer might help  The Local Ne.wsElizabeth Gordon McKim has invited the public to attend her poetry workshop, “Sounding the Stone: finding your poem,” July 2 at 6 p.m.. To help release creative ...
Eve Joseph wins $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize  The Globe and MailEve Joseph is the Canadian winner of the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize. The Victoria-based writer received the honour at a Toronto gala on Thursday for Quarrels, ...
The Poetry to the People tour brings renowned poets to deliver readings outside Carnegie Library  PGH City PaperOn Sat., June 15, visitors to Carnegie Library's main branch will find collections of books to borrow not only inside the building but outside of it. The Poetry to the ...
Sixty seconds on . . . poetry  The BMJBMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l2405 (Published 05 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2405. Linked BMJ Opinion. Richard Smith: A book of ...
Young Chicago Authors’ Louder Than A Bomb Poets to Perform at Pitchfork Music Festival 2019  Pitchfork15 poets from Chicago's youth poetry festival will perform their work in between sets at the Blue Stage.

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