In looking through my poetry from this semester, I find it very interesting to see what pieces have developed from the weekly exercises. A lot of the time when I would do these exercises, I would get an idea of what to write, but the poem would develop into something totally different by the end. I even felt weird about submitting it as an exercise sometimes because it changed so much throughout the writing process. Sometimes the poems ended up having nothing to do with the initial exercise by the time I was ready to submit them. I guess I felt the need to take advantage of what inspired me rather than following guidelines more closely. Did anyone else have this experience? Or do I just have issues following instruction?

Swearing in Poems?

So, while working on my portfolio, I came across this sudden feeling that the specific poem that I was working on needed to have a curse in it! That’s never happened to me before! In the past, I’ve always been worried about curses in my own writing and I’ve been skeptical of it in other peoples’ work. I guess it’s because we are trained to write poems that are “poetic;” poems that “sound and look beautiful.” Curses, I suppose, can detract from this sense of beauty and “poeticism.” I used to feel as if curses took the reader out of a poem–a curse is just so loud even without italics, or bold, or an exclamation point. So my question to all of you is: what do you feel about curses in poems? Have any of you ever used curse words (and if none of you are super shy about it, could you quote the line(s) with the curse(s) in it)?

Stuck in Revision

Well, here we are: we’re getting down to the last few days before our portfolio is due. Ever the procrastinator, I have (naturally) left my biggest problem pieces for the final two days; I keep hoping that maybe if I wait another day, my Poetry Brain will be more awake/better/have a sudden flash of genius that will allow me to get some significant work done on these pieces. Of course, that isn’t how it’s going. I’m so stuck. I’ve been sitting & staring at a blinking cursor for cumulative hours at this point. Revision is such a tricky little mistress; sometimes, it flows so easily that I almost wonder why I didn’t put this into a poem in the first place. But sometimes, I wonder how I even got to the draft that I have. I do have a few tricks for when I’m really, well-&-truly stuck. First, the obvious: I think I’ve memorized some of the comments on my poems from re-reading them so much. Sometimes, I do an exercise to push past the block:  I take the last line as it is & write something new out of that. I completely un-break the poem, edit to make it do what I want without the benefit of line breaks or white space, and then re-break it.  Or, I step entirely away from the piece: do other homework, make dinner, go for a walk, waste some time on the internet for a bit. So far, all my usual tricks are coming up dry. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this slump right now, so I figured we may as well try to get an “anti-writers-block list” going, because we’re all on a deadline now. What do you all do when you have a horrifically stubborn poem, or when your brain seems to actually shut itself off but you have so much left to do?

Creative Intersections

Hey fellow poets!

So as the semester ends and we have time again to pursue our interests, I’ve been wondering what we’re all going to be up to. We’re all poets, but our creative talents and skills are not limited to poetry. There’s a world of writing, music, art, and other such things that we’re involved in, and I want to hear about what other kinds of creative endeavors you all are into, and how one creative outlet may influence the other(s).

For me, I like to make art on the side when I have a free minute, and I’m also into slam poetry. I like to tell stories, so I think this is evident in my artwork. Often I’ll make a drawing and will have an entire story of what significance every little detail has and how they all come together to tell a story. Every once in a while, I’ll also try my hand at fiction writing, but I feel as though I get so caught up in the language and imagery of the writing that I have difficulty ever completing my stories.

What about you? I know many of you like to draw or take pictures, or are involved in music and other fields of writing entirely, so let me know!

In the meantime, I hope your summers are all filled with creative things and beaches and mangoes and fantasy novels and hammocks and happiness.