“hermit crab form”

When Lytton told me this class would be focused on “sources” of poetry, I knew I would really enjoy being a part of this class. I often find myself writing about things I have come across in other readings, or stories I have come across through research. For example, I have a poem about Marilyn Monroe–one of my favorite original pieces. I also have written a piece about Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, both writers during the Second World War; they had a correspondence of love letters throughout the war. I have a poem about a woman who was became pregnant by a wealthy man on the Titanic, written in the voice of their child. From here I will write my list:

1. I love bringing old stories/historical moments (like those I have written about above) back to life.

2. Nature often grabs my attention and I find myself writing about things I see in nature all the time. A few months ago a deer jumped out in front of my car and I have yet to write a piece about it but I REALLY want to. I also am fascinated by fruit and love cutting it up and tossing it in my poetry.

Continue reading ““hermit crab form””

Writing Exercise When You Need a Study Break!

Hey all!
So I’ve been cramming like crazy–as I’m sure most of you are. I was just thinking how I would love to have a little writing exercise to de-stress but that also relates somewhat to material I’m studying. Maybe this can even help you with your studies! (I said maybe, sorry if it doesn’t)

So, the title of your poem will be the class you are studying for. For example, my title will be ENGL 115, as that is what I’m currently working on.

Now randomly select a term on one of your study sheets or assignments–any term!I landed on Wendy Cope’s Poem–From Strugnell’s Sonnets (which is about a male poet who likes getting drunk, and getting women drunk to have sex with him) ((does this count as studying???).

Now you’ve got a title and a first line!

ENGL 115

In Strugnell’s Sonnets I find:

Now list things you would find in whatever term you have chosen!

ENGL 115

In Strugnell’s Sonnets I find:
drunken whispers over rivers,
the rush of blood in cheeks of
ladies who no longer know what they
speak. cheap liquor leaving table
rings, proposals to marriage

While this is pretty shitty, I still had fun writing it and I’m pretty sure I won’t forget what’s happening in Wendy Cope’s poem!!!

Happy Studying!!
(((Lilo loves you all)))

Post Poetry Class Blues

Hi all!
My post today has some mixed poetry-related questions.

I’m already starting to feel sad that the semester is coming to an end. I’m currently in workshop and Doggett’s Understanding Poetry class. I’m going from two poetry classes to none next semester–a lit and fiction workshop. While I’m excited for my new classes, I’m really worried I’ll be crying over the lack of poetry in my life. Do you guys have any suggestions for keeping up with poetry even if you’re not taking any poetry classes? I’d love to stay involved in the poetry world–but I’m so busy it’s hard to keep up even now. I try to go to Poet’s Society but lately I’ve been too busy studying to attend. My friend and I are starting to collaborate on slam poems–which I’m really excited about.

What do you guys do to stay involved in poetry?

I’m also wondering if you all have any advice for someone going from strictly poetry classes to strictly literature and fiction. My brain has been so poetry focused I’m worried that my classes next semester are going to throw off my writing groove.

My last question is have any of you guys performed at Mics and Mochas? I’m thinking about doing some poetry one night but I’ve heard it’s a tough crowd for poetry.

Thanks for your help!

a Note About Different Poetry Views from the Past

Hi all!
I was just thinking about all the different views on poetry that I have been learning in Doggett’s Understanding Poetry class. While you might know some of these, I thought it would be nice to have a post dedicated to them.

Plato: Poets are the worst kind of people because they don’t contribute to society in any way. The imitate other people which isn’t productive, in fact, it’s just plain stupid. Poets are LIARS.

Aristotle: Poets are liars but they are the best kind of liars! They find truth through lying!

Sidney: Poetry is the best because it’s enticing; it delights!!! Philosophy is painful; no one wants to read that shit.


I think it’s really interesting to see how different poetry relates or writes against these different views. For example, Minnie Bruce Pratt specifically writes against canon writers. She even makes references to Plato’s essays in her work. She explains how Plato/Aristotle don’t include lesbian women’s work as poetry because it’s not written by white men that are high in society. Their exclusion of her actually drives her poetry.

Have you guys ever written anything against the canon writers? Or agreeing with them? I think it would be an interesting writing exercise.


Workshops for Next Semester Already?!?!?!?!?!?!

Hi all!
This is my “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO DECIDE WHICH WORKSHOP TO DO NEXT SEMESTER” post. That being said, I believe I’m going to try for fiction next semester. This is my second poetry workshop and while I’d love to take poetry workshops forever, I do think it’s time for a change of pace. I know some of you guys have taken fiction workshops before, I’m just wondering what you thought of them.
My next concern is literary fiction–as you may be aware, I am a romance kind of writer. I’m trying to work romance-y bits into my pieces without having to overtly call them “romance”. How do you guys avoid genre fiction? Are there certain things I should stay away from while writing literary fiction pieces? I would really appreciate any help you guys can give!
Also, I haven’t written fiction in so long. I used to be more of a fiction writer in high school, but college somehow turned me into a poetry person. Any thoughts on this?
I really want to work to be comfortable writing both but right now I’m so poetry focused I don’t want it to hinder my fiction writing.
Thanks guys!

How People View Language Differently

The other day in class we were discussing Adrian Blevins and how he “praises the sentence.” This has made me think a lot about whether or not I believe in the sentence or the line. I think the answer is both–how can I chose one over the other? I create sentences in poetry all the time–not necessarily as much as “lines” per say, but sentences do play a part in poetry. While lines allow for more creativity and format, sentences can be considered lines–can’t they? I feel like I’m not making much sense. But aren’t both of them essential to writing poetry? In my opinion, all sentences are lines but not all lines are sentences.

Later in the article, Blevins talks about how sentences are given meaning every single time we read them, ”
[sentences] take on a whole second, third, or hundredth life, saying many things at once in a multitude of shapes and forms.” Yet in my “Understanding Poetry” class with Doggett, we talk about how words are signifiers in a semantic system. Words don’t actually carry meaning because they signify something different for each person. These conflicting views have made me think a lot about how I view language.

As a creative writer, I like to think that words have meaning. One day in class I believe it was Christy who said the words “molasses sludge” run together. I was questioning that statement–according to Eagleton’s pov–how could the words run together if they don’t actually mean anything–they are just signifiers for a universal “sludge” that no one has ever seen? But in my opinion, they certainly do. I agree that words conjure up different images for different people, but I don’t think words are meaningless.
My AP US teacher always would say “Remember kids, words mean things.” And while that memory brings a smile to my face, I agree that they certainly do.

Geneseo Poet’s Society Meeting!

Hi all!
Today I went to the first official Poet’s Society meeting. Pam and Sara are co-presidents, and it’s really nice to see some familiar faces leading something we (for the most part) love. We did a fun writing prompt–Write about a conversation you’ll never have with someone–and I thought it was very thought-provoking. It actually helped me finish my poem for exercise 3. I took bits of what I had already started and mashed it together with some bits I wrote at the meeting. I have never really mashed poems together like that before, but it was really effective for me. Do you guys find yourselves ever “mashing” snippets of different poems together? If so, why? The ones that I used were unrelated but I filled in the blanks by adding/cutting. I will definitely be doing this again in the future. Interested to hear what you all have to say about this!
Also–anyone interested in meetings should definitely come! I was having a bad case of writer’s block all last week and the meeting really helped get me inspired. The meetings are Saturday at 6 in the Fireside Lounge. Hope to see you poets there!

After Christian Barter’s “Can You”

Hi everyone!
What caught my eye in this poem was the second line when the speaker says he’s “Addicted to the beginnings of relationships” and I found this to be extremely relatable. Dating someone for the first time is exciting; everything is new and fun and light. He prefaces this with “Can you love the dawn and hate the day?” I think the comparison is great because dawn is a prime example of beginning. He then compares new light of day to his first sighting of a woman named Catherine–which I immediately associated with Wuthering Heights although I don’t believe it has anything to do with the poem. The speaker tells readers of the promising look she gave him “before the promises.” The sounds in this poem are very quiet. When the speaker says “[…] still stuck with sweetness to her face in my notebook of pre-day ecstasies” it is clear he spent a lot of time writing about the woman before they were together, and the “s” sounds make the line dream-like. The last five lines of the poem are more dense with imagery than the beginning. There are a lot of “-ing” words in these lines such as “seeping,” “casting,” “opening,” “ending,” and “inkling.” These words give the end of the poem a feeling of floating or slowly drifting, and I believe Barter wanted this effect because he writes about the world opening. The speaker is waiting for love to come to him.

Final Class

Hey guys!

As everyone knows, today was the last class for this semester. I just want to say it’s been a pleasure working with you all. I wrote a lot in my poetic statement about how grateful I am to have had these opportunities. I’m just wondering what everyone is doing over the summer regarding writing? Are you guys writing on your own? Going on writing retreats? Sending work out anywhere? I’m really interested what you all do to pursue writing when you aren’t at school.

Over the summer I try to read as much as possible. Normally I would read as much fiction as possible, but now that I have a new found love for reading poetry I will be reading some of the books people did presentations on.

I always try to write over the summer–one year I wrote 112 pages of a “novel” that was never finished or polished or became anything more than a document on my computer. That being said, do you guys have larger projects you’re working on? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks! See you all for poetic convos on Friday!!


Poetry Slam Hosted by RLK

I recently participated in a poetry slam that was hosted by RLK.  The slam had a topic of “positive body image.”  I recited a poem that was workshopped in class “to love (Marilyn)”.  There is something so incredibly empowering about reciting your own poetry in front of others.  I thought it was a great experience and I would really love some pointers for reciting original poetry.  Do you guys find it hard to show your poetry to others?  I sometimes am not comfortable showing my work to my parents but I don’t mind reciting it to a bunch of strangers.  How do you all feel about sharing your poetry with others?