Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writing your own poems...

You must bring a poem you have written to class tomorrow (Friday, February 12).


Here's what we talked about in class:

Write using a form you've studied: sonnet, villanelle, sestina, etc.
Write modifying a form you've studied.
Write using an invented form.
Think about rhythm (meter, stresses, syllables), sound (rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance), number of lines (per stanza, per poem), acrostics (or double acrostics or mesostics), typography (shape, poem-as-picture, l(a leaf falls)oneliness, font style, font size), repeating or omitting words or letters (anaphora, epistrophe, no words with the letter "e", etc.)


Here are a few other ideas:

Write a poem based on a dream you've had related to your theme. (Or invent a dream related to your theme.) Check out "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and "The Librarian" [scroll down to Reading in Boston, June 1962 #16] for examples of poems based on dreams.

Freewrite for five minutes about your topic. Write whatever you're thinking. Follow the wanderings of the mind. Try to be true to your stream of consciousness. Then, circle ten or fifteen or twenty (or any other number of) words from the stream. Finally, write a poem in which the number of words you've circled determines the number of lines in the poem. Make sure you use at least one of the circled words in each line and make sure you use each circled word at least once. Choose a phrase from one of the poems you've found to be the title.

Start with a line from one of the poems you've found. Write your own poem spinning outward from that line. Your poem might correspond with the line lengths and number of lines of the poem you've borrowed the first line from. (Here are two poems that use this technique: one by Robert Duncan and the other by Lisa Jarnot.)


Here are the directions for the poems you will write for the Personal Poetry Project Anthology (You can read the rest of the directions here).

8. A poem that you have written
containing an allusion
9. A poem that you have written
using a traditional or invented form
10. A poem that you have written
that is a strict, loose, or homophonic translation
11. A poem that you have written
in any form

*note four poems will be "free choice"; these can be poems you have found, written, and/or translated.

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