Most people are not taught how to read poetry. Sure, everyone gets required reading in school, but what is an average 14 year going to make of e. e. cummings’ “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” while waiting for the class to end?
When writing poems, one should avoid all forms of clichés. However, sometimes the form itself can be a cliché.
Take Victorian poetry (and keep it.)
I have rambled on about what poetry is, isn’t, and what it should be. But I have never gotten around to talking about how to write it or how to become a poet.
I am going to try to take care of that with as little crying as possible.
Please note: I did not say that there would be no crying.
And so we land at the crime he is most famous for. The poem that killed poetry. “Ars Poetica.” In this poem, MacLeish’s thesis is a poem is a waste of time and one shouldn’t even bother with it. And with his poetry he comes SO CLOSE to proving this theory!
QUESTION: When do you as a writer decide that a work is finished?
I am still going on my second pass on the novel. I have jumped around as needed. Second drafts are writing triage. I have to decide what can be saved and what isn’t worth the time to fix.
What I have to beware of is constant polishing. There will come a point where I have to “abandon” my novel. That isn’t to say that I am quitting. It means that I have to declare it “finished” and move on to my many other projects.