This week: Using Books to Help With Writing PoetryEdited by: RedWritingHood♡WDC
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One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Every English poet should master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them.
Robert Graves (1895 - 1985)
Using Books to Help With Writing Poetry – From Resources to Prompts and More!
Books. During my childhood they were how I traveled, how I learned and sometimes they inspired adventures and major bouts of creativity.
As I grew, books continued to be a big part of my life, many times the ways listed above, but in other ways to. Today I want to share some ways you can use books to help you with your poetry.
Terms/Forms/Tools (poetic devices): You don’t need to know poetry terms and tools to create good poetry, however having an understanding of them can help you along the way. Knowing about and practicing poetry forms can help you, because the more you practice anything can make you better at it. It can also help you find your own style, your own voice. There are several poetry resources that can educate you on things like poetry terms, forms and tools. Below are some of my favorites.
Red’s Favs: This is not a comprehensive list, but it is a list of my top favorites – Patterns of Poetry by Miller Williams (my first poetry book of this type), The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, the po.e.try dic.tion.ar.y, by Drury, and The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms by Padgett.
Poets/Poetry: Reading about poets and poetry can give you insight, as well as exposure to many styles of poetry. You’ll find the things you like and what you don’t like. When you put both reading poets and poetry with learning terms, tools and forms your understanding multiples significantly.
Red’s Favs: I have lots of favorite poets, but I’ll keep my list to my top five. That would be, in no particular order: Silvia Plath, Langston Hughes, Shel Silverstein, Emily Dickinson, and Edgar Allen Poe.
This section isn’t to negate any other ways to get prompts, only enhance your resource list for prompts.
Prompts: There are a variety of ways to grab prompts from books. You can just grab any book and go to a random page and point to a random sentence, you can use some dice to dictate a random chapter, page and sentence, you can just be reading a book and a sentence sparks an idea you want to explore poetically, or any number of other ways you can think of.
As a prompt: Use a book itself as a prompt. It’s a great way to explore some interesting possibilities. It can be featured or be in passing.
I use journaling more in the second way listed here rather than the first but both are great ways to help with your poetry.
Free Writing: This is where you just start writing. It doesn’t matter what topic, or if you move from one topic to another. It doesn’t have to make sense. Just write.
Idea Keeper: The other way to use a journal would be to jot down your ideas. This can be chunks of poems you are working on but don’t complete for whatever reason, topics you want to explore poetically, or even snippets of lines that come to you. You can even write, and rewrite your poetry in your journal.
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No comments last newsletter, so here's a question: Who are your top three poets?
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