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Should doubt high drift over my love for thee
grey gloomy cloud, disconsolate, strong reign
bleak darkened frown, portend deep misery,
hide hearts resolve, beneath shadowed disdain.

Should you feel, sudden cold breath of gloom,
spate of fear, black scourge upon painted leaf,
quick cruelly fade love, grim in abject doom,
swift eclipse hopes hue, behind shaded grief.

And would unshakable faith, far be blown,
fiercely shook from loose grasp, once so near
wither sweet loves blossom, thus loss bemoan
newly dead splendor, once honored then hear:

Eternally damned shall I rove and cry
Tormented ever to seek how and why.

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Revise Your Poetry!

Revise Your Poetry!

The first completed draft of your poem is only the beginning. Poets often go through several drafts of a poem before considering the work “done.”

To revise:

Put your poem away for a few days, and then come back to it. When you re-read it, does anything seem confusing? Hard to follow? Do you see anything that needs improvement that you overlooked the first time?

Often, when you are in the act of writing, you may leave out important details because you are so familiar with the topic. Re-reading a poem helps you to see it from the “outsider’s perspective” of a reader.

Show your poem to others and ask for criticism. Don’t be content with a response like, “That’s a nice poem.” You won’t learn anything from that kind of response. Instead, find people who will tell you specific things you need to improve in your poem.

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greenHow is originality fostered?

1. By personal difficulties, particularly in childhood, that have been worked through. Analyse and meet these difficulties.

2. By unswerving self-honesty. Ask yourself: is this what you really hoped to write? Could you not dig deeper into the wellsprings of the poem?

3. By starting afresh, expanding your repertoire with new techniques and new themes.

4. By pacing yourselves, drawing up timetables of writing that extend and build on previous accomplishments.

5. By working in related fields: writing novels, short-stories, articles: particularly where these unlock new perspectives and energies.

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j0439466[1]Vocabularies not only reflect interests and fashions, but must be broadly effective in a contemporary setting.

1. That is the argument against poeticisms and out-of date words like thee, ’tis, maiden.

2. Words never possess wholly transparent meanings, but in the more affective poetry their latent associations, multiple meanings, textural suggestions and rhythmic power are naturally given freer rein.

3. The touchstone is always the intended audience. “Word too familiar, or too remote, defeat the purpose of a poet,” said Johnson, and that observation remains true, as much for traditionalists writing inside a poetic tradition as for others trying to kindle poetry out of naked experience.

4. Place your poems alongside others in magazines or anthologies in which you’d like to be included. If they don’t fit, one reason may be your word choice.

5. Perform your poems in workshops and readings. Pay attention to the reception and to comments afterwards.

6. If in doubt, err on the side of everyday usage, even if it means spoiling the odd line.

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Away This Blight

Sadness of Gaïa

hotly blinding your tearful gaze
this solemn haunting eulogy plays
deep in your heart staunchly stays

echoing empty in the soul it plays
circles lonely at my feet and bays
it shadows darker more dreary days

corrodes the mind in so many ways
rots the soul until my hope decays
you terribly trap me within a maze

a simple stroke of pen makes right
forever casts cruel hatreds might
so into depths from which it came
then only dreams and smiles remain

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Everywhere

Shelly Beach - night

Image by dazza17 - DJ via Flickr

warm wind
humid heat
setting sun
loves meet

colored clouds
sparkling skies
mauve moon
love sighs

hopes heart
solemn souls
deep depths
love grows

ragged reefs
barren beaches
smooth sands
love teaches

bold beauty
mellow mind
witty woman
love rhyme.

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William Wordsworth, the subject of the poem. P...

Image via Wikipedia

by Karen Miner (guest blogger)
Rummaging through poetry’s tool box we find lots of tools to help us express ourselves originally. Previously I discussed the use of metaphor; today let’s explore another tool – “simile.”

The Britannica Concise encyclopedia defines simile as: “an explicit comparison between two different things, actions, or feelings, using the words ‘as’ or ‘like’, as in Wordsworth’s line: “I wandered lonely as a cloud.”

Metaphors differ from similes in that the two objects are not compared, but treated as identical: The phrase “The snow was a blanket over the earth” is a metaphor. Contrast the previous metaphor with this simile: “The snow lay soft as a down comforter upon the ground.” It would be difficult to read the works of the masters without finding examples of simile within some of his/her poems. A common example is:

A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

O my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

The similes shout for attention! Love is like a rose, love is like a melody…a simple thought and yet Mr. Burns burrowed into immortality with such simple tools as similes. How then can we expand our writing using simile as a unique fingerprint on our own poetry? A simple exercise is to begin by choosing the noun that indicates your poem’s theme. Let’s try it together. Assume we are writing about a tsunami.

Noun: Tsunami. With me? Great! Now let your mind roam…what are some words a tsunami elicits? Don’t over-think it; quick! Sudden, Water, Rushing, Fear, Screams. Good! Now expand those words to similes: Sudden as a sneeze, Water tall as trees, Screams exploding like bombs, Rushing like a linebacker.

You’ve assimilated the common descriptive words used for a tsunami, sculpted them, and molded a personal framework upon which to hang the rest of your poem. Give it a try…get wild and weird. Go where the reader least expects! Please share your experience with simile, offer an example from your own work, or just say hello!

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