Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make
#71
(04-05-2013, 05:32 AM)Leanne Wrote:  Some very useful advice -- we've probably said it all before but there's always someone who's missed it and reading this might save you some embarrassment.
Quote:Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make
by Juniper Russo
Poets who are new to the world of writing often repeat each other's mistakes. There are five basic "types" of mistakes when it comes to novice poetry, but they can be avoided easily, if you simply enable yourself to detect these mistakes before you make them. This guide can help to remind you to keep on track and put you a few steps ahead of the competition.
Forced Rhyming Poetry
In the woods, there was a tree.
It numbered one, not two or three.

One of the most common mistakes made by beginner poets, strained rhymes sound awful and are ineffective. The above snip of poetry has redundant--"a tree" already makes it clear that the poem is talking about one single tree. It is noticeable that the poet was simply stressing for a rhyming word to fill the second line.
Stop writing and take a break if you find yourself ever going through a list of rhyming words to see what fits, along the lines of, "Let's see, what rhymes with 'cat'? Hat, that, at, bat, mat--okay, I'll find a way to say something about a door mat!"
If you're determined to write rhyming poetry, wait until a rhyme comes naturally. It looks foolish to force a rhyme when one is not coming easily.
Meaningless Poetry

Dark and clear,
Changing,
The world is orange--
I pray for the rabbits
In the meadow
.
Novice poetry is often full of unrelated images and incoherent thoughts. These feeble attempts at surrealism do little-to-nothing to get any kind of informative message across to the reader. While many of the poets who write in this form will defend that their poetry "means whatever you want it to mean", I believe that this is a cop-out from someone unable to write poetry of genuine, significant meaning.
While there is nothing wrong with surrealism, it must be used very carefully and lead to an essential theme or logic. Random strings of unrelated words and thoughts don't read as poetry; they read as nonsense. Poetry should be clear and concise--no reader wants to wade through impenetrable fog.
Woe-is-Me Poetry
I hate my life
My heart has been raped
I want to die
Alone, cold, and afraid.

While it is true that some of the best poetry is written in times of deep despair, a poem's purpose is to shed light on a topic or introduce the reader to a new way of thinking, so it has to be about something more than just feeling sad. Writing about how pitiful your life is will accomplish little to entertain or educate the reader.
It may seem unfair, but no reader really cares that your girlfriend dumped you or that your goldfish died. Crying it out on paper might help to console you, but it will do little to bring you respect or publicity as a writer. Despair has been around since the dawn of humanity, and there are only so many ways to re-word "I am sad."
Ye Olde Language Poetry
Thine argent eyes toucheth my heart
Whilst, yonder, the golden sun doth set.

If a word hasn't been used in common language in three hundred years or more, don't use it. Utilizing outdated words and language patterns does not make you appear educated; it makes you appear stuffy.
Beyond simply sounding outdated, Shakespearean English is very easy for modern poets and writers to misuse. While the mistakes may not be immediately obvious to the reader or poet, they still sound awkward.
Modern English is ever-evolving, but it is complete. Borrowing a word or two that sounds outdated might be useful. Composing an entire poem this way sounds overbearing.
Empty Love-Inspired Poetry
You are prettier than flowers
I could stare at you for hours.
You are sweeter than honey,
And I find your jokes funny.

Not only does the above poetry contain the dreaded forced rhymes discussed previously, but it also says nothing of any significance. While these types of poems, at times, sound beautiful, they are ultimately as empty as "Roses are Red, Violets Are Blue." Often, poems inspired by love--like poems inspired by despair--have no ultimate meaning, beyond expressing ordinary despair or ordinary love.
You, as a poet, are not the first person to have ever been in love. Unless you have something different to say about love than has already been said, no one will have any interest in reading what you've written.
Poetry fails to be interesting unless it says something new. The repetition of cliches should be avoided at all cost.

I so laughed my butt off at this (-:

"Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?" -Vicomte de Valmont, Dangerous Liasons
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by just mercedes - 12-03-2014, 03:49 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by SaddestStates - 03-26-2015, 07:55 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by Raakim - 04-10-2016, 06:49 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by Raakim - 04-11-2016, 12:40 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by kevplunk - 07-25-2016, 05:49 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by Duke Doon - 07-31-2016, 05:47 AM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by Vanity - 08-15-2016, 02:44 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by e_a_g_l_e_p_i - 10-26-2016, 03:56 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by gracekent16 - 10-29-2015, 11:43 AM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by rowens - 04-05-2013, 11:42 PM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by rowens - 04-06-2013, 05:06 AM
RE: Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make - by Castugi - 11-22-2016, 10:19 AM



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