writing poetry and high productivity
#1
I write poetry everyday, more or less. Although my productivity is high, the quality of my poems are less so. The problem is that my poems are short and I'm starting to think if I'm putting little effort in to it. What should I do: write longer poems and shape it more?
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#2
You could try writing longer poems, and then cutting everything that doesn't work. I typically write shorter poems, and sometimes it can take me a week or two (or longer) to write a short poem (or less often, I'll write a poem I like all at once in like 5 minutes). I'll get an idea for a poem and write a stanza I like and then keep coming up with stuff to add on to it and throwing it out until I eventually hit upon something else I like. The length of a poem doesn't indicate how much effort was put into it.

I don't know how much you read, but reading a lot of poetry (or novels or anything really) and seeing what kinds of things work for you and what things don't is probably as useful or more useful to getting better at writing than just writing itself (in my opinion).
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#3
(08-11-2014, 04:03 AM)SonOfAlbania Wrote:  I write poetry everyday, more or less. Although my productivity is high, the quality of my poems are less so. The problem is that my poems are short and I'm starting to think if I'm putting little effort in to it. What should I do: write longer poems and shape it more?

I do a bit of revising, as well as new starts, every day.

Try writing every day, but not necessarily writing a different poem every day, but bring a poem through stages in revisions. While you are working on a poem, do some further reading on its etymology, and explore related literature, history, and Art; painting, sculpting, architecture, etc.

add and take away, rewrite, erase, and go back to the original then rewrite again. Explore the idea in new poems that spring from the work, then come back to the original again.

After hundreds of revisions and thousands of hours of work over the course of several years, post the poem in Serious for workshopping.
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#4
(08-11-2014, 04:03 AM)SonOfAlbania Wrote:  I write poetry everyday, more or less. Although my productivity is high, the quality of my poems are less so. The problem is that my poems are short and I'm starting to think if I'm putting little effort in to it. What should I do: write longer poems and shape it more?

I too have encountered this predicament. You could salvage your favorite bits and pieces of your shorter poems and come up with something. I've done this a couple times and it has worked and at times, it has plummeted. Give it a try.
"Where there are roses we plant doubt.
Most of the meaning we glean is our own,
and forever not knowing, we ponder."

-Fernando Pessoa
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#5
hi SOA

the same as everyone else, read and edit. become more discerning, read some of the feedback that we have on the serious and mild forums within the site. a good poem is a poem whatever it's size. i'd suggest sticking with the shorter medium sized pieces till you think the quality has improved. good edits will help shape it.
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#6
i have shoeboxes full of post-its, scribblings on note paper, quick phrases jotted down on cocktail napkins, etc...

sometimes they turn into long poems that are then pared back to shorter poems. sometimes i write long poems that i then break up into several poems because they just don't work as is or the themes are too broad or disjointed and need to be separated.

and sometimes i just word-vomit onto a page and pick out the best chunks (there's a pleasant image) and save them for another day.

and yeah, what everyone else said: edit, edit, edit. and then edit again. i have poems that are "finished" that i still workshop because no matter how much you might believe you've written the definitive piece of poetry that all other poems will now be judged by, it can always be better. always.

i'd much rather read a 4 line poem that says exactly what it needs to say in those few short lines than a 27 line poem that's full of superfluous baggage.
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#7
I would not worry about length, it's girth that counts in poetry, i.e., the punch to length ratio. Re-visit those short pieces and revise often. Sometimes combining two or three small fry can give enough contrast, comparison or complement for a greater work than the single poems alone may have had.
My new watercolor: 'Nightmare After Christmas'/Chris
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#8
(08-11-2014, 04:03 AM)SonOfAlbania Wrote:  I write poetry everyday, more or less. Although my productivity is high, the quality of my poems are less so. The problem is that my poems are short and I'm starting to think if I'm putting little effort in to it. What should I do: write longer poems and shape it more?

My comments are much the same as those above.


(I began with thirteen wretchedly derivative comments; but none of them, thank the gods, survived the edit.)

almost terse
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