Five Common Mistakes That Novice Poets Make
#21
Good list. The first example is great.

in the wood there was a tree.
It numbered one, not two or three.


Obviously the forced rhyme, but there is something a bit self aware about it, which makes it sound deliberately silly, as if the rest will be something like...

But is it right or fair or good,
a single tree should be a wood?

Oh dear, that's all over the place... But you get the pointSmile or not... I don't know.
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#22
For a short while before I came here, I was posting on a forum in the UK. I was dismayed to see poem after poem getting nothing but praise, so I started to offer real critiques, which got more than a few people upset. Curiously, it was the poets who seemed to have the most talent who rejected all my suggestions.

A woman of 24 posted an I-love-you-madly type poem in which she said something like "nothing you say or do could make me stop loving you". The poem had good meter and rhyme, and it was clear and structured well, so I praised her for what was good. But then I commented that her feelings for her boyfriend might change if he dumped her or started dating her best friend. I then closed my critique on what I thought was a positive note by saying that with a little more life experience she would probably start writing really good poetry. Well, she got very offended by what I said, saying that her age had nothing to do with her ability, and she was writing what she "felt". The other forum members then came to her defense, piling on the usual praise. That was when I decided it was time to find another forum!
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#23
(04-30-2014, 09:48 PM)Caleb Murdock Wrote:  For a short while before I came here, I was posting on a forum in the UK. I was dismayed to see poem after poem getting nothing but praise, so I started to offer real critiques, which got more than a few people upset. Curiously, it was the poets who seemed to have the most talent who rejected all my suggestions.

A woman of 24 posted an I-love-you-madly type poem in which she said something like "nothing you say or do could make me stop loving you". The poem had good meter and rhyme, and it was clear and structured well, so I praised her for what was good. But then I commented that her feelings for her boyfriend might change if he dumped her or started dating her best friend. I then closed my critique on what I thought was a positive note by saying that with a little more life experience she would probably start writing really good poetry. Well, she got very offended by what I said, saying that her age had nothing to do with her ability, and she was writing what she "felt". The other forum members then came to her defense, piling on the usual praise. That was when I decided it was time to find another forum!

Yep, well, this is a biggy. Comment ON THE POETRY not the POET. You do not know when veracity-verse is posted so ALWAYS assume it is fiction. Treating it thus often pisses off the emos who WANT you to talk about them...gawd save us all.
Best,
tectak
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#24
(04-30-2014, 09:48 PM)Caleb Murdock Wrote:  For a short while before I came here, I was posting on a forum in the UK. I was dismayed to see poem after poem getting nothing but praise, so I started to offer real critiques, which got more than a few people upset. Curiously, it was the poets who seemed to have the most talent who rejected all my suggestions.

A woman of 24 posted an I-love-you-madly type poem in which she said something like "nothing you say or do could make me stop loving you". The poem had good meter and rhyme, and it was clear and structured well, so I praised her for what was good. But then I commented that her feelings for her boyfriend might change if he dumped her or started dating her best friend. I then closed my critique on what I thought was a positive note by saying that with a little more life experience she would probably start writing really good poetry. Well, she got very offended by what I said, saying that her age had nothing to do with her ability, and she was writing what she "felt". The other forum members then came to her defense, piling on the usual praise. That was when I decided it was time to find another forum!

Caleb, If you establish yourself as a workshop, as we do, folks accept good critique and modify their poem accordingly. If your poetry site is a vanity one, most are hesitant to accept or respond to recommendations from their peers.

By the way, there are more poetry tips on the sidebar by Collin Ward that are most useful for identifying those common mistakes and avoiding them. Welcome to the site. Cheers/Chris
My new watercolor: 'Nightmare After Christmas'/Chris
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#25
(04-30-2014, 10:47 PM)ChristopherSea Wrote:  Caleb, If you establish yourself as workshop, as we do, folks accept good critique and modify their poem accordingly. If your poetry site is a vanity one, most are hesitant to accept or respond to recommendations from their peers.

By the way, there are more poetry tips on the sidebar by Collin Ward that are most useful for identifying those common mistakes and avoiding them. Welcome to the site. Cheers/Chris

Thanks to both of you.

No, this was not a vanity site. It was a normal forum, very similar to this one. I was there long enough to find out that it started out as a forum for suicide-prone young people, but it had evolved into a regular forum. It does seem to me that it is okay to say something like, "You're young and your poetry will get better as you age", or something like that. Actually, I went back there, and how I closed the critique was, "You are young, and perhaps all you need is a little life experience to write something really good." I was trying to be positive.

By the way, how many posts do I have to make before I can start a thread? I've looked at the rules, and they don't seem to say.
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#26
(05-01-2014, 12:10 AM)Caleb Murdock Wrote:  
(04-30-2014, 10:47 PM)ChristopherSea Wrote:  Caleb, If you establish yourself as workshop, as we do, folks accept good critique and modify their poem accordingly. If your poetry site is a vanity one, most are hesitant to accept or respond to recommendations from their peers.

By the way, there are more poetry tips on the sidebar by Collin Ward that are most useful for identifying those common mistakes and avoiding them. Welcome to the site. Cheers/Chris

Thanks to both of you.

No, this was not a vanity site. It was a normal forum, very similar to this one. I was there long enough to find out that it started out as a forum for suicide-prone young people, but it had evolved into a regular forum. It does seem to me that it is okay to say something like, "You're young and your poetry will get better as you age", or something like that. Actually, I went back there, and how I closed the critique was, "You are young, and perhaps all you need is a little life experience to write something really good." I was trying to be positive.

By the way, how many posts do I have to make before I can start a thread? I've looked at the rules, and they don't seem to say.

You need to make 5 helpful critiques outside the newly registered forum in order to start threads outside the newly registered.forum.

As.far as poetry getting better as you age? That is almost pure poppycock. As far as I know, Yeats is the only poet considered to have improved with age after his development period.
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#27
(05-01-2014, 12:40 AM)milo Wrote:  You need to make 5 helpful critiques outside the newly registered forum in order to start threads outside the newly registered.forum.

As.far as poetry getting better as you age? That is almost pure poppycock. As far as I know, Yeats is the only poet considered to have improved with age after his development period.

I'm talking about maturing. Most poets do indeed improve from 20 to 30. At 20 I had written nothing good. At 30, I had written several good poems. Now, at 63, I have a facility with words that is better than it was at 45.

Can I put a URL to a web site in my signature?
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#28
I mostly practiced the top three. I think it's easy to write meaningless poetry. You forget early on that subtext and what you're feeling doesn't convey to the page--you need solid imagery to do that. I think the woe is me poetry is mostly just tell not show crap.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#29
I still get tripped by all five. The only one I don't fall into is billy's 6th. I may be a subpar poet, but even I'm not that stupid (usually). Big Grin
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#30
(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.

Thy rules art
fools for,
as all rules are;

roses red be
violets blue be
art is art is art ...

anything else?
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#31
Quote:... The repetition of cliches should be avoided at all cost.


    Yes, never look a dead horse in the mouth twice.

almost terse
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#32
I'm probably going to steal that ray. just thought you should know.
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#33
Quote by milo a few posts back:

"As.far as poetry getting better as you age? That is almost pure poppycock. As far as I know, Yeats is the only poet considered to have improved with age after his development period."

I have to disagree. I've been writing poetry since 8. From 8-14 was the forced rhyme crap plentiful with clichés. From then to about 19 was the woe-is-me crap. It was all crap until around 19 when I got married.

all along this journey I have had many things published, and probably not due to their merit.

I'm most proud of my work the last 20 years.

so neeners, mr milo.

love ya,

melicious the vulture ....................
you'll never see me coming, dammit.
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#34
(11-23-2014, 01:52 AM)bena Wrote:  Quote by milo a few posts back:
"As.far as poetry getting better as you age? That is almost pure poppycock. As far as I know, Yeats is the only poet considered to have improved with age after his development period."
I have to disagree.  I've been writing poetry since 8.  From 8-14 was the forced rhyme crap plentiful with clichés. From then to about 19 was the woe-is-me crap.  It was all crap until around 19 when I got married.  
all along this journey I have had many things published, and probably not due to their merit.
I'm most proud of my work the last 20 years.  
so neeners, mr milo.
love ya,
melicious the vulture ....................
you'll never see me coming, dammit.
personal anecdotes always make for bad scientific data.
1. Your "last 20 years" most likely encompasses parts of a poet's "prime" years (23-39)
2. You are probably not the best judge of your own work.
3. You might be an exception (an outlying data point more than 2 standard deviations from the mean)
4. You are making an unfair comparison.  If 20 year old mel had the same tool set she would probably write the pants off you.
Try comparing some famous poets' "post 40 work" to their early work and you will see it isn't even a fair comparison.
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#35
"4. You are making an unfair comparison. If 20 year old mel had the same tool set she would probably write the pants off you.
Try comparing some famous poets' "post 40 work" to their early work and you will see it isn't even a fair comparison."

MEH~!~~~~

I have to be in my prime because even though I finished college waaaaay early...and was double major in music and nursing....my writing still sucked.

Approximately in age I'm around 78.....so yeah well possibly in my prime as you say, I've learned much over the years.

My brain was way better back then.

My poetry, probably not.
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#36
i improved to the point where i can use a spell checker, spot an odd (not a funny one) cliche, and don't start every line with a cap.

it makes for mediocre poetry but at least i'm a handsome bastard.
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#37
Here is a guide for revising poetry that I thought might be relevant to this thread that novices could use as a guide https://9mousai.com/how-to-revise-poetry/
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#38
TS Eliot wrote his Four Quartets at 52. They are - for me - his best work. He lived for another two decades, but wrote nothing as good in them. He also wrote The Wasteland at 34. It was good, but not as good as what came after.
But more generally, poets are at their prime in their mid 20s to late 30s, when they've got more testosterone in their bodies. After that, it's just a lot of monotonous whingeing about how their hands are growing thin.
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#39
(01-28-2020, 07:18 PM)busker Wrote:  But more generally, poets are at their prime in their mid 20s to late 30s, when they've got more testosterone in their bodies. After that, it's just a lot of monotonous whingeing about how their hands are growing thin.

All those poor female poets with too much testosterone...
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
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