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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.
there are more, 6th could be

thinking you written a great poem...the odds are you haven't Wink
oh, there are many many more Wink
I've often been guilty of 1, 4 and 6. Especially 6.

Mikey.
everyone's guilty of 6
Six doesn't last long.
It's because you insist on couplets.
It's because I insist on words.
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue
i think the articles author hit the nail when she said all those new to writing (poetry in this case) make the same mistakes.
often when such mistakes are pointed out they think a nuke has just landed on their lap Big Grin
i know i went through that phase.

wtf did that bastard just say about my writing...it's full of cliche?
and what does that bitch know......and these feeling of rage carry on for quite a time.

eventually when enough people point the same facts out we get cruisy, start admitting our guilt before we know we've fucked up.

go on, rip it apart, it's okay, or say what you want, i've got a thick skin...then we think
wtf did that bastard just say about my writing...it's full of cliche?
and what does that bitch know......and these feeling of rage carry on for quite a time.

it the stage of "i think i can take critique" in which we're still too thin skinned. we're getting there but just not yet.

eventually we do a bit of reading, not forum poetry but some of the classics, some good quality stuff and it clicks, they were right about cliche and stuff. the next poem they write has 1 maybe two cliche in 20 lines of poetry.
this fact is pointed out in a worsdhop and inside they think.


YES! i'm a poet. they're genuinely happy because they have two instead of 20 they realise that poetry has a lot to do with working, learning and trying to improve, they get it that not everything is good poetry, they start seeing the bad parts in other peoples poetry and try to steer clear of making the same mistakes. they really are poets. they've grown and learnt to take their first steps in the crafting of poetry. they deserve all the kudos you can give them. with luck and some more work, for every three poems they write, 1 will be decent, out of every ten, one will be really good and out of 20 1 will be exceptional. i class myself as still being in the 1st stage but making headway Big Grin

rowens

Leanne, can you introduce me to Juniper Russo, Kathleen Rooney, and Hannah Gamble? Think they'd let me into any of their smarty-pants parties? That's a double entendre, and I commented on the fact that it is. Don't things like that get educated women hot?
Brilliant list.

A potential addition would be "writing poetry without having the foggiest idea what poetry is". When reading some of the poems people put up for critique I often wonder if they've ever actually read any poetry: whether they've actually experienced good poetry and and whether they know what makes it good. Then I feel guilty and ashamed...
(04-06-2013, 12:19 AM)Crepuscule Wrote: [ -> ]Brilliant list.

A potential addition would be "writing poetry without having the foggiest idea what poetry is". When reading some of the poems people put up for critique I often wonder if they've ever actually read any poetry: whether they've actually experienced good poetry and and whether they know what makes it good. Then I feel guilty and ashamed...
Hysterical

It's a mystery for sure.

rowens

I'm still looking to avoid the worst mistakes I might make trying to get in close with Hannah Gamble.
(04-05-2013, 11:42 PM)rowens Wrote: [ -> ]Leanne, can you introduce me to Juniper Russo, Kathleen Rooney, and Hannah Gamble? Think they'd let me into any of their smarty-pants parties? That's a double entendre, and I commented on the fact that it is. Don't things like that get educated women hot?
I suspect they'd have more respect if you introduced yourself in verse.
Dark and clear,
Changing,
The world is orange--
I pray for the rabbits
In the meadow.


Nearly peed the pants after reading that one lol
It actually sounds like an Easter poem to me... as long as the rabbits are Terry's Chocolate Orange...


[Image: befaee9145ad.jpg]

"Pray not for the rabbits in the meadow;
Hope instead, that the rabbits pray for you."
- Elmer Fudd Kennedy

"Consider the rabbits of the meadow, how they multiply;
they dress not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all
his glory was not arrayed as one of these."
- Wabbit 6:28-29




"Dark and clear,
Changing,
The world is orange--
I pray for the rabbits
In the meadow."



Explication:
The orange world is one experiencing global cooling caused
by an excess of dust in the atmosphere that was injected
there by either an asteroid impact, a volcanic eruption,
or an atomic explosion. The lower atmosphere, in these events,
clears fairly quickly; what stays up is the dust in the
upper atmosphere which blocks the sun's radiation.

So we have:
Dark, clear, changing, orange, and the rabbits (being up
shit creek) are INDEED in need of prayers.

This excerpt is NOT meaningless or incoherent; the fault
here lies with the curse of all knowledgeable writers:
stupid fucking readers.

Ray

P.S. The irony that both the 'death sky' and carrots share
the same colour is almost too much to bear.

P.P.S. And yes, discussing its resonance with Easter requires
a thread all its own.

P.P.P.S. Challenge: Write a poem that includes all five.

I don't know why whilst is always singled out. Big Grin
P.P.P.S. Challenge: Write a poem that includes all five.

Challenge accepted!

Your love is
memories of a whale's hips
singing praises beyond your lips
whilst (nod to ella) all the begets us is naught.
I've lost you in a dying sea
whilst I wondered in desert fought.

I shall die now, for there are signs
there is nothing left but sands of time.



PS I think I have written a wonderful poem! Does that mean I've made it to 6? I even included a couple of clich├ęs....just to brighten it up!
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