If only it were this easy...
Sometimes it is
For some poets I think poetry writing is very simple. The barriers we create as Charles has described in his article, are artificial to some poets. As he admits, many of the obstacles to writing poetry can be overcome by merely defining one's goals.
I don't think that it is a skill that can be learned, like accountancy
I don't think that it is a skill that can be
learned, like accountancy
This is funny, as an senior accountant working for a CPA firm (www.novoco.com) I would agree with Johnny. Accounting can be learned/taught to just about any monkey. As a former 7-year student employee for the Department of English at my university (www.kennesaw.edu) - I would conclude from both observations that reguardless of your background or training - unless you have personality and raw talent, you won't succeed with either.
I probably can weed out poor accountants as well as many here can weed out lesser poets.
At the end of the day, however I am still an accountant who enjoys computer science and poetry.
Just my random 2 cents. Rudy was enjoying reading (and presumably re-reading many times) JohnnySansCulo's posting so much he emailed it to me so I could reply!
Thanks Aaron, glad you enjoyed (and Rudy too)
You raise an interesting point. Initially I was going to further state that I consider my lack of musical talent to be the result of lacking the manual dexterity in order to play an instrument properly.
Upon reflection, I relaized that certainly a computer can be programmed to "play" a piece of music flawlessly, but would lack, as you say "personality and raw talent"
The poet is a man who lives at last by watching his moods. An old poet comes at last to watch his moods as narrowly as a cat does a mouse.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for August 28, 1851 (1906).)
Be wary of any enterprise that requires new clothes.
- Henry David Thoreau
Remember the movie "The Island of Dr. Thoreau" where he changes all the animals into civilly disobedient people?
"Dr. Who?" [www.dwwa.net] />
I met one of the Dr Who's
To me one finds out who they are, generally, rather early in life. Children dabble in many things and, even if adults do not recognize a talent, generally, children know. My poetry experiments began in high school. There was no positive feedback, but I knew the dabblings had merit, elemental though they may be.
Today, usually, a poem inspiration comes from something experienced, read or heard - something that perks my immagination. The dabblings begin and I see how it evolves - tweak, polish, refine - then let it sit for a while. If read later and feel, Did I Write This? it is given to someone else to read. For me rhyming comes easy, so it is mostly that rather than free verse.
Begin dabbling around soething that peaks your interest. At this point don't worry too much about technical aspects. See what evolves; maybe what comes out will be a new poetic form. Generally, what works, works. Post it here; I can not speak for the others, but I will be gentle...
Ah, here, something I found by Haldorn Flamergushen (1818)
Oh, hark the aspiring Poet
Fame beaconds if the don't blow it.
Thank you Elliot
While I have not seen my work in pint (other than school lit mags) I do work daily at my poetry. I am currently taking an independent study with poet David Dodd Lee, who really knows how to push me to write something I didn't know was in me. I think the challange of it all is deciding how serious one wants to be about it. I often ponder setting out for publication, then life gets the best of me and I chalk it up to hobby or something, but every now and then that urge to do more and be more creeps up. I don't want to be at the end of my life and wonder what if.
I think that those who are born to write, write. If you've got something to say, then you're going to have to say it. You can get better, as you're learning, but either you have that need to create or you don't. (I'm on the 'don't' side- love to read, see no need to write!)
Pam is right. ‘Tis been said that writers can not - not write and painters can not - not paint. If one has to push oneself to do it, likely it is not a natural talent.
As for publishing, just trying to get published is a full time job. The problem is that agents, publishers and booksellers have 10 times the amount of work they can publish or sell. They only look for new material when an author “ages out”, or becomes inactive. There is so much material on their ‘slush pile’ that they only dig deep enough to replace an author, not further for someone who is exceptional. They are also aware that the public is not terribly sophisticated, so being really good can be a minus, because the market for fledgling Faulkners of the world is very limited. For example (a must read), E. Annie Proulx (THE SHIPPING NEWS, ACCORDION CRIMES, etc.) is very lucky to be published; her sales are likely also in the pits; they can not publish too many like her because they would go broke. Another must read is Jack London’s MARTIN EDEN, perhaps his best work, but you would not know it from the sales; semi autobiographical; satirical in the over all story line; the trials of a fledgling author.
In the late 90's, I published MUSEUM OF DREAMS, by Roger Granet (still available at Amazon), one of the better free verse poets. Thought there was some newspaper publicity, and as touted on the jacket, Granet previously has had published A WORLD IS A SMALL TOWN, has had 100 poems published in the NY TIMES, plus many magazines, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc., would not even look at it. There were no delusions that it would rise to become best seller, but having NO bookseller pick it up shows how dismal sales are for poetry. Distributors like Bookazine and Baker & Taylor will include your item in their promotions - for a stiff fee. Success in publishing either as a publisher or author takes deep pockets and an eternity of patience.
The vast majority of published authors have some sort of inside track; a friend of a friend and the like; most do not have an “open” submission policy; they have enough material from existing authors and agents, looking further is viewed as non productive. If one knows someone who is “connected”, he may able to get and agent or publisher at least give it a read; circumventing the slush pile is the trick that increases one’s chances. The “system” is one of the reasons there is so much junk; agents/publishers/booksellers can not see the trees for the forest.
What one might do is accumulate a body of work, enough for perhaps several books; diversify - fiction, short story, biography, etc.;find out where agents and publishers hang out; become a writer groupie; attend workshops, writers camps, etc.; see if you can get to know several published authors and agents; some progressive agents “scout” various groups; if one of them happens to fall head over heels for your work, you may have a shot. While some circulation is good at this stage, poetry cafes and the like, for now, Talia, write for yourself; consider it therapy or something; until you have a good body of diversified work and a few devotes, do not even dream of being published; then - set out, on a full scale campaign, writer’s camps, etc., to get published.
There are several scams to avoid: unless by a “known” publisher (which never happens), notices for open submissions are likely by people who will review your work - for a fee; contests are hooks to get you to have your work included in their yearbook (which they say is provided to industry movers and shakers) - for a fee...
But, don’t get me started, now...
I only disagree with you on the first point, that "if one has to push one's self to do it is not likely a natural talent". I disagree because that is like saying Picasso, Faulkner, Hemingway, etc. didn't have to work hard at what they were doing. There are times when it just comes out, but I think day to day, one must work at something to be good at it, regardless of natural talent. That doesn't mean that one doesn't enjoy such hard work, but I do think, more times than not, that an artist does have to push him or herself.
The issue of natural talent is one not expanded upon, so your take on it is understandable. Talent doesn’t mean one doesn’t need to work at it. Talent is, in a sense the impulsion to do something the general population find difficult to do. A talented composer of songs, for example, finds songs just seem to flow, but once a song begins taking form in his/her head, often it may take considerable work to refine it on paper. But a person admiring song writers, who says, I want to become a songwriter likely, will find he/she has to struggle to concentrate on coming up with songs, the struggle continuing with the refinement of any song being worked on. Such a person may eventually become reasonably proficient and may ultimately come up some notable or hit songs, but not enjoy the level of success as the talented songwriter.
The talented person usually does not have songs, poetry, novels, sculpture, etc., flowing like water; the inspiration often comes in fits and starts. It is usually starts with a rough idea, which, somehow seems to grow and doesn’t stop. A good example of that is in the PBS documentary of Bob Dylan; it is re-run on occasion; see if you can catch it. Dylan doesn’t know where his inspiration comes from - its just there...
Speaking of songs, and you asked for a sample - started in the kitchen - jotted down the first line or two - it kept coming for a week or so - taking several weeks to refine - and when the “inspiration” stopped, this is the result.
They slither through the slime
Been around a long time
On Saturday Night Live
Their gig was. . . a dive
Wiggly wild li’l flapper
Shy an’ a bit dapper
Their style sure is classic
Quite. . . . Jurassic (Chorus)
Creepy crook, body snatcher wi’ the washboard look
So eat your heart out Dr. Spock
Land life is such a crock
Splish splash, it’s the Croc’dile Rock
(Alt: Tick, tock, it’s the Crocodile Rock)
Spoiled child, wet an’ wild
Just the look gets us riled
Gonna go deep for you
Puttin’ y’ in. . . . the Bronx Zoo
Love their shy smile
An’ wiggly style
Makin’ all that dough
On the . . . . . . . Croc’dile Show (Chorus) 3
Watch, they’re such a flirt
Shoppin’ Martha Stuart
Makin up for what they lack
Stay tuned. . . . be right Back
They’re tunin’ up for Rock an’ Roll
Movein’ your body an’ soul
The Amazon they enhance
Doin’ their . . . . . Croc’dile Dance (Chorus)
Paddlin’ all around
Dancin’ crocs Alaska bound
Don’t say y’ haven’t been told
Eskimo rock is. . . . . mighty cold
Gotta see them on stage
Their look is all the rage
This time goin’ Latin
Gonna take . . . . . .all Manhattan (Chorus)
Rockin’ crocs ‘n leather an’ lace
Puts a smile on you face
Gotta say, there the kings
Doin’ their. . . . Croc’dial things
Life an’ love is our goal
Time to rock an’ roll
So, see y’ all later
. . . . . Alligator (Chorus - fini)
Copyright 2006, F. Elliot Siemon All rights reserved.
Now, Talia, perhaps something of yours?
Ho, yah, I know "Sir" Elton has a song of the same name, but it has noting to do with Crocks.
THE DEVIL IS A MURDER
I WANT THE DEVIL DEAD
HE HAS THE POWER OF INVISIBILITY
HE GOT FROM THE KGB
HE MURDERED MY BABY IN MY SLEEP
I WANT A BABY MORE THAN ANYTHING
I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET PREGANT
THAT WAS MY SON I LOVE SO MUCH
I LOVE AND WANT MY SON
THE DEVIL MURDERED CRUELY
PLEASE GOD HELP ME PLEASE
SAVE FROM MY OWN TORCHER AND DEATH
FROM THE DEVIL EVEL HANDS
PLEASE GODS HELP ME
KILL TYHE DEVIL
KILL HIM DEAD TORCHER HIS EVIL HEAD
I WANT HIM TO BE KILLED OFF THE WORLD
I WANT MY SON AND DAUGHTER FOREVER MORE
I WANT MY BABYS PLEASE TELL ME ITS NOT TRUE
IM STILL PREGANT WITH THE PRINCE OF RUSSIA
PLEASE TELL ME I DIDNT LOSE IT TO TORCHER AND RAPE
PLEASE TELL ME HE IS STILL HERE TO LOVE AND HOLD
PLEASE HELP ME I WANT MY BABY PLEASE MAKE ME PREGANT
WITH MY SON AND DWUGHTER
I WANT A BABY I WANT MY CHILD PLEASE I BEG
TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN I HAVE BEGED GOD
FOR A YEAR TO GET ME PREGANT AND HAVE MORE CHILDREN
THE DEVIL HAS MURDERED THEN PLEASE KILL THE DEVIL
NUKE GERMANY NUKE GERMANY NOW
KILL EVERY LAST GERMAN ON THE PLANET
IT HURTS THE PAIN INSIDE IM GOING TO DIE
PLEASE HELP ME PLEASE I JUST WANT A BABY
PLEASE HELP OH GOD ILL DIE SO I CAN HAVE MY BABY
TAKE ME AWAY I WANT MY BABY PLEASE KILL THE DEVIL
NUKE GERMANY NO KILL THEM KILL NOTZIS
KILL THEM PLEASE THEY KILLED ISREAL TO BE THE DXCEVIL
KILL THEM PLEASE KILL THEM PLEASE GIVE ME MY BABY
KILL THEM GIVE ME MY CHILDREN
IWANT MORE CHILDREN I WANT MORE KIDS
IM SO AFRAID IM SO SCARED I WANT MY CHILDREN
I FREAR FOR THEM PLEASE HELP ME PLEASE
GIVE MY MY BABY GIVE ME MY BABY
KILL THE DEVIL GIVE ME MY BABY
NUKE THE ABORTAIN CLINIC KILL THEM
NUKE ALL THE GERMAN ABORTIAN CLINCKS
KILL THE DEVCIL AND ANY LOOK ALIKE
KILL THEM DEAD NUKE THE SHOOT KILL THEM DEAD
WHEN THE DEVIL COMES TO KILL ME KIDS
HE WILL ALREADY BE DEAD NOW SHOOT THEM
HELP ME PLEASE GIVE ME MY BABY
I WANTED AND BEGGED TO GET PREGANT
I WANTED THE CHILD I HAVE BEGGED FOR
A CHILD FOR A YEAR ALL I GET IS MURDER
FROM THE DEVILS INVISIBLE HANDS IN MY SLEEP
I WANT HIM DEAD AND OFF OF ME
I WANT HIM GONE AND AWYS A LAW SUIT HE
OWN ME A MILLION DOLLARS
I WANT TO SUE THE DEVIL FOR STEELING
MY CHILD AND KILLING MY DREAMS
MY SON AND DAUGHTER
I SUE !him! FOR A MILLION DOLLARS
HE OWS ME A MILLION DOLLARS FOR
STEELING AND MURDERING MY SON
I WANT TO BE PREGENT NOW
I WISH I KNEW HOW TO STOP THE
DEVIL AND HAVE A CHILD TODAYS
BUT I WANT GERMANY OUTR OF MY LIFE
FOREVER I CARE NOT ABOUT THE WAR
IF GERMANS DONT LEAVE ME ALONE FOREVER
I WANT BIG WAR WITH THEM
THEY WILL GET THE HELL AWAY FROM
ME AND MY FAMILY THE ARE KILLERS
THEY MURDERED MY PEOPLE
I WILL NEVER EVER GIVE THEM ANY MONEY
I HOPE THEY ARE BROKEN UP INSIDE
THEY SHOULD SHOULD ALL BE
IN JAIL FOR KILLING
MY CHILDREN I WANT MY BABY INSIDE ME
NO MONEY FOR GERMANY DEVIL
EVER HE OWES ME MONEY
HE OWS ME UNTILL HE GIVES ME MY SON BACK
HE MAKES ME SICK I WANT THE DEVIL DEAD!
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2006 03:53PM by windstrees.
THERE IS A ROYAL FAMILY OF THE WORLD
THEY HAVE BEEN BEATEN BY BATS
TRAPPED LIKE RATS
PUTINTO A GRAVE SITE
STADDED ALL NIGHT
HIT IN FACE BY REGAN
THE PRINCESS IN THE MOMENT
IS STABBED CAPTURED BY TORCHERS
THEY ARE AMERICAN IDIOTS
THEY WANT ANARCHY FOR THE WORLD
THEY AND TO BLOW UP THE WORLD
THEY PLAN IS TI BUILD A NUKE
TO BLOW UP THE WORLD
AFTER THEY KILL EVERY ROYAL
AND CANT TAKE CARE OF THE WORLD
ALL FOR FREEDOM AND ANARCHY
THE WORLD IS HERE ANARCHY
IF THEY KEEP FILLING AND GOING
THE WORLD COULD BLOW UP SOON
IF MY PLAN TO FREEZE THE NUKES
WORKS OUT TO FIND A SOLUTION
TO DISABLE THE WEAPONS
IF YOU KNOW THE ANSWER
TO SAVE THE WORLD LET IAEA KNOW
HOW WE CAN SOMEHOW GO ON UNALONE
SAVE THE ROYAL FAMILY
SAVE THE PRINCE OF RUSSIA FROM HIS GRAVE
AND SOMEDAY WE WILL HAVE A BABY
SOMEDAY OUR CHILDREN WILL BE
ON THE PLANET AND THEY WILL SEE
IN REALITY INVISIBILITY WONT KILL ME
IT WILL HELP SAVE THE WORLD
BECAUSE WE CAN SAVE THE QUEEN
HOW WE CAN SAVE ALL THE ROYALS
THIS IS THE SITUATION NOW
THE ROYALS FAMILY OF MONACO
WAS JUST KIDNAPPED
THE ROYAL FAMILY OF RUSSIA
WAS KIDNAPPED A LONG TIME AGO
THEY WERE CAPTRUED AND HELD
BY REGAN IN EUGENE OREGON
THEY ARE HERE NOW IN GRAVES
IN SCHOOL AND BEATEN BY REAGA
BUT SOMEHOW WE HAVE TO SAVE THEM
NOW BUT I WOULD LOVE THEM FOREVER
IF I COULD I WANT TO WORSHIP
THEM IN BE SAFE IN THEIR ARMS
SOMDAY IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN
WHEN THEY ARE MINE FOR A LARGE SUM
AND I HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY TO SAVE THEM
20MIL FOR BOTH FAMILIES WAS THE DEAL
AND NOT IT IS DONE NO SECRETE
THEY ARE MINE NO ONE KNOWS
THE REASON WHY BUT I PAIED TO
HAVE THEM BE MINE AND I LOVE
THEM I WANT THEM IN MY ARMS
ALL THE TIME BUT IN EVERY WAY
THE QUEEN WILL SEE I WILL GIVE
HER LOVE TO THEE AND MINE TO ME
AND THEY WILL BE HEALTHY AND HAPPY
I WILL NEVER HURT THEM
I WILL MAKE THEM HEALTHY AGAIN
HOW COME WE NEVER KNEW
THAT THEY WERE IN PAIN HERE
WHY ROSS PUTIN WAS HIDING THEM
BUT WE FOUND HIM HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD
US WHERE THEY WERE SO WE COULD MAKE SURE
THEY HAD EVERYTHING THEY NEED
AND THEY ARE VERY HEALTHY AND HAPPY
HOW COME WE NEVER KNEW HOW COME
WE ARE ALL SO ROOD
WHY DIDNT WE KNOW
WHERE WE COULD GO TO LOVE THEM DEAR
AND WE WOULD BE HERE TO HAVE THEM
AND HOLD THEM IN EVERY WAY SWEET
BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM DEARLY
EMOTIONS ARE HIGH AND PEOPLE WALK BY
WE HAVE TO SAVE THE PRINCESS TO
IF I ONLY KNEW HOW TO DO
WHAT I WANT TO DO
SHOOT THE CAPTORY AWAY FROM
THE PRINCESS AND SET THEM FREE
IN REALITY SHOOT AND KILL THE ENEMY
SET THE PRINCESS FREE IF THEY DONT
DEAL WITH ME THEY HAVE TO SET THEM FREE
ROYAL AREMY NOW IS THE TIME
WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR OUR CHARMS
THE COPS ARE TRAINED TO KILL ROYALS
HERE I !was! SET UP WITH THEM
BUT SOMEHOW WE ARE CAREFUL
WE CAN SAVE THE PRINCESS FROM THE KNIFE
WE CAN SAVE THEM ALL IN REALITY
MAKE THEY CAPTORS LET THEM GO HOME
NO MORE KILLING NO MORE PAIN
NO MORE SCREAMING BLOODY HELL
SHOOT THE PEOPLE MAKE THEM
BE ROYAL STAFF PRETEND
THAT YOU ARE THE CAPTORS AND
SET THEM FREE GIVE THEM
TO ME TO SAVE AND MAKE HAPPY
DO YOU THINK THAT THE PLAN
OF THE SENATE CONGRESS REALY CAN
KILL AND TORCHER EVERY ROYAL
FAMILY MEMBER NOW AND BLOW UP
THE WORLD WITH A HUGE NUCLEAR BOMB
IF THAT IS THE PLAN NOW IS
THE WORLD REALY ENDING
I WANT TO DO IT ON MY OWN
I DONT KNOW HOW I NEED
MY ROYAL ARMY TO HELP ME OUT
I NEED THEM TO SHOOT THE
SENATE AND I MEAN NOW
BECAUSE THEY ARE THE HOLDERS
OF THE MURDER OF THE WORLD
THEY ARE CREATING A NUCLEAR
BOMB TO BLOW UP THE WORLD
AND THEY HAVE KILLED OR TORCHERED
ALL THE ROYAL FAMILIES
OF RUSSIA AND FRANCE
THEY ARE HELP KIDNAPPED
THEY HAVE TO BE SAFELY
SAVED WE HAVE TO DO THIS
NOW BEFORE THE WORLD IS BLOWN UP
AND THE ROYAL FAMILIES ARE DEAD
PLEASE FIGHT UNTILL THE END
IT DOSENT MATTER ANYMORE
IF WE DONT ACT RIGHT NOW
IT IS ALL OVER THERE IS A WAY
TO WIN LIFE OF EVERYBODY
THE ONLY WAY IS MY FIRST PLAN
TAKE OUT THE SENATE NOW AT HAND
WHEN THE SNATE IS DEAD AND GONE
THE THE PLANS FOR NUCLEAR
BOMBS WILL GO AWAY
AND THE ROYAL FAMILIES WILL BE SAVED
THIS IS NOW YOU MUST
SEE YOU MUST BELIEVE IN ME
SAVE THE ROYAL FAMILY!
One of the beauties of poetry is that can tell a whole story, or get a point across in a few lines. The elegance with which this is done is proportional to the notariety the poem might receive. Stream of consciousness writing does not get there.
Do you think that the princess
will die if the zelda dosnt get
all the golden coins and the sward
he needs inorder to save the princess
Do you think that she would realy
die if the princess wasnt saved
by all the diamonsd Zelda found
so that he could save the princess
right now would she realy die
princess die without Link
is ther a way to save the princess
very fast is there a pass word
to get everything you need
in order to save the princess
is there a way to save the princess
going around killing the last guy
is there a way to save the princess
peacefully without killing everything
or do you have to kill every enemy
to save the royal princess
how to save the princess
anyone have any bright ideas
i know there is a way in Zelda
to save the princess
and i know there is a way
without getting anyone killed
That's a bit better.... Now refine it, perhaps with less repetition; watch your spelling; a Dictionary might help; there are some on-line.
Cherry Tree in Springtime, please list current alias and those to be used in the future.
Have you dumped Charles?
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2006 07:10PM by jerrygarner7.
Not Charles...he's with Camilla Toilet-Bowles
Get it right or McCartney will beat you with a leg
I believe that poets, like salmon, are drafted. The urge is innate in some and their skill or effectiveness can be honed by study and practice. That gene in the great poets is so potent it is radioactive and permeates their lives, but all who have that gene find themselves arduously swimming upstream in a river the seem to vaguely remember and cannot quite say why it is they are doing so.
To the Celts, the salmon was a symbol of deepest wisdom. A touch of that wisdom fires the effort of all who essay poetry. The greats have that "touch" by the bushel, but everyone who has it in any size find they must write or they feel incomplete.
The river, of course, is the symbol of life. Most people simply drift placidly with the current to the great sea where all waters join together. But the poet (small or great) swims upstream, seeking the source of all life, of all understanding, of love, of human misery, of faith, of ... well, God (or god, if you will),
EVERY poem is an attempt, just like every expedition up Everest is an "attempt" (switching metaphors here?). Some climb higher than others, but all climb through difficulties and terrors. Why do they climb? Like Mallory said, "Because it is there!"
Why do salmon swim upstream? Because IT is there - and they cannot even say what it is, but it is the "what you are, root and all, and all in all" of Tennyson. Upstream-swimming salmon have a hard life, but their being tells them it is a call and they must go and suffer the attempt. If they refuse the call, the entire universe needles them unmercifully until they accept the challenge - like the successor to the tribal shaman who must answer the call he hears in the forest or never have a day's luck thence forward - until he does answer it.
So, people write poetry because they are poets and the entire cosmos is speaking through them, and they would be woefully disloyal and ungrateful if they do not try to give the comos voice.
"My muse is a jealous whore."
Well said Paddy; a writer, no doubt.
Re: "the entire cosmos is speaking through them", no doubt refers to the almost autmatic nature of some writing; it comes and it seems it is not realy comming from you, as if you are the medium for your literary spirit Guide(s).
If a poet, post some of your work.