Ok, I really enjoy reading poetry and I want to start writing... written a few things, but I'm too embarrassed to post them... anyway, I was just wondering how long I should spend on a poem, and how many words is appropriate. Also, does there have to be some sort of structure, or am I just allowed to write whatever and see how it turns out? I have soooo many things on my mind that I want to turn into some sort of art, and writing is the only thing I've ever been good at and enjoyed at the same time, if that makes sense... anyway, thanks.
You are allowed to write anything you like, break it up how you like and call it poetry. However, most poets use some sort of rhythm, if not rhyme or even a pattern of words on the paper, to distinguish poetry from prose. As to how long to spend - I've spent 5 mins on some poems, and 25 years on others (not continuously - got stuck several times) - there are no rules as such. If you write something and post it, people will be able to give you their opinions, but they are not necessarily right.
For example, many people think both Ted Hughes and T S Eliot are fantastic poets - I care for very little of their work - doesn't mean I am 'right', nor that their fans are - it's all a matter of taste. I like a lot of Kipling's work - many people find him intolerable, more for his apparent politics and sentimentality than the quality of his work, though that gets brickbats, too. The thing that irritates many people is a poem that has a structure and then breaks it - with extra syllables or words that don't fit its mood. Work that has no structure they can discern - often called free verse, is anathema to some, not to others - that's where you get on to the great 'is it poetry or prose' debate, which will never be resolved.
It's a bit like books - there's literature, and there are other books - are travel books better than sports books? - depends on the reader, but a really great book is one that holds the interest of a reader not generally particularly interested in its subject, and a really great poem may attract a reader who normally hates the style it is written in.
I'm sure this hasn't helped much as it doesn't tell you what to do. If you want to be told what to do read 'The Ode Less Travelled' by Stephen Fry - argue with it, throw it at the wall(provided it doesn't belong to a library) , try out some of his exercises and that will clarify what you want to do.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2007 12:35PM by marian222.
45 to 48 words
Don't be embarrassed to post your poems
I'd like to see them
By all means, do post your work. This is one of the best places for a new poet to start. Criticism is healthy and necessary to growth; when it is given here, it is generally well-thought through by those who comment, and it is rarely given in an insulting manner. So, move on over to the USP and share your inspiration with us.
Ok, thanks... look out for my poem called "Mariella" ... it's about a girl I used to know, (that isn't her real name)... first attempt at poetry, sort of sad and angry, but a little sweet at the same time. And there will be more...... maybe :s