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Old 12-15-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Colorado
220 posts, read 718,306 times
Reputation: 105

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I really want to start writing poetry. I went to a poetry slam and was very inspired! I also need a healthy way to express what I'm feeling.

The problem is I don't know where to start. I've never been into the art and never really learned. I understand the gist of it, and I understand its just words from your heart written on your paper, but how do i get it to flow? to sound like a song. I've never been artistic but I honestly feel this is something I'd really enjoy.

Any suggestions would be great!

Thanks
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:18 PM
 
Location: NOCO
534 posts, read 1,441,669 times
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Howdy KelsieB, lets see if I can give you a few starting points, though I'm no expert.

There are different kinds of poetry. In general it's writing that uses its own rules and gives meaning from multiple angles.

"[But] how do i get it to flow? to sound like a song"
= With this, which seems to be the main question your asking, the key is to fool around with the rythem and meter of your poem. Pay close attention to where you are putting punctuation, where you are ending lines, how many syllables there are before a break, and what sort of break you're using. There are some common formats for poems in terms of the number of syllables there are to a line, but I like to make up my own 'syllabic' rules.

Usually I'll get an idea I want to center a poem around. Then I'll come up with some rules for it, paying close attention to how I want it to sound musically. After that, I'll apply the idea I had to the rules I've formulated, and scratch out a poem, then edit it.

Let me see if I can use the poem I wrote in another thread, will edit this post in a sec.

Okay, here's a poem I wrote in the 'poetry garden' thread, I'll walk you through what I did to help give you some ideas.

Lowland (2)
Air, (1) {3}
Swept under the rug; (5) {5}
Been weav'd (2)
Of (1)
Stone from lime, or brick. (5) {6, 2}
You have (2)
Stood (1)
Young and curious (5)
Atop. (2) {10}

(This poem was part of a series of maybe 3-4. When I was making it, the general idea was Victor Hugo and his writing process. This specific poem here, as a part of that series, describes his childhood home in Luxembourg and gives a context to the story in the series, with him as a young kid there. So I looked at an ink blot picture he made of his childhood home and wanted to paint this scene in a poem. I had the idea. Here I have rules for the number of syllables allowed per line. In the parenthesis i have the syllable pattern I thought up before writing the poem, I included the title as part of the poem. it's 2 1 5 2 1 5 2 1 5 2. If your looking at the time I take between punctuation, it's a little blurred, in general I keep a sentence, or major punctuation per 2 1 5 sequence. The {} has the number of syllables before the punctuation.

What seems most common is to use the rhymes as breaks as well as rhymes, but alot of it depends on how you say/interpret your poem. Your writing your poem for how you want it read, as well as how you want it said out loud, as well as how you want each word to portray a certain picture.

Do you know anything about music? That can help alot in terms of how you structure your poem, thinking about even up beats and down beats, meter, all sorts of things can help you out.

My suggestions would be to just try out a bunch of styles and see what fits your style, or how you can make current styles your style. Try applying an idea to different sets of rules and see what turns out, it will change the words and rhymes you make.

Last edited by Ticky909; 12-15-2009 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:48 PM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,178 posts, read 5,034,976 times
Reputation: 1242
It's like sketching, but it's words, not... drawing. Just start jotting things down & "it" will start to come to you. That's what I did, when I was in my poetry mode.

I found places to submit my poetry to... like a magazine that isn't around anymore, that published a few of my pieces.

I submitted one to a contest & got honorable mention, plus a check (can't remember how much, a pittance) and a free copy of the publication it was put into - a vanity book but I didn't buy additional issues. It was a pleasant surprise, esp. cuz an erstwhile boyfriend thought lowly of it until the free issue arrived.

You could take a class, if you want to feel.. pushed or involved in a "group"... Or perhaps there are forums online but then there's the whole "someone could steal my work" thing out there...

Just get yourself a notebook & make it a fun, part time project. Maybe deck the notebook out with drawings or cut outs...

I had a friend once who had a diary that she illustrated. She was "into" tarot & used the drawings to create her own tarot deck/interpretation. She eventually had it published. I believe she relinquished her rights but you can still find her work - it's cute - Morgan's Tarot. She gave me a deck...
http://www.faroutthings.com/xcart/images/P/400m.jpg (broken link)FarOutThings.com :: Tarot
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 14,845,165 times
Reputation: 6919
First a bottle of French wine (Cotes du Rhone, for example). Other great inductions are from illegal substances, if you care to indulge.
While sipping...
put on some instrumental music, like a rousing symphony (Resphigi, Wagner)
read (actually skim) short works from Bukowski, Rimbaud, Artaud, Henry Miller, Burroughs
Stare at the wall and start talking - nothing is too bizarre.
Write down everything, even the vulgarities (especially those!).
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:13 PM
 
Location: southern california
60,042 posts, read 78,473,318 times
Reputation: 53912
take a class. read a book or 2.
not everybody is into listening to my deep inner feeling.
getting down to it some of them are pretty ugly.
but they do enjoy hearing about hummingbirds and flowers.
i sneak some of the other stuff in but in limited doses.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Boise
2,008 posts, read 3,073,663 times
Reputation: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by KelsieB View Post
I really want to start writing poetry. I went to a poetry slam and was very inspired! I also need a healthy way to express what I'm feeling.

The problem is I don't know where to start. I've never been into the art and never really learned. I understand the gist of it, and I understand its just words from your heart written on your paper, but how do i get it to flow? to sound like a song. I've never been artistic but I honestly feel this is something I'd really enjoy.

Any suggestions would be great!

Thanks
I'm not a great poet, but a few pieces of advice that have helped me a lot are these:

Make them vivid. This means utilize scenery, sound, feel... all the senses. I don't mean use them all in every piece, but you have to paint a picture that appeals to the senses. People so often try to write concepts, or points and use very little scenery.

Get a book of poetry you like and try to practice the style of it. Don't try to do the same exact thing... you have to find what is working in the poem and why it works.

Poems do not always have to rhyme, in fact as far as I know it's kind of a no-no in modern poetry unless it's to adhere to a particular style.

Keep track of the connotations that words carry. For example if you're trying to write a love poem don't say "Holding her is more relieving than taking my shoes off after a long day..." Say "Holding her is like rubbing spring sunlight into my back..." It's bad I know, but it's a functioning example.

Try writing about scenery that reminds you of what you want to get across. An example: instead of trying to tell the reader that you are sad, paint a picture of that scenery that makes us sad to see. Just like how painters put emotion in their work. No joke, you ever seen a painting that makes you sad or happy or whatever? Use those tricks to paint a mental picture. You have to show what you're trying to say that you feel. Show. Show. Show. Do not tell.



Lastly, try free-writing. You'll have to google that one, because I don't want to get into the explanation. But it's a great way to get the blood flowing again. Also, if you can afford the luxury of the convenience, go to somewhere peaceful and relaxing, or somewhere that just has a good feel to it. There's a great little canyon I go to now and then with a notebook. and every time I get something going. Just try a different surrounding I guess is the main idea here.

As with any kind of writing rules are made to be broken, and poetry is a great way to do this. But if you are a beginning poet and a beginning writer you're probably not going to have the proper skill to pull it off so it's best to play by the rules until you get the hang of it. Please note that this isn't a golden formula. It's just something that I found helpful. And I'm sure that there is a ream of great poetry that goes against everything I just said.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Colorado
220 posts, read 718,306 times
Reputation: 105
You guys are amazing! I have it all written out, now i'm going over and editing it. Its kind of emotional (I wouldn't be doing it if I didnt want to find a way to let out the anger, tension and hurt inside) the issue now is getting it to read smoothly

Ticky-can I use the 2 1 5 2... method although its rather long? Its short sentences just long. I know nothing about music, maybe this is why its a bit hard for me. TIME TO LEARN i guess!

Vis- Wine...i like the idea, maybe some other induglences, they always get my mind roaming. I think I'l give that a try.

Another thing, rhyming. I feel a bit of a Dr. Suess wanna be when I make the words rhyme with each other, is it completely lame?

I'm going to work on it and maybe put the first few lines down
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Colorado
220 posts, read 718,306 times
Reputation: 105
I wanna hate you
Craving you is making me sick
I’m miserable when I’m with you
I can’t shine in your presence
Forget how to smile
I brood like a child
Pouting in the corner
I fantasize
Tantrum of the year
Kicking and screaming
‘til you notice my pain
pounding and crying
Just one reaction
Just one feeling of remorse
none
It’s pointless to keep trying
The fight in me seizes
Limp
lifeless on the floor
I know now
no matter how big the tantrum
How sweet the words or
Lustful the moves
We’ll never get there
To us
To Love
To understanding
I jump when your name’s said
My stomach drops when the phone rings
I need the yearning to end
I need to forget
To forget your name
Your smile
That touch
But
You won’t disappear
You seem to be everywhere
I can’t erase you if you won’t go away
Shoot down the butterflies
Suffocate the feelings
Please
Just go away
GO
I keep trying to protect you
It’s okay
I understand his concerns
I can do it his way
**** your concerns
**** your way
Just a game
A body to keep company
A mouth to play with
Someone to fill the void
I was serious
I cared
The emotion was there
But just on one side
Just like a child
You played with the toy
Got bored
Threw it away

My issue here is it isn't reading smoothly. Its what I want to say, but I guess I'm rhymically challenged. ha ha. I can take constructive cristism; so lay it on me.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: NOCO
534 posts, read 1,441,669 times
Reputation: 236
I remember back when I would write poetry for a class the consensus was that it was alot of emotion but everything was so masked that there was not focus for it. What you've written here has a pretty clear focus, clear emotion, nice ending with the last four lines.

As for constructive criticism, the things that pop into my head are the changes in tense. As with how it flows, there seems to be a long time period being covered during this poem, perhaps you could break it up into sections and then focus on the flow within those sections. There are at least 5 things you could cover individually in here since it seems to be breaking down an entire relationship. But, by contrast, perhaps what your looking for is the rapid fire breakdown of the whole situation to just hit the audience as an outpouring.

Perhaps if you shifted the organization that could help the flow of it, and you could still keep all of it in.

Overall I would say it doesn't flow as badly as you think it does, its always hard to judge ones own writing. I've had people say that they were angry they had to follow me, or that as long as I live, I should never change the way I write, but I took all of it for pity and threw away or scrapped all I wrote and started again. Just tweak it around to emphasise whatever you want to emphasize with the rythem of it, you can try different syllable counts, try moving things around, try changing words, etc. You can even try organizing different things differently on the page.

Good work, and keep working at it, seems like this might be therapeutic to you.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado
220 posts, read 718,306 times
Reputation: 105
Ticky, thank you! This was an uplifting response! Its good to hear its not complete crap ha ha. i have done a bit more work to it, but its a little tougher now that the raw emotion has passed. I should have done it all in one sitting, or I can just wait til the ******* sparks more emotion. ha ha. I'm going back to it and I'll definitely take your comments while doing it!
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