Monday, May 5, 2008
There is no single "right" way to compose a poem, but here are tips from U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic:
· Don't tell the readers what they already know about life.
· Don't assume you're the only one in the world who suffers.
· Some of the greatest poems in the language are sonnets and poems not many lines longer than that, so don't overwrite.
· The use of images, similes and metaphors make poems concise. Close your eyes, and let your imagination tell you what to do.
· Say the words you are writing aloud and let your ear decide what word comes next.
· Remember that what you are writing is a draft that will need additional tinkering -- perhaps many months, even years, of tinkering.
Reciting poetry takes practice, too. The following tips are adapted from a talk by former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins on oral recitation:
· Read the poem slowly so it can be understood.
· Pause for a few seconds between the title and the poem's first line.
· Read in a normal, relaxed tone of voice. It is not necessary to give poems a dramatic reading as if from a stage.
· Pause only when there is punctuation and not at the end of every line.
· Practice with a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words and hard-to-pronounce words.
SOURCE: Library of Congress