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  • Caitlin Cacciatore
  • December 01, 2017 12:30:45 PM
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A poetry blog featuring works that will move you, entice you, and stimulate your creative fancy.

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Four More Tips for Beginner Poets

Welcome to the third in this series, Tips for Beginner Poets. You can find the previous two posts here and here. By now, you hopefully have implemented some of the previous tips, and are ready to move on to more advanced techniques.

Welcome to the third in this series, Tips for Beginner Poets. You can find the previous two posts here and here. By now, you hopefully have implemented some of the previous tips, and are ready to move on to more advanced techniques.

 

Tip #9: Don’t be afraid of the blank page.

 

The blank page can be daunting. Every writer, poet, author, or essayist knows this. Try not to be too intimidated by that great expanse of white on the screen, or the unsullied blank sheet of paper. Chances are, you have access to more paper and can fit many hundreds or thousands more Word Documents or Pages onto your hard drive. (In other words, paper is no longer the expensive commodity it used to be, so don’t be afraid of ‘wasting’ it.) See the blank page not as an enemy to conquer, but rather a good friend of yours, full of possibility and wonder. Write something, anything, to start with. Sometimes, the Muses will smile on you and sheer inertia will do the rest; if not, at least you tried.

 

Tip #10: Develop a writing habit/practice/routine.

 

Whatever you want to call it, make writing a priority in your life. Sit in your writing chair, or in a special space you’ve set aside for writing and write for a set period of time. Make space for your writing practice, and try to establish a specific time for your daily writing routine. Try writing when you wake up, or just before you go to bed, or perhaps on your lunch break. No matter when you choose to write, try to be consistent about it, and you’ll see both your output and your creativity begin to blossom more and more.

 

Tip #11: Find inspiration.

 

Go on a long walk, if you can. Take your notebook along, and take notes on the smells, sounds, sights, and any other sensory information you can gather. Alternatively, try going to a nearby museum, or – my personal favorite – visit your local library. If you cannot get out of the house for any reason, try taking a virtual museum tour, reading an ebook, or going to Google Earth, finding a random spot in a far-flung nation, and dropping yourself down into the thick of things. Sometimes, you might end up on a deserted forest road; other times you’ll find yourself in the middle of a megacity. Explore a little bit, then write a poem about the lives of the people and animals who might live there.

 

Tip #12: Diversify.

 

Your poetry writing practice will benefit from writing in other genres, such as fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, or any other genre you can think of. You will gain valuable skills from writing in other genres, and many of these skills will be easily transferable to your poems.


From the Archives: The Knife Edge of Eternity

The speed of time is not a constant, nor can you solve the calculus of life without adding up the joys, taking away the sorrows, and dividing by how much space was left between Zeno’s paradoxes...

There is a poem brewing inside of me

Like a storm.

 

“Who are you?”

The mirror asks,

Yet I cannot reply.

 

Where does one draw the line

Between the rolling thunder

And the lightning that preceded it?

 

The speed of time is not a constant,

Nor can you solve the calculus of life without

Adding up the joys, taking away the sorrows,

And dividing by how much space was left between

Zeno’s paradoxes, and the martyrdom of St. Sebastian,

Who died not from the entrance wounds,

But rather of tripping and falling

Over the knife edge of the eternity it took

For them to halve, and halve again,

The square root of the distance between the archers

And the martyr, who was glad to be taken more than halfway

Between Heaven and Hell.

 

“Who are you?”

Persists the mirror.

 

I answer.

 

“I am you.”


Three More Tips for Beginner Poets

For Tips #1-5, please visit the previous post on my Five Tips for Beginner Poets. That post became so popular that I have decided to make it an ongoing series. Check back regularly for new posts, or subscribe to be notified of new posts!   Tip #6: Always keep a notebook nearby.   One ofContinue reading "Three More Tips for Beginner...

For Tips #1-5, please visit the previous post on my Five Tips for Beginner Poets. That post became so popular that I have decided to make it an ongoing series. Check back regularly for new posts, or subscribe to be notified of new posts!

 

Tip #6: Always keep a notebook nearby.

 

One of the greatest challenges poets and writers face is finding inspiration. You never know when the Muses will gift you with a new idea, so keep a notebook on you at all times – in your bookbag, purse, or briefcase, on your desk, by your bed on the floor or on top of the nightstand, and even consider investing in one of those cool waterproof shower notepads. This way, you won’t ever miss an opportunity to write down an idea once it comes to you.

 

Tip #7: Be receptive to feedback.

 

Another challenge authors sometimes face is writing in a vacuum. If you are fortunate enough to have friends or family who are willing to read your work, ask them for feedback, and be open to whatever they have to say. Read your poems aloud to them, and ask them what works and what doesn’t. If no one you know wishes to read your work, consider starting a blog or an Instagram page for poetry. Ask your readers for feedback. (But don’t fall into the trap of measuring your success in terms of ‘likes,’ which often depend more on how often you post, when you post, and how many followers you have than the actual content of your post.) Once you have gotten some feedback, use it to edit your work.

 

Tip #8: Write all the time.

 

Write prolifically. Write at the beach, and when you’re out and about. Write on the couch, or in bed. Write even when you’re not supposed to be writing. Write whenever you can, wherever you can. (Disclaimer: Please do not write when you are driving or operating heavy machinery, unless you have one of those fancy, entirely hands-free dictation programs, and even then, use caution and your better judgment.) Basically, write and then write some more. If you do, you set yourself up for success, improvement, and all good things.


From the Archives: Made Holy by the Night

Please enjoy this poem circa December 2018. My style has changed so much since then!   I remember dancing To the beat of a wild drum, The war cry sounding loud in the twilight But I forget – Was that your hand in mine? Your heart, pressed tremulously beating Against my breast? Your breath billowingContinue reading "From the Archives: Made Holy by the...

Please enjoy this poem circa December 2018. My style has changed so much since then!

 

I remember dancing

To the beat of a wild drum,

The war cry sounding loud in the twilight

But I forget –

Was that your hand in mine?

Your heart, pressed tremulously beating

Against my breast?

Your breath billowing up

In the chill of autumn’s final evening?

Perhaps it was another’s hand,

A stranger’s breath made holy by the night.

Perchance my broken heart beat double-time for two.

The stars were out last night,

But where were you?


Writing Prompt of the Week: Rain, Thunder & Weather

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Writing Prompt of the Week!’ This week’s theme is ‘Rain, Thunder, & Weather,’ as inspired by the epic thunderstorm that just rolled over my town and the surrounding areas. Try to be as descriptive as possible as you write. Describe the clouds – what color of grey were they?Continue reading "Writing Prompt of the Week: Rain, Thunder &...

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Writing Prompt of the Week!’

This week’s theme is ‘Rain, Thunder, & Weather,’ as inspired by the epic thunderstorm that just rolled over my town and the surrounding areas.

Try to be as descriptive as possible as you write. Describe the clouds – what color of grey were they? Perhaps your persona or your characters will experience a sun shower instead. Ask yourself about the ambient temperature in your scene or poem, and whether it is more suited to snow, rain, sleet, or hail.

Go further; dig deeper. Was the rain pounding on the roofs? Was the snowstorm a blizzard or a sudden squall? Did the weather linger, or did it give way to clear skies relatively quickly?

How does this weather affect you, your persona, or your characters? Perhaps it keeps them (or you) inside. Perhaps it prompts them to go outside.

Add a few extra layers to your work by making literary or Biblical references, or references to other more ancient mythologies. Perhaps the deluge was just like Noah’s Flood, or the puddles that gathered in the aftermath were large enough to hide Jonah’s whale beneath their surfaces.

Your task now is to write a poem, scene, or short story about rain, thunder, or the weather. Good luck!

P.S. I’d love to see what you come up with!

 


Please Give Your Thoughts, Opinions, and Feedback!

Please answer the following short poll. You can select as many choices as you wish, and can even write in your own answer. It’ll help me create better content for your enjoyment and education!      

Please answer the following short poll. You can select as many choices as you wish, and can even write in your own answer. It’ll help me create better content for your enjoyment and education!

 

 

 


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