Saturday, July 31, 2010

Exercise for the day

This blog was created primarily to help inspire you to make poetry a regular part of your daily life. Toward that end, I'll be sharing some of my favorite exercises for getting around writer's block. I've been thinking about my forthcoming book, The Alphabet Conspiracy, and the poems in it. The first one is an abcderian, a poem that uses the alphabet for structure--first line begins with or revolves around "A," next one "B" and so on all the way to "Z." My poem "Intercession" used the Patron Saints Index to create an alphabetical list of all the things there are saints for. You can do something like this, too. Take a book down from your shelf that has an index and compose your own abcderian using the items you find there (note, you might have to make something up for some letters, such as "X," but you're a poet--you can use your imagination).
Good luck! And if you like, post your poem in the comments field.
Happy writing!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quote from a friend

My friend and former student Grant sent this quote to me today:
"True art selects and paraphrases, but seldom gives a verbatim translation."--Thomas Bailey Aldrich
I read somewhere that there is a man who is attempting to record every detail of his life. He writes all day, recording very little (because you can't do much if you're busy recording it all), and has amassed thousands of thousands of pages of very dull material.
Life doesn't hand us a poem; we select a poem from life.