“Streets of White Paper” 10 Things You Need to Do to Write Poems

  • Never censor yourself!
  • Begin with perceptive writing.
  • Watch ‘experimental’ films in a dark theatre while writing and recording your sensations in a sketchbook:  feelings, commands, impressions, ideas, un-sense, etc.
  • Use fragments of conversation overheard in public places.
  • Write after heated disagreements.
  • Clip out issues written up in the newspapers or magazines and weld them together with your instincts.
  • Use ‘I am’ to preface your word particles. Make a list of new and zany things you are.
  • Pull words out of a hat and collage them together.
  • Use a thesaurus to trace and target words you love and fit them together randomly.
  • Take a discarded book and black-out parts and words on pages.  Use what’s left to compose a poem or a new story.

In all writing arts, and especially poetry, we make decisions, we are continually emerging; no one else can go our individual way.  How has life formed you; piece it together like a tapestry and find your source for writing: your voice, to activate your poetry.  Living in poetry helps to express emotional truths.  Yet, it doesn’t have to make sense, it has to make feeling.  Do not impose limitations on your writing.  Write about what matters to you.

Quote from:  Greek Poet George Seferis

“To say what you want to say you must create another language and nourish it for years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again.”

The following is an excerpt from the poem, “The King of Asine” by George Seferis; courtesy of: greecepoetryinternationalweb.org

“And the poet lingers, looking at the stones, and asks himself
does there really exist
among these ruined lines, edges, points, hollows, and curves
does there really exist
here where one meets the path of rain, wind, and ruin
does there exist the movement of the face, shape of the
of those who’ve shrunk so strangely in our lives,
those who remained the shadow of waves and thoughts with
the sea’s boundlessness
or perhaps no, nothing is left but the weight
the nostalgia for the weight of a living existence
there where we now remain unsubstantial, bending
like the branches of a terrible willow-tree heaped in
permanent despair
while the yellow current slowly carries down rushes up-
rooted in the mud
image of a form that the sentence to everlasting bitterness
has turned to stone:
the poet a void.”

Copyright © 2009 Nicole Rigets

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