Real Poetry

reviews, tips, and personal/local writing

Archive for the tag “Writing”

The Next Writing Challenge?!?

Well, I’ve made it back from New York… tired and worn out, but I had a good time with family. I’ve spent the past week recuperating and considering just what the title says: I need a new writing challenge. But first, I want to share this picture from my flight:

Picture taken above the clouds while flying.

I don’t care for flying overall, but I do love a view like that.

So for anyone who’s been following the blog or just checked out past posts, you may remember a segment I did simply entitled the Aphorism Challenge. For five weeks I wrote an aphorism every day and then selected the best of the bunch and put it up for all to see.

The main goal for that challenge was to get myself writing and, as of right now, I haven’t been pushing myself to write like I should. So to fix that I’ve decided to set myself up a brand-spanking-new challenge to force myself in front of my desk with pen and paper (or fingers and keyboard as the need arises). This time, however, I want to work in another form of poetry than the aphorism, which, though challenging in its own ways, was a simpler way of writing.

For now, I want to stick with a form I’m at least a little familiar with, so for my first new set of challenges I’ve decided on Sonnets. They typically come in two major forms, the petrarchan and Shakespearean. I’ll go into more detail next week with the first development of this Sonnet Challenge.

Anyone who knows me well will also know how averse I’ve been to writing in form poetry over the past few years. It’s a different mindset for writing, and thus I find it harder to do and only really possess a cursory knowledge of a few of the major forms out there. So I have an added request for anyone reading this post:

Is there a type of form poetry that you are particularly fond of? One that would make for a good challenge to practice writing with? If so, feel free to comment and share. I would love to hear more about different forms.

I will hopefully have some ok work-in-progress Sonnets to share in the coming weeks. Till then, I hope you all have had a fun and safe time since my last post.

Stephen R.


Brief Update/Honors Thesis Update

Since I’m going to be unable to keep up with poetry reviews as much as I would like to, I thought I’d share what I’m working on that’s keeping me so busy. Some of this work is mostly boring class stuff that is irrelevant to this blog. However, I’m working on an Honors Thesis that is centered on my writing of poetry. As I mentioned previously, I’m writing a lot of material, but now I’m starting to shift my focus to the revision process. Along with this new focus, I’ve been reading tons of poetry and essays on poetry to help with both my understanding and my knowledge of poetry and its many forms.  To give a slight impression of what this process has and will entail, I’ve included the picture below of some of the books I’ve already read or will be reading.  Feel free to click to enlarge the picture.

So anyways, what this all means for the blog is, I’m going to try and post little brief updates about what I’ve been reading on Tuesdays, both to share what I’m working on and to help me to comprehend just how much I’ve retained.  For instance:

I read an article written by Tony Hoagland last night: Altitudes, a Homemade Taxonomy: Image, Diction, and Rhetoric.  It discussed three “poetic chakras” that are present to certain extents in well-written poetry, though some poets are stronger in one or the other.  If you couldn’t figure it out from the title of the article, these three “chakras” are image, diction, and rhetoric.  Simply put, poets who are stronger in image rely on the use of image as their means of conveying information; poets who lean towards the use of diction rely on word choice to provide a stronger sense of voice and character; and those who rely on rhetoric often sound preachy.  Hoagland says any one of these can be fine on its own, but that the intermingling of all three can produce some of the best poetry.  He uses Paul Goodman‘s poem “Birthday Cake” as an example of the latter.

Hope everyone has had a great start to the week,

Combat Steve

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