Monday, January 11, 2010


I was looking for fun things for writers to do when they want to procrastinate relax from their labours and I found the Madlib site for generating poetry.

I had a go at it and it produced this:

slow park's slow park 
rhythmically i have never walked, majestically beyond
any flower, your door has their pink:
in your most slimy skater are things which spread me,
or which i cannot procrastinate because they are too quick

- fairyhedgehog & e.e. cummings

(I tidied up a few verb endings etc.)

What gets to me is that this is no worse than any poetry I could  write. Except for the title. I could do better than that.

For me, writing poetry is a whole other thing, not even slightly related to writing prose and I wouldn't know where to begin. If you write poetry, how do you do it?


Karen Jones Gowen said...

I admire anyone who writes poetry. I used to back when I was very young, and it was awful. I think I ruined my poetry-writing gene somehow by all the terrible stuff I wrote. Now when I want to procrastinate work I blog.

fairyhedgehog said...

I wonder if there is a poetry writing gene? If there is, I'm pretty sure I don't have it.

Old Kitty said...


I love that link you sent = got me thinking of adverbs and adjectives and nouns and verbs!


how do i write poetry?

With great difficulty and concentration and hopefully after this Open Uni course!



fairyhedgehog said...

Glad you liked the link, Old Kitty. An OU course sounds like a good idea. I hope it goes well.

writtenwyrdd said...

I started off by writing poetry. I loved it (still do, when I bother) and my fascination with free verse in particular was due to a love affair with the written word and with the subtle differences in meaning picking the right word, the right sound, the right rythm could instill into a visual image. I actually focused on poetry writing while getting my English BA at UNH.

I think that the awareness of words that poetry writing gives you is really useful for writing descriptive prose. (On the other hand, one can also be too descriptive, lol.)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Poetry? It's what I started out writing - back when I thought it all had to rhyme. Free verse really got me going. And then I put it down, mostly, until last year's Clarity of Night contest. Now I'm writing it again.

I think it's much like any art. You either have a talent for it or you dont and you need to practice that skill or it'll get very rusty.

Anonymous said...

I had a go and got this (with a small edit):

All suppleness went my Tree Drifting
on a Warm Limb of Transparency
into the Long Pulse

Proud Lithe Current Powerful and Shifting
the Misty Seaweed before.

fairyhedgehog said...

ww, I had no idea you wrote poetry. I can see how it would help with descriptions but it seems a long way out of my grasp.

Sarah, You started with poetry too? It seems I just lack that talent.

Bucks, like with my "poem" bits of that sound quite good. It's fun to do.

SillyBoy said...

Poetry is an art that quite eludes me. I can appreciate the stuff that's funny and rhymes, but beyond that it's a complete mystery, reading and writing both. I've yet to figure out what distinguishes great poetry from a haphazard jumble of words, or florid prose
with line-breaks
in odd

Bevie said...

I may be wrong but I think real poetry - the kind that gets published - is based on certain meters and things like that.

I've never done anything like that. I've always created my own meter and, like Sarah, started out believing it all had to rhyme. Still tend that way.

There was a time when I simply wrote feelings. One or two words on a line for x number of lines.

Now I tend to try and tell a story. Unless I'm feeling particularly sad.

Simon Kewin said...

I write poetry occasionally, and even, somewhat to my surprise, had some published. I just find that, every now and then, usually when I'm doing something inconsequential, a line or two just appears in my mind. Which can be a bit weird.

I didn't get poetry for a long time though - couldn't see the point. Now I love it.

fairyhedgehog said...

SillyBoy, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Bevie, it sounds like you've got an instinctive feel for poetry.

Simon, you must be good at poetry to get it published. Do you want to give us a link?

There are a few poems I like, I admit, but I could never write like them.

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Southern Justice
By: Debra Harris Johnson

Southern heat waves have a way of making you crazy,
your mind starts to boil your thinking is hazy.

Tears and sweat make a deadly combination,
when you’ve caught your husband in a sexual situation.

Hotter than hell packed to the rafters,
the judge read the verdict with mitigating factors.

Whatever price paid for a moment of passion,
perspiring lips now drenched with trembling satisfaction.

Hot winds swirling round red dust and cactus,
the day the first woman hanged in Kirbyville Texas

Found you from the birthday party & wanted to say hello and invite you over to my blog for a visit. I love poetry but it doesn't love me. As you can tell from my attempt at poetry from above. LOL
Love your blog, mind if I "follow" along?

Kate said...

I can't write poetry either. In fact, I confess I don't much enjoy reading it. My brain just isn't wired that way. Unless you count a jokey haiku or the occasional corny rhyme.

Unknown said...

That poem sounds slightly dirty. But then, you did co-write with e.e. cummings, so not totally surprising, I guess :D

I enjoy writing poetry. I like to think I'm decent at it ;)

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Debra, thanks for sharing your poem with us. I like the way you rhyme cactus and Texas. I've popped over to your blog and it's so full of energy. Reading about New York is like reading about another world.

Kate, there seems to be a real divide between the people who do poetry and those of us who don't.

Maybe, it was the use of spread wasn't it? I just threw that in, heaven knows why. Do you want to put a link to your poetry here? I'm not sure how receptive an audience we are, though!

Whirlochre said...

I used to write lots of poetry but most of it was rubbish.

Now it's just the occasional spurious verse

Certainly can rarely bear to read the stuff.

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl, I don't know why but I'm surprised you don't write much poetry. I had the feeling that your style would lend itself to poetry but clearly not.

Bernita said...

For me poetry is an intermittent impulse, usually caused by some strong emotion that prose will not satisfy.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bernita, that makes sense.

PJD said...

The poetry I can't stand is the arrogant, better-than-you, if-it-was-hard-to-write-it-should-be-hard-to-read trash I call "verbal aesthetics." I love juxtaposing conflicting concepts as much as the next hack, but some people think that poetry consist only of such brain candy (or sonnets written in olde stile English).

Really good poetry comes in many shapes and sizes. It's not about the line breaks, though line breaks are a tool to be used like punctuation and white space are used in prose. It's not about mind twisting phrases, though they also have their place if used judiciously and with purpose. It's not about meter and rhyme, though those also can be used to great effect.

Personally, I treat writing poetry more like a word game. How can I communicate a point in the fewest words possible, using only the right words in the right order, relying on the sound and cadence and shape to make it complete? Most of my light verse I don't put that kind of effort into--it's more about the punchline or the fun with words--but the "real" poetry I write is approached that way. As a word game, a challenge.

Clearly, I don't approach blog comments the same way.

fairyhedgehog said...

pjd, I had a light-bulb-going-off-over-the-head moment when I read line breaks are a tool to be used like punctuation and white space are used in prose. It's one of those things that seems obvious now you've said it but that I had never understood before.

And How can I communicate a point in the fewest words possible sounds like something I might even want to have a go at.

I feel like I'm beginning to understand why someone might want to write poety. Thank you!

Post a Comment

The comments are the best part of this blog, so please do join in.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...