3 Aug 2012
Well, clearly there’s no one answer. There’s a question of genre: in a memoir or autobiography, we expect everything to have some bearing on the subject. As readers, we (or at least, I) turn to such books to get inside the author/narrator’s head. When world events crop up, we want to hear how they influenced that person’s life or world-view more than how they influenced history in...
25 Jul 2012
I seem to be attracting a lot of them.
There was this one. This was a couple of years ago, and I didn’t find out about it until afterwards. The person never contacted me directly, but followed my blog for a while and made some interesting observations.
Last fall a music student at Chapman University asked if he could use “Sestina, Inspired by Rumi” as the basis for a musical composition,...
5 Jul 2012
Greatest triumph? Short answer: Getting my first book published.
Hardly worth a whole post.
I view my growth as a writer in terms of milestones. Each one is substantial, compared to the one before, but it’s hard to say which is the “greatest.” So here’s a quick chronological list:
Deciding I was serious about poetry
Getting my first publication, in an online journal (long since...
12 Jun 2012
Friends And Foes Inform Me I’m Flourescent
Merriam-Webster defines alliteration as follows: “the repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables”. The Prosody Guide offers a slightly different definition: “identity of the first sounds preceding the vowels in the syllables carrying the primary stresses of two words”. According to the Prosody definition,...
7 Jun 2012
I haven’t really run into any difficulties as a writer. Yet. There’s plenty of time.
Which is not to say I’ve realized all my writing goals: far from it. But I feel like I’m making steady progress toward the important ones, so it’s really just a matter of continuing to apply myself. That doesn’t count as a difficulty. And of course, there are time management issues, but...
25 May 2012
What I most fear as a writer is hypocrisy.
This may sound funny coming from someone who’s nattered on about how poetry doesn’t need to be personal, defends the right of poets to write fiction, etc. etc. But just as there’s a difference between fiction and lying, there’s a difference between fact and integrity. Just because a poem is about “true” facts doesn’t mean...
2 May 2012
Back to the idea of rhythm. How does one create such? Traditional methods include rhyme, meter, and alliteration. (Alliteration isn’t used much in English verse any more, which is kind of a shame.) Repetition of key words, phrases, or lines is also common in many older verse forms.
Creating rhythm in free
verse is more challenging,
and unfortunately is
sometimes ignored: this
results in the kind...
17 Apr 2012
This will be the first of a series of three or four irregularly spaced posts about technical issues in formal poetry. Somewhere in here I’ll likely write a post about why I write formal poetry, and why every poet should at least be able to.
There’s a good deal of technical information about scansion and meter at various online locations, including my favorites, Vole Central and the Prosody Guide....