The third online tutorial is now on the go, following a poetry day school last weekend (where I read out some Burns since it was the 25th). Anyway the exercise is to write a poem based on the model of Amanda Dalton’s How to Disappear.  So this is the second draft of my meta poem, a further draft (poetry as a process) will be posted later on when I’ve had some feedback and had time to let it rest a wee bit.

How to write poetry

How can an ordinary person like me possibly do it?
How am I supposed to get all those words arranged on the page?
How do I learn to write beautiful poetry?

Recognise that poetry doesn’t appear ready to read. Like a block of stone,
it needs careful chiselling, chip by chip, into shape. What goes is important
as what stays. Ready to restore errant chunks where the chisel chips too much.

Read it. Write it. Read it again. Read it out loud.
Read it until I am proud of every word, line
break and punctuation mark. Stop and think
about how structure shapes story, how the line breaks change
meaning. Embrace the choice
of word and make every word sweat.

Write it. Shape it. Share it.


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