Poetry Challenge! (especially to OneShot Poets…)


"Sea Eagle", jane kohut-bartels, watercolor, 2000


Well, not exactly a challenge….but I’ve been thinking.

I’ve been reading some tremendous poetry on the OneShotWednesday site for the past few weeks.

Brilliant, evocative and masterful pieces and I know there has to be a method behind them.

For a while now, I have held that poetry, good poetry….is a product of some deeper study into the things that make up poetry.

It’s not something unknowable….it’s  an investigation into meter, rhythm, rhyme, etc.  And so much more.

For a while I was in a group of writers, a couple of groups, actually…and we threw around this issue of ‘where does poetry develop from and is it a totally subjective issue?’

Or something like that.  Some felt that good poetry sprung from the forehead of a poet, sort of like Adonis from Zeus?  I can’t remember which God did what, but I think this doesn’t apply to poetry at all.  It’s not mostly a spontaneous  combustion of words and rhythm.  It’s something worked over and refined.

It’s knowable but it’s a complex study.  I only say this because I have been reading some essays on poetry:  The Paris Review Interviews of very famous poets from the 20’s to the 60’s.  They seem to all push the idea that you don’t get far without some academic study of the forms and structure of this medium.

So…I casually propose this:  That this blog be open to any comment from any poet who wants to shed some light on how She/He writes their poetry.  I’ll post any comment in this blog entry and see what kind of collection of ideas and practice come from our poets out there.  Use illustrations of your own poetry, to be posted here (with copyrights, etc…) to lay clarity and thought to your own methods.

Lady Nyo

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16 Responses to “Poetry Challenge! (especially to OneShot Poets…)”

  1. Shashi Says:

    Interesting thought… would like to to this..
    When you say ” this blog” means which one.. this thread?
    I will keep this in mind and see where it goes, how it goes, but I am here. I will put some of my thoughts on why I write to begin with.. in some time…

    Thanks for initiating… It would be great to see what triggers so many of the great talent that I have seen, to leave everything and sit down to write…


    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Shashi!

    Yes, here on my blog…just so I can track it and keep the comments going. I don’t really care where it is done, but this blog is a good enough place to start this topic.

    I welcome any comment on how people write….what inspires them, what methods they use, especially as it pertains to poetry.

    that is EXACTLY what I mean…what triggers poets to leave everything and devote their lives to poetry. What is that poetical impulse?

    Whatever it is called, why do we write poetry…and how? Do we start from a more academic place: conscious of meter, rhythm, structure? or do we develop it from something else?

    Poetry is magical…it transforms our lives…but there seems to be something in commonality amongst poets….look at the comments OneShot poets make about each others poems. There is something that breaks through and unites and connects poetry and poets.

    But we are also very different. Yet what we write sometimes …many times….sparks a resonance, a connection in other poets….something of commonality between humanity. And why?

    We will see if this question….or issues…sparks a discussion here. Hopefully it will!

    Best! and thanks for being the first!

    Lady Nyo


  3. Mama Zen Says:

    I wish that I had a method. For that matter, I wish that I was a real poet!


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hah! You’re not going to get off so easily…..I read your “Dog Days” and it made me cry. It also made me wish I had written that poem…it was THAT good.

    So…regardless whether you have a method or not….you certainly are a real poet. You connect on a level that is intimate and has great resonance with your readers.


    Lady Nyo


  5. River Says:

    Reflection for a minute brings two methods to mind. 1 The idea or subject intrigues me and I write and revise until I feel happy with all individual words and the flow of them combined. Time varies.
    2 The poem or feelings appears in my mind usually with a picture. The same way I make art. It comes to me and I find the way to let it out.

    I will be back to comment upon reflection. 🙂


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, River. This is an excellent example of what I was hoping for: different poets relate how they ‘form’ poems….their individual approaches.

    “2 The poem or feelings appears in my mind usually with a picture. The same way I make art. It comes to me and I find the way to let it out.”

    Well, that seems to be sometimes. but I’ve matching paintings previously done with new poems. I guess whatever works!

    I think your comment about feeling happy with all individual words and the flow…is also good. I think the choice of the right word is a search that can reveal further artistic meanings. Language should be played with: I believe it should be capricious, loose, and inventive. That takes work, but also, an eye to a particular kind of detail.

    Thanks so much, River, for a view of your own approach to poetry. And I welcome your comment upon reflection. Perhaps this will spring off a broader discussion.

    Lady Nyo


  7. Eric Says:

    Okay, I’ll put in my two cents. (Too sense? To scents?)

    My poetry often just pops into my head, starting with a phrase – sometimes even just a word. There’s usually some underlying point, something I want to capture or explain.

    Sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes it’s logical (or illogical), but there always seems to be a driving focus behind it.

    I’m often inspired by pictures or things I see, especially in Nature. Sometimes song lyrics get me thinking.

    I’m not a huge fan of ‘form’ poetry as a rule, but I sometimes give it a shot if it works for my idea (not the other way around) and I don’t mind reading them from others.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Woohoo!! I think we were separated at birth!! I agree completely…that is just about the same process for me…..it can start with a word, or a refrain….but Nature is great for tankas!!

    I love the form of tanka…and walk counting 5/7/5/7/7~ I walk into holes and stumble over rocks because I am counting syllables!! That is about the only form I like….but we learn by doing the hated sonnets….they are a trip!! and good for the soul…

    Thank you so much, Eric, for writing here how you see your approach to poetry.

    Lady Nyo


  9. Titanium Says:

    For me, experiences drive the words, the form, the meter and the rhyme (if any). Often, I find I have no cogent expression in the midst of doing a thing; later, though, as I puzzle it in my head and sort the photographs, I make contact with my fickle muse.

    I have a heavy linguistics background, both in the study and instruction of foundation blocks of sentence structure, grammatical components and the gritty mechanics of the English language. It’s served me well, whether or not I opt to heed the rules at any given time.

    For me, writing is a function of who I am, a causal system. I can no more harness the words than I can rope the wind. Most days, I find my poetry is nestled softly at the base of the hand-cast pottery mug I sip espresso from.


  10. patty sherry Says:

    Your poetry discussion caught my eye, I too am curious to hear from others. As for my poetry, I have no refined method or academic study in the art of poetry.

    The poetry I write, it’s meter, it’s rhyme or no rhyme I hear in my head, it flows like dictation and I type what i hear. Many times I wake from a sound sleep hearing verses, and voices. It has happened this way for as long as I know.

    Emotion triggers the subject of my poems. Sometimes my own emotions and experiences, and other times it is the empathy I feel so strongly for those around me. Their story becomes mine told in the form of a poem.


  11. ladynyo Says:

    I think that is excellent, Patty! I think your approach is legitimate and a valuable offering to the subject.

    Probably there are so many links to all of us who write poetry.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a commment. We will see how this discussion goes…I think it will garner more ideas and contributions.

    Lady Nyo


  12. pete marshall Says:

    just came across this post…an interesting debate…firstly i have no qualifications and have never studied poetry…..so if i were to ever make it as a great then thats there philosophy beaten…but then in saying that i haven’t…so maybe they are right LOL

    when i write…i write..thats it…i write a line…look at it..can i expand it..if not i write a different line…what if i switched them around…and then i am off…..not sure where its going but when i get there I know…hope that helps?




  13. ladynyo Says:

    I does help, Pete. And it all goes into the pot of writing…poetry and other stuff.

    I think we perhaps all are joined by these things: some approach things academically, with a full bladder of knowledge…(lol) and others approach poetry in an open ended way.

    And then…perhaps we develop an interest in what makes these things tick: I know right now….though it is very early in my ‘career’ of poetry …I’m getting more interested in the mechanics of it all…

    That doesn’t mean that I desert the more free-wheeling approach…but it gives me pause.

    Thank you, Pete! your comment was very helpful. Hopefully others will chime in here to relate more and to link methods together.

    “when I get there I know”…..truth and great words!

    Lady Nyo


  14. Carrie Burtt Says:

    For me sometimes a poem starts with a a thought and sometimes it is a sentence that turns into something more….there is no real method to my madness….all i do know is that it is something that i must do. 🙂


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Yep…Carrie….sometimes we back into a poem….there is no exclusive method I am seeing.

    Thanks for reading and writing yours!

    Lady Nyo


  16. potenzmittel frau Says:

    Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it’s not a much.
    thanks !! very helpful post!
    amazing stuff thanx


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