Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tips For Amateur Poets (aka Bryan Is Cranky Today, And Also Thinks He's All That)

If your poem is serious, the end of each line need not rhyme. In fact, convention is that serious poetry has longer lines, looser meter, weaker rhyme.

If you want to write about your friend who got their body burned off in a pencil-sharpener fire and then fell down a well and got drowned, sounding like Dr. Seuss will lessen the impact of your poem.

Plus, there's lots more to poetry, like alliteration, allegory, turn of phrase, how it looks on the page, and on and on.

However: if you must use the short-lines-strict-rhyme format (because how else will they know it's a poem?), please please please try to make it scan. This means give it consistent meter without having to pronounce words like they were French ("pa-PER clip" "vo-MIT"), and try to make it have approximately the right number of syllables per line (within 10%, say).

You're welcome.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, this quote:
"You must not think me necessarily foolish because I am facetious, nor will I consider you necessarily wise because you are grave."
-Sydney Smith