Sublime your words till they’re abstract as “Good.”
Abjure the adjective-made-verb (like that “Sublime”).
A lapse in grammar’s worse than squandered rhyme
and possibly could be misunderstood.
If it’s a rose, then it’s a red-red rose,
not tinged with purple shadows of a doubt.
Allusions à-propos, or else left out;
your meaning should shine clear as polished prose.
No impulse metaphor, no blowzy blues.
You must be timeless. None of this rip-rap.
No madman’s door ajar, no ragged gap
with messy business from the nightly news.
A measured meter and no flights of dream;
a concrete channel with a babbling stream.
HOW NOT TO WRITE A POEM.
Write a poem, well they say that's mad
To chop out verse with an uncouth blade. Bad?
That looks for something better to grasp
Than rubble . If I could ever it clasp
To me the perfect poem and make it yield
I should have a better shining field
Than mere effort or half heart doggerel.
But poems that strain are incomplete transmissions
And the poet hovers too hard on indecision
Is is it good enough? Too rough to bend a readers ear?
Ouch I'll say it's all very queer
To want yet despise the verse wanted so dear
Let it fall, let it hang and force the better man
To compliance and the question of Can
It be an artifice not despised by rambling lines.
To myself must I be not unkind
Realise that when my matrimony sweet with my muse
Falls into the habit, malpractice , disuse, a bargain with untruth
And glide a more elegant swan king to a better place
It is better not to force the rhyme when my lady turns her face
And smiles on others more favourable in her place.
Yes better then not to scribe paltry attempts at composition
When the inspiration speaks not of being driven.
Thus to remain quiet and remain in it without doing it
Poems will themselves, not the vanity of the poet!
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box."– Italian Proverb
The throne fell in his lap at age sixteen
His body was tall, muscular and lean
His head was well shaped even in the teens
His carriage in demeanor bespoke his royal genes
He had an equal measure of solemnity and gaiety
So all his hangers on had to come up with things witty
He did not suffer fools gladly and dismissed them in a jiffy
His royal courts were full of entertainment and sobriety
Once a month he went to the nearby forest for a jaunt
Chasing a sleeping tiger or a lion or even a tiny fawn
The pickings were abundant but often quite scant
But that did not faze him as he took life on a slant
On his next foray he saw an old man seated under an oak
Who did not bow or blink upon seeing his royal cloak
But stroked the bonfire in front with a gentle poke
His highness was mystified at this silent rebuke
He got off his horse and bowed towards the old man
Asking him for words of wisdom with his face wan
The old man said he too was once a king with great élan
But realized its futility as he had no control over his life span
So he gave it all up and sought answers in the jungle
Not worrying a bit about his riches n consequent bungle
Just pondering upon life and its great mystery and the tussle
Between life n death and the struggle to put the mind in a muzzle
It was an uphill and a hard task that he had set upon himself
As the mind was like a slippery eel darting about in the reef
To spike it required an enormous strength of will was his belief
Otherwise one continued struggling haplessly and acquired only grief!
And with these few words he fell back into his silent reverie!
An archetypal criminal,
The crime for what it¹s worth,
An antediluvian effigy
Fit only for the earth.
Piled deep, six feet an era past,
Now fevered scornful mirth.
Subservient rhyme this mistress be,
Flirtatious in her ways,
Siren lure hypnotic chords
Brought forth a purple haze.
Lithe temptress baits unwary pen;
A peer with grimace gaze.
Quixotic splatter of tumbled threads
Chained firm their sentence given,
Upon this page and those before,
Spellbound the words are driven.
Restraint, the portal bars set firm,
Reborn the mind is striven.
I AM THE LORD THY TENNYSON
THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE WORD BELLOWS BEFORE ME
thou shalt not contrive thy sonnet
impose no brute force on it
nor adulterate your haiku
or the ghost of basho will haunt you
when rendering your senryu
toss all verbaceous word stew
reduce the roasted rhetoric
excise the wordy generics
tweak the onomatopoeiass
cast out verbal diarrhea
be egregiously coy
in your poetic ploy
too many tenses
offend the senses
marie a. mennuto-rovello
POETA FIT, NON NASCITUR by Lewis Carroll
"How shall I be a poet?
How shall I write in rhyme?
You told me once 'the very wish
Partook of the sublime.'
Then tell me how! Don't put me off
With your 'another time'!"
The old man smiled to see him,
To hear his sudden sally;
He liked the lad to speak his mind
And thought "There's no hum-drum in him,
Nor any shilly-shally."
"And would you be a poet
Before you've been to school?
Ah, well! I hardly thought you
So absolute a fool.
First learn to be spasmodic -
A very simple rule.
"For first you write a sentence,
And then you chop it small;
Then mix the bits, and sort them out
Just as they chance to fall:
The order of the phrases makes
No difference at all.
'Then, if you'd be impressive,
Remember what I say,
That abstract qualities begin
With capitals alway:
The True, the Good, the Beautiful -
Those are the things that pay!
"Next, when you are describing
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things
With a sort of mental squint."
"For instance, if I wished, Sir,
Of mutton-pies to tell,
Should I say 'dreams of fleecy flocks
Pent in a wheaten cell'?"
"Why, yes," the old man said: "that phrase
Would answer very well.
"Then fourthly, there are epithets
That suit with any word -
As well as Harvey's Reading Sauce
With fish, or flesh, or bird -
Of these, 'wild,' 'lonely,' 'weary,' 'strange,'
Are much to be preferred."
"And will it do, O will it do
To take them in a lump -
As 'the wild man went his weary way
To a strange and lonely pump'?"
"Nay, nay! You must not hastily
To such conclusions jump.
"Such epithets, like pepper,
Give zest to what you write;
And, if you strew them sparely,
They whet the appetite:
But if you lay them on too thick,
You spoil the matter quite!
"Last, as to the arrangement:
Your reader, you should show him,
Must take what information he
Can get, and look for no im-
mature disclosure of the drift
And purpose of your poem.
"Therefore, to test his patience -
How much he can endure -
Mention no places, names, or dates,
And evermore be sure
Throughout the poem to be found
"First fix upon the limit
To which it shall extend:
Then fill it up with 'Padding'
(Beg some of any friend):
Your great SENSATION-STANZA
You place towards the end."
"And what is a Sensation,
Grandfather, tell me, pray?
I think I never heard the word
So used before to-day:
Be kind enough to mention one
And the old man, looking sadly
Across the garden-lawn,
Where here and there a dew-drop
Yet glittered in the dawn,
Said "Go to the Adelphi,
And see the 'Colleen Bawn.'
'The word is due to Boucicault -
The theory is his,
Where Life becomes a Spasm,
And History a Whiz:
If that is not Sensation,
I don't know what it is.
"Now try your hand, ere Fancy
Have lost its present glow - "
"And then," his grandson added,
"We'll publish it, you know:
Green cloth - gold-lettered at the back -
Then proudly smiled that old man
To see the eager lad
Rush madly for his pen and ink
And for his blotting-pad -
But, when he thought of PUBLISHING,
His face grew stern and sad.
by Lewis Carroll