When I first started writing poems I made the same mistakes most beginning poets do. For one, I was much too wordy. Another was that I was not descriptive enough. My poems sometimes read like a play-by-play instead of using descriptive words to conjure up the imagery and feelings behind what I was saying.
So your task today is to revise a couple of poems to see which ones merely tell the reader what is happening rather than describing it. For example:
My grandmother made tea,
As she always does on Sundays,
Lifting the porcelain cups from
The cupboard and clinking
Them together onto the silver
Tray. Today we were to
Discuss the latest bit
Of juicy gossip involving
My cousin and her good-
As always, the tea steamed
Away all guilt from gossip.
Let’s try using more imagery, and less play-by-play, shall we?
My grandmother’s delicate, long
fingers grasped the pale blue
porcelain tea cups by their stems
and, clinking, set them upon her
favored, tarnished, silver tea tray.
As was custom on Sundays, we
were to sit together steaming
about our relative (my cousin)
and her good-for-nothing
boyfriend, much like this rich
Irish Breakfast Black tea was
steaming up at us warming our
cheeks as though they weren’t
already red with anger.
Notice the differences? By expanding on the description of the small scene taking place you can interest and involve the reader much more closely. If you have some poems lying around, you may want to see if you can tweak it a little to include more descriptive imagery. Or you can create a brand new poem keeping this tactic in mind.
Thanks for stopping in. Tomorrow I will be introducing you to another poet that blogs…