Friday, September 19, 2008

Poetry Tips: The Frequent Word

For those of you who write poems frequently you may have noticed that a particular word, or words, sneaks in to the majority of your poems. For me, it is the word “surely” and it is so frequent that I hardly notice it when I’m writing or typing up a new poem and when I go back to read it I become angry with myself and think “there it is again!” It also brings to mind the standard joke from the Naked Gun movies in which Leslie Nielsen replies “And don’t call me Shirley” to anyone who uses “surely” in a sentence. So for those of you in the same dilemma I propose that you write a poem which revolves around your frequent word choice. It can be a tribute to the word, a whine about the word, or you can make your word become a living, breathing entity. Have fun, and surely you have a more fascinating word to work with than I do.

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j.b said...

funny. what's your vector, Victor?

i'm a that-whore. that, that, that. and suddenly. things always seem to be happening suddenly in my poems. nothing ever gradually happens.

suddenly, that's all that there is that i can say.

i've been told, too, that moist shows up in my poems at a higher than normal frequency, but there's nothing at all wrong with that.

i wonder why it is that certain words pop up more often than others?

surely, we can figure this out.

Poet Hound said...

Thanks for the laughs and Naked Gun quotes. If only I knew a psychologist who could provide insight into why writers tend to use particular words over and over, perhaps then we would know the secret to the universe!

Dave King said...

I think that is a brilliant idea. My word is "just". I regard it as a weed and go through the first draft pulling it out. I think your idea might well work, though - just.

Poet Hound said...

Mr. King,
Just think how suddenly and surely this could all come together! I like the idea of "weeding" the first draft, I do that myself as well.

tanuj solanki said...

i am overusing 'like'
that is always a bad sign for a poet!

Poet Hound said...

I used to have the terrible habit of saying the word "like" as a teenager. Good luck on "weeding out" your poems the way Mr. King does for future poems you work on.