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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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Up the Staircase Open Submissions

You have until September 25th deadline to three to five poems via e-mail to upthestaircaseATgmailDOTcom with “Poetry Submission” in the subject line, please explore the site to get a feel for the poems they publish and to learn more about their guidelines please click the link below:

Good luck to all who submit, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Arlene Ang’s poems “flashlight solo” and “The Model Particular”
Mercedes Dawson’s “Ink Stained”

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poetry's September Issue

This issue has a wonderful gift for all poetry readers: A section devoted to Philip Larkin—not his poems—but his drawings. My absolute favorite is one he titled “Tea Time” that he had made for his mother. I am often jealous of poets who can paint, but I am also jealous of poets who can draw. Larkin is no exception. While some of the depictions are more like doodles, the one mentioned above is well done and full of detail, right down to the shadows of a toast on a toasting stick. I hope you get a chance to take a look at it because it is so endearing. You can sample one of his drawings at the following link:

Interestingly, every single poem I “ear-marked” is available on the The first one, "Ten Moons" by Sasha Dugdale is a beautiful poem dedicated to night-time as opposed to garish day-time sun.

The second is "Rest Before You Sleep" by Dionisio D. Martinez which grabbed the attention of a non-poetry reader in my household. What strikes me about this poem besides the smoothness of the language and the romanticism of weary feet is the way the lines are broken up in each stanza yet they don’t deter from the rhythm of the poem. The spaces seem to take the place of regular punctuation. Instead of periods, commas or semi-colons you encounter the spaces which provide just the right amount of pause for each point. It may not be a new idea but it is done so well that it seems novel anyway. The poem itself is easy enough to understand, so I thought I would share my thoughts on its structure this time around.

Finally, the third poem I ear-marked is "Dressing Down, 1962" by Lesley Wheeler. Really, the attitude is what I enjoy most in the poem. Ms. Wheeler sounds tired and irritable on an international flight, perhaps with a head-ache, and it is endlessly entertaining as a result. The poem leaves you wondering why she left England to come to America, the clues few in all of three lines:“I would do what I said and leave/England. I would ride that El Al jet, mystery/novel in hand and never grieve.” Regardless of her reasons, her first impression of Americans is humorous and will hopefully leave you grinning as it did for me.

Thanks always for reading, please drop in tomorrow for more found poems…

Monday, September 15, 2008

C & R Press Site

This looks like a relatively young press looking to publish emerging poets. They have one published book so far, as I said, a young press, so check in to see when their next Open Submissions are and to learn more about the creators at:

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