Friday, June 5, 2009

Poetry Tips: Forced Poetry

What I mean by “forced poetry” is when someone asks you to unexpectedly come up with a poem for a momentous occasion such as a wedding, anniversary, birthday, eulogy, or any special occasion in general. My parents often ask me at the last minute to come up with a poem for, say, a 50th wedding anniversary, and I end up trying too hard and coming up with a poem I’m not at all satisfied with. While the receivers have never complained I’ve always wished I had more warning and could have come up with better lines. I’ve learned that there is a silver lining to this recurring event, however: Sometimes the original poem will grow and bear fruit if you keep it with you and return to it for future related occasions. For example, I was completely dissatisfied with an anniversary poem for my own parents but one full year later I had been able to change the old poem into a new and much more improved poem that it was worth the “last-minute stress” from the previous year.

So the next time someone asks you at the spur of the moment to come up with a poem, consider saying “Yes, I’ll do it!” Then hang onto it to so that you can grow it into a better poem for the next year. You may end up thanking the person who pressured you into the poem just as much as the recipient who gets the “new and improved” version.

Thanks for reading, please stop in next week…

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blue Collar Review Open Submissions

Check out the site for the types of poetry published since their submission guidelines are spare: You may send up to 5 poems with your name and contact information on each page sent in an envelope that also includes a self-addressed stamped return envelope to:

Blue Collar Review
PO Box 11417
Norfolk, VA 23517

Check out the guidelines at:

Check out Blue Collar Home page at:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound
from Light: “I always thought reality” by Inger Christensen, translated by Susanna Nied
“Numbers” by Katharine Coles

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lilliput Review Issue #168

The Lilliput Review features poems ten lines or less and Issue #168 is small enough to fit just under the length of your hand. Don Wentworth has put together another fine journal whose subtle themes include barbarians and poets for Issue #168 and I would like to share several with you:

from Waiting for the Barbarians

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.

C.P. Cavafy
Translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrad

in 5 minutes
the old man
has told me everything

Robert Epstein
El Cerrito CA

I have to wonder if the old man has told a nugget of truth, his life story, or of an event. The curiosity is unbearable!

i stumble
the pebble shows
its darker side

Natalia L. Rudychev
Des Plaines, IL

I think this is a clever and funny little poem, don’t you?

a morning
empty of words –
a shadow
begins to form
on my desk

Mike Montreuil
Gloucester, Ontario

Quite a poetic way of describing writer’s block, don’t you think? That’s how I interpret it at least.

The art of November—
an old man raises orchids;
his humid room—
white and purple petals.

Peggy Garrison
New York, NY

This makes me wish I could breathe in the smell of those orchids and also makes me thankful that we are back to warmer weather.

If you enjoyed this little sample you’ll be thrilled to know that each issue only costs $1.00 and if you have really tight purse strings you can see older issues in their entirety on-line through links at Lilliput Review’s blog: Issa's Untidy Hut.

Don Wentworth is one of the hardest working and most generous editors I know. He has a web-site, Facebook Page, blog, twitter, posts samples of past issues, twitters past poems, and is willing to occasionally post an entire issue for free. He also accepts submissions year round and hand-writes messages to all who submit accompanied by a free issue whether their poem gets accepted or not. He’s also only charged $1.00 an issue for the past twenty years. If that doesn’t motivate you to stop by and pay him a visit on-line I don’t know what will. So please pay him a visit with any of the links posted, you will be happy you did so.

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, June 1, 2009


Find featured poets and their wonderful poems, discussion essays, and personal anecdotes along with many other great finds at Perihelion:

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for a featured journal…