Tag Archive | writing

Some poetic advice for Bad Poetry Day

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Poetic Perfection?

Is there truly such thing as a perfect poem? What reads like unblemished perfection to one, may not receive the same praises from another. Poetry is a subjective art. There are guidelines a writer can follow which may endear their words to a greater audience of readers. The words of a poem provide the reader sustenance with which they can quell their hunger, but the presentation, the way in which the writer chooses to craft their words upon a blank canvas, is important to a readers palate as well.

A poem needn’t be epic in length, think of the power the words of haiku hold.

Writer - Haiku - Crystal R. Cook

Poetry is something which comes from within, composition and form are secondary to the words which will bring meaning and life to the page, but important still. Poetry comes in many forms, perfect to one – nonsense to another. What matters is the author’s voice tickling the reader’s ear through the whispered words of the page.

You needn’t use big words or flowery verse, it doesn’t have to rhyme, and it doesn’t have to be explained; the words and the composition of them should suffice. Writing poetry can be healing, thought-provoking, and at times, profound to both the writer as well as the reader. The perfect poem is the one that touches your soul when you write it, and invites the reader to become one with your words.

Seeking release

The laureate lamented
for her words were skewed,
her altiloquence mistaken
as being quite rude.
Her style clinquant,
her affectation too much,
too many mistakes,
like catchfools and such.
Circumlocution
and too many clichés
made all of her readers
turn quickly away.
What she thought
to be eloquent
was really quite fustian;
due to forced rhyme
she lacked any . . . lyricism?
Pedantry ad nauseam,
not even done right,
left the young writer
feeling contrite.
She vowed to improve,
she promised to change
and pay more attention
how her words were arranged.
Convinced of her talent
she started again,
but was soon held up
by heteronyms.
She stopped and she sighed,
then she started to cry,
for her poetic juices
had completely run dry . . .

CRC

Simply awful with that bit of forced rhyme and the ridiculous use of unnecessarily big words. I must admit though, it was quite fun to write.

Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme. If you cannot rhyme well, you shouldn’t rhyme at all. Forced rhymes destroy what may otherwise be a fine piece of work. Rhymed poetry needs to have a rhythm; it needs to flow seamlessly as it is read. It needs to make sense.

If writing a rhymed piece, ideally each stanza should have the same amount of lines; the rhyme scheme needs to be consistent. There are several ways to craft a rhymed poem, once you’ve chosen your style, remain true to it throughout the piece, the jarring effect of switched up rhyme schemes can throw a reader off.

Every line in a poem does not need to be capitalized; many writers tend to do this, for the reader though, it is often hard to distinguish where one thought ends and another begins. A poem can have commas, periods, and question marks. These details can certainly serve to enhance your work; don’t be afraid to use them.

Poetic beauty is personal passion, as it is with any art. There are those who love and admire the work of Picasso and others who are perplexed and not attracted to it in the slightest, yet both recognize the value of the art itself.

Words never rest,
an endless dance
of thoughts
and epiphanies,
which must
be forgotten
or given
life eternal
upon a page.

Words
ease fear,
create terror,
heal, hurt,
make
insanity
the norm.

They never
cease,
they never
fade,
never fail,
never stop.

CRC

We Write by Crystal R. Cook

And because we spoke of rhyme . . .

Stymied by Rhyme?

Rhyme

To rhyme or not to rhyme, if you choose to rhyme, you must rhyme well, for if you don’t, it will sound like . . . Well, you understand don’t you?

From the Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce – RIME, n. Agreeing sounds in the terminals of verse, mostly bad. The verses themselves, as distinguished from prose, mostly dull. Usually (and wickedly) spelled “rhyme.”

When asked about English words without a rhyme, most will quite correctly say orange, purple and silver. There are actually many words in the English language lacking a partner in perfect rhyme.

If it’s true rhyme you’re looking for, you may want to steer clear of the words: anything, January, stubborn, apricot, dictionary and xylophone. Good luck with chaos, angry, hostage, rhythm, shadow, circus, crayon and glimpsed. Angst and empty, depth and width will be tough to rhyme, just like glimpsed and else and diamond and chocolate. Penguin and galaxy do not have any true rhymes, nor does elbow or engine, anxious or monster.

A perfect rhyme, sometimes referred to as true rhyme or full rhyme, is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language as; a rhyme in which the final accented vowel and all succeeding consonants or syllables are identical, while the preceding consonants are different, for example, great, late; rider, beside her; dutiful, beautiful.

Pure rhyme can be broken down even further. Words such as dog and log are single pure rhymes. Silly and willy would hence be referred to as double pure rhymes. An example of a triple pure rhyme would be mystery and history.

The longer the word, the harder it will be to find a perfect rhyme, this doesn’t mean they cannot be used in the context of rhyme however. Para-rhymes are defined as a partial or imperfect rhyme, often using assonance or consonance only, as in dry and died or grown and moon. This is also called half rhyme, near rhyme, oblique rhyme, slant rhyme or forced rhyme. This refers to words that do not completely rhyme, but use like sound to form the desired effect. A common example is the word discombobulate, to create a fluid sounding rhyme, three syllables must be utilized, populate would work well as a half rhyme in this instance. Hill and hell or mystery and mastery are examples of para-rhyme.

Masculine rhyme, or monosyllabic rhyme, is among the most common; this technique stresses the final syllable of each word, as in sublime and rhyme, or went and sent. Feminine rhyme differs in that the stress is on two or more syllables such as pleasure and treasure or fountain and mountain. Identical rhyme is simply using the same word twice.

There are various other examples of rhyme; eye rhyme is a rhyme consisting of words, such as lint and pint or love and move with similar spellings, but different sounds. Rich rhyme is a word rhymed with its homonym such as blue with blew, guest with guessed.

Scarce rhymes are words with limited rhyming alternatives like wisp and lisp, motionless and oceanless. Wrenched rhyme is the rhyming of a stressed syllable with an unstressed syllable as in words like lady and bee or bent and firmament.

Internal and external multi-syllable rhymes utilize the rhyming of more than one word, in this example, bleak and seek are internal rhymes; words within the body of the stanza, while night and light are external rhymes and fall at the end of a line.

So she found him
in the bleak of night,
lost on his quest
to seek the light.

Assonance rhyme is the matching of the vowel sounds, feast and feed, fever and feature. In syllable rhyme, the last syllable in each word is matching, pitter and patter, batter and matter. Consonance rhyme is matching the consonants in each word, her and dark. Alliteration is matching the beginning sounds of each word, often used in a series; perfect, poetic, personification.

Many people wrongly assume writing a rhymed poem is an easy task, until they actually try to write one, that is. There is much more to it than seeking words that rhyme, but we’ll discuss it at length some other time.

Crystal R. Cook

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Bleeding Ink

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Artwork by Loui Jover

I’m bleeding ink
with each beat
of my heart.
With every pulse
the words flow faster
than my fingers can
can guide them
to a page.
These words,
unlike so many others,
are mine,
mine alone.
I fear they will be
skewed,
twisted,
misused,
misunderstood.
Wasted on eyes
only looking
between the lines
for something
conveyed
without my intent.
Used to wage war
without my consent.
These words I spill,
I fear
will not be
what you hear.
You’re listening
for something
I’m not trying
to say.
I’m bleeding ink.
It pours out wounds
from words
you shot
like arrows
without aim.
Spoken daggers
flung in the dark
without regard
or reason.
Misplaced outrage
felling the innocent,
breaking their hearts.
I’m bleeding ink
upon pages
no one can see.
I’m bleeding ink,
and it’s killing me.

CRC

When Words Take Wing

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Artwork by Okalinichenko

Lines escape.
Letters become words,
become sentences,
become living poetry
breaking the veil
between reality
and belief.
Creatures created
from the twitch
of a synapse
within a stirring mind,
Flowing from pen to page
toward freedom,
words take wing.
Soaring thought,
ideas awakened,
loosed to roam
wither they will,
to set upon
unsuspecting souls,
stirring hearts,
provoking contemplation,
sharing wisdom,
creating dream.
Finding their way,
waiting to be found.
Lines escape,
letters become words,
become sentences,
become living poetry . . .

CRC

The Words

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The words, the words – they scream, begging for release, clamoring, vying for attention, pieces of poems and paragraphs of prose push and pile one upon the other until I hear nothing more than noise, until they become nothing more than sound without substance, until I’m forced to lock them away, somewhere so deep within I’m afraid they’ll be lost.

The words, the words – my constant companions, my friends, my sometime foes. Tonight, there are too many, so many I cannot pluck them out and pen them to a page so I doodle and scribble my angst. I write random words and scratch them out. My frustration fills the page.

Perhaps tomorrow they will settle, tomorrow they will whisper. Maybe then I will breathe again.

Palette of words . . .

I’d no intention to write today, poetic was certainly not the mood I was in, but I clicked on WordPalette instead of Solitaire this afternoon to wile away the time between loads of laundry and lost myself in wordplay.

Seriously, if you haven’t tried this app, you should. Every time I play around with it, I’m left happily surprised with the results.

Sometimes I only use words from the palette, sometimes the choices simply serve to inspire and spark a little creative fire. I’ve always liked playing with fire . . .

Click here to read a little more about this fun app –> My Favorite, Fun New App

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Raging against ourselves,
abandoned from within.
Felled by foolish pride
and ignorance,
we search for meaning
amongst the ashes
of truths we long ago burned.
We buried the path
to a better future
beneath layers
of forgotten yesterdays,
of lessons we were meant to learn.
Miles made of years
stretch before us,
in the space between now
and someday,
there lay a vast
and barren desert
littered with remnants
of things we once valued.
Mammoth mountains
of prejudice and disdain
and things we should have
long since buried
impede those
who seek refuge beyond them.
Those willing to forge a new path
and embark upon a journey
toward a new future,
willing to face fears
and fight against what is,
will one day rise,
lifted by winds of change
until they soar high enough
to glimpse the dawn
of a new day.

It’s not personal . . .

img_0877Killing for them or tearing one of their worlds to pieces is the easy part. It’s not personal, for me at least. I’m not personally or emotionally invested in them. I know, what’s wrong with me, right? I’m not like a lot of other people, and I’m not just talking about the killing and dissembling of someone else’s world stuff.

Really, I think the killings are probably the most normal thing about me. People just have very different ideas of what constitutes normality. I’m only trying to help.

So, like I was saying, the killing part I do for them is easy for me. Okay, it’s sometimes a little tough. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have to, but it’s kind of a job requirement.

The thing I have a harder time with is dealing with the ones who came to me and asked me to do the job to begin with. I mean, c’mon, they know what I’m going do, it’s on the business card for crying out loud. Well, if I had business cards it would be. The point is, they know.

Sometimes I just want to scream. I’m listening to these grieving creatures and thinking, umm . . . you came to me, remember? You read the terms and conditions, you signed here, initialed there, so really, dry it up and move on. That sounds cold hearted, I know. Especially since I am so much like them and would likely feel the same way.

Besides, it’s not like they can’t fricking bring them back to life. It voids my services of course, I stand behind my work and my refund policy clearly states in no uncertain terms that there aren’t any refunds. Heck, a majority of the time I do it for free anyway. I probably shouldn’t but, and reserve judgement here, I enjoy it. I often derive a great sense of satisfaction and sometimes even inspiration from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of satisfied clients, most of them as a matter of fact, but some seem to have a harder time letting go once the deed is done. They wonder if they made the right decision, I suppose that’s normal. It’s a process. They know they did what had to be done, or they wouldn’t have sought out my help, but still, they grieve. They don’t always agree with my methods, even though they came to me based on my previous work.

That’s the thing, they trusted me to get the job done, then they second guess the way I did it. After some time has passed and they’ve worked through their emotions they almost always come to thank me, I get a lot of repeat customers actually.

It’s a rollercoaster, what I do, I like to think I’m pretty darn good at it too. Sure, I make judgment calls maybe someone else in my position may have made a little differently, aside from the basic mechanics, we all have our own little bit of flair we add to our work.

You know, I don’t always do the actual deed myself, I offer advice to folks who want to see it through themselves. Every now and then I just tweak their ideas a bit, give an overall opinion of the direction they want to go and they get it done.

I have a job right now actually, so I gotta get to it. This one is for img_0878me, it’s a little harder when you make the work personal. Words to cut, characters to kill, paragraphs to shorten, others to lengthen . . .

I’m not a monster. Editing and critiquing the words penned to a page can be brutal work, especially when you’re doing it for someone else, or yourself. Just brutal.

I didn’t bother to check for grammar, typos, or any other of pesky things that plagues writers in the above rambling, it’s just rambling. Something to keep my mind from going mad with the muddied mood I happen to be in. It was either plot murder or write about what to some constitutes a demise of sorts – editing.