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Out of the fog of abstractions...

Out of the fog of abstractions…

Hello, my dear fellow poets and pub-goers!

Today I’ll be very honest with you: I am too ‘telling’, too ‘abstract’ as a poet. I’ve recently finished an online poetry course and mentoring programme organised by Irish publishers Fish. I would really recommend the course: I got lots of great writing prompts, step-by-step instruction and personalised feedback on the fifty or more poems I created throughout the ten modules.

However… one of the consistent pieces of feedback I received was that I do like to dwell on concepts and abstract notions such as ‘love’, ‘passion’, ‘soul’, ‘despair’ and so on. While these are fine for rhetoric and for orators, they are not descriptive enough for poetry. My course tutor set me lots of exercises to get me to observe things more closely, give concrete imagery – feel, sight, taste, texture, sound –  to the swirling concepts in my head.

So here is a mission, should you choose to accept it: expunge all the abstract nouns from your poem. This is how to do it.

1) Make a list of objects, large and small, but inanimate, from around the house or the garden. Such as scissors, lightbulb, fridge, flowerpot. Write down 10-15 of those on a piece of paper, cut them up, fold them and put them in a hat or bowl.

2) Then make a list of 10-15 adjectives describing emotions/feelings (sad, happy, angry, lusty). Again cut them up and put them in another hat or bowl.

3) Now randomly pick one word from each of the two hats and combine them. You might get ‘The Jolly Umbrella’ or ‘The Gloomy Fridge’, for instance.

4) Now write a poem about it, closely observing the humble object of your choice, whilst trying to convey the feeling you’re describing. Without using any abstract nouns (such as love, passion, jealousy etc.). Be careful even with your adjectives – make them as concrete as possible.

Now, if you are new to Dversepoets, this is how we roll.

• Write a poem and post it to your site/blog.
• Enter a link to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below.
• You will find links to other poets. Read and comment on other poet’s work.
• If you are promoting your work on social media, use the tag #dversepoets.

Thank you all and have fun! I’m lying low with a migraine today, but will be visiting all of you, I promise. It might just take me a little longer than usual.

Best, Marina Sofia.