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.
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.
good points – I think as poets we often fall toward the passive side of language.
yeah… happens easily if we’re not careful…
observing instead of living… 🙂
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
I think this is a great prompt.. even if I misunderstood it a little.. he he..
probably i misunderstood it a bit as well…
I love the way you did it though – wish I’d thought of that!
that is a very cool exercise marina… and def. forced me to get concrete… focusing on the things i saw around me while sitting on the bedroom floor after the last screw on our new wardrobe was fastened… ha
happy tuesday everyone
will be out on the trail to read what you’ve cooked up…
Glenn Buttkus said:
Wonderful prompt, Marina, but after putting together my two lists, & then randomly mixing them, I thought you wanted them combined with abstract nouns; so I strayed a bit from your parameters, yet had scads of fun working with the things in my office.
thanks for inviting us into your office glenn… smiles
Ah, I thought there was something strange about your poem. Never mind – we thrive on misunderstandings (and probably shows me just how unclear I usually am…)
This is a wonderful challenge ~
Joining you for a bit this week ~ Sorry I haven’t been around but will visit and return comments ~ Thanks for getting me out of my books for a while Marina ~ Though I must say I feel the winter’s blues if I am not writing ~
Happy Tuesday to all ~
glad that you could make it grace…
Always happy to see you, Grace. I can’t always participate either, but always feel glad when I have done so, if you know what I mean…
Ditto, Grace, on the winter blues and not having been around….
Glenn Buttkus said:
Out on the trail I am finding such strong masterful responses to the prompt, M. Thanks for sharing some of the knowledge gained from your recent poetry course. For many of us who gather at the dVerse Pub, education & growth emerge from the prompts, fellowship, & comments. I may not have the courage or patience to take an actual course, to put my poetics so severely under a microscope.
Kathy Reed said:
Thanks for passing on the interesting prompt from your tutor and yourself; sounds like it’s constructive criticism. i thought we talked about having some of that on this website once in awhile..I feel I need it…did I miss something? This exercise forced me to rethink my sentences and, for me, a positive thing.
I guess I’m not the only one then who needs to stop and think before writing… I find it’s easy to fall into bad habits and much harder to build good habits.
Victoria C. Slotto said:
This was so fun for me and a great, helpful re-entry into poetry. I’ve been away for a while and the last almost-three months have been crazy. I will be back to read later–I need to unpack and get some laundry going.
Look forward to seeing you!
Victoria C. Slotto said:
I totally misread the prompt. That’s what happens when I try to speed read. Sorry. But I did have fun.
Adriana Citlali Ramírez said:
Great prompt! It is past midnight here, so I will take on the mission tomorrow.
Happy writing! Cheers!
Look forward to seeing you when you are ready – if not now, perhaps some other time?
Adriana Citlali Ramírez said:
Thanks Marina Sofia. I managed to write something in an almost unconscious way. The randomness in the prompt took me somewhere unexpected but relevant and true to myself. Thanks.
Marina Sofia, I hope you are feeling better. Migraines are just awful. At first, the prompt was a challenge. But then suddenly it flowed on the page?screen.
That’s what I find with some prompts which initially make me go ‘Huh? Crazy, man!’. But then I end up getting quite a lot of benefit out of them… Thanks for taking part, Gabriella!
This was an interesting prompt, Marina Sofia. Thank you for stretching my writing.
Interesting prompt, Marina…I put some random words together but need to sleep on it. Hope your migraine leaves and you get some rest too 🙂
sleep well lynn…
just woke and will be out on the trail to read in a bit…
Yes, sleeping on it is a great strategy – dreams and half-consciousness have a wonderful effect on our poetry, I find!
I hope you are feeling better. This is such an interesting prompt, one I hope to try. But in the event that I am once again sidetracked I wanted to wish you well.
oh i hope you’re gonna join us lydia… life can be a beast and keeps us busy all day… hope things relax a bit for you soon…
Hope your migraine is gone. I’m submitting so late, but did want to do the exercise. It was fun. Thanks Marina.
just read your piece myrna… loved your serving tree-table…
Not late at all – I liked your challenged doormat and the confused table!
I just linked mine…with 2 hours till expiration 😉
I mean… of link, of course!
Hope someone kept the door propped open. Sliding in for last call! I loved this prompt. It forced me to write from another perspective. Thank you!! 🙂
Ha! You closed the Linky! I am left out i the cold! In truth I haven’t been here in a while as I deal with personal needs characteized in this poem. I’ll post it at your net open mic! Hello to marina, Claudia, et al. Where’s Brian?
Sorry about that, Susan! I never know when the Linky closes and am always caught out myself. Look forward to reading it anyway.