I used to despise poetry. I refused to read it, let alone write it. For three years I studied poetry at university, because for whatever reason, I was half decent at analysing the stuff. Plagued by “this happens because of this,” or, “don’t write that, you can’t do that in a poem unless you’re experienced,” I got frustrated and disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the literary modern poem.
It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realised how rewarding poetry can be. Forgetting about the rules and logic behind poetry has opened up a hundred new ways of experimenting with language I never thought possible. Poetry is not about adhering to rules, but breaking them.
Found poetry is fascinating. Interesting combinations of words happen all the time, at every second, completely by accident. I’ve found myself listening more closely in everyday situations. Carrying a notebook around with you, and a pen, is crucial if you want to improve your writing. Listening to what’s going on around you is good for your prose, your dialogue, your poetry. As Stein said, “It is awfully important to know what is and what is not your business.”
Intrude with your ears.
Poetry lacks the restrictions of prose. It can be more free-flowing, quicker, more instantaneous. Writing succinctly in poetry has had an influence on my prose, where I now aim for the “less said the better” rule. Cutting out unnecessary description has made me realise words, on their own, can be powerful.
Simplicity is evocative, and effective.