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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ten Poetry Rules

#1 – Full Attention to the Poem! 
When working on a poem, give the poem 100% of your attention. Don’t allow distractions!
#2 – Sharp Poems are Safe Poems
Always keep your poems sharp — dull poems make your reader snore and are likely to suck.
#3 – Keep ‘em Clean 
When folding poems before placing them in drawers to incubate for at least six months, always keep the brain free of the delusion that no one will notice the bad parts. Attempting to publish too soon can affect the poem’s integrity.
#4 – Anatomy Off Limits! 
Don’t check the sharpness of a poem with any of your or anyone else’s body parts.
#5 – Cut Away, Never Toward 
Always cut away from the poem whether writing, revising or submitting.
#6 – Not a Pry Bar! 
Screwdrivers, hammers, ice picks, and pry bars should not be used to turn a piece of prose into poetry.
#7 – Dishwasher Safe? 
Do not wash your poem in a dishwasher. Take it to a writing critique group or workshop instead.
#8 – You Are not a Ninja 
Do not throw any poem unless it is designed to be thrown. Even then, beware of “springback” from a bad throw.
#9 – Let it Fall. . . 
Never try to catch a falling poem, no matter how instinctive it is. Just move out of the way and watch it stumble or fly.

#10 – Right Tool for the Job 
Learn how to write different types of poems safely and don’t be tempted to cheat. Let the poem dictate which tools are right for the job.

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