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← My usually atheist poetry homepage

Corylus's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Corylus

Gareth

You have a good vocabulary (which is the first thing a poet needs) and a desire to write (which is the second).  Good on you for both writing and obviously enjoying doing so.

If you want specific constructive criticism, I would say that I found your lack of capitalisation at the beginning of lines a little off-putting, but I am a punctuation and grammar pedant, so that might just be me.   

I am more of a reader than a writer myself, but below is a list of books I found helpful when trying to learn to about what goes on in poems. (I say ‘trying’ because it is a big subject!)  You might enjoy them - if you have not already done so.

 In ascending order of readability/difficulty (and thus the order in which I would recommend tackling them) are:-

The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry

Studying Poetry by Stephen Matterson and Darryl Jones

The Poetry Handbook by John Lennard

As a general companion I would go for:

The Poet’s Dictionary: A Handbook of Prosody and Poetic Devices by William Packard. 

Also, don’t forget to keep reading. I like to carry a small book of poems with me when on my travels (for quickly dipping into when waiting for appointments and trains) these can break up the tedium wonderfully.  It is like always having someone else to talk to wherever you go.

A couple of suggestions with this: two completely different poets with different voices but who both; in their own ways; showed great insight into people and good to read for that reason.

Selected Shorter Poems of Thomas Hardy (Ed)John Wain

John Betjeman  (Ed) Hugo Williams.

Hardy is more attuned to our philosophical viewpoint than Betjeman (who is a bit of a sentimentalist), but he laughs at himself for it and is thus easily forgiven.

(N.B. You might be able to find some of these books cheaper second hand with a little shopping around)

Anyway, keep working at it :) 

Updated: Sun, 16 May 2010 16:22:20 UTC | #470556