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← My usually atheist poetry homepage

Ilovelucy's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Ilovelucy

Gareth, I quite like your style, and I don't think it would help you to read a bunch of dead formalist poets, well apart from for enjoyment. Dead poets such as Bukowski, Stevens and Cummings seem to be much more up your street anyway. Anyone serious about poetry needs to get into contemporary work, I suggest Bloodaxe's Identity Parade anthology as a barometer of contemporary British poetry.

If anything, I would like to see you stretch out with your content. Atheism just isn't that interesting a subject for poetry because it's an opinion rather than an experience and experience is so much better for poetry. Poetry needs to bring up something visceral or pungent, "show don't tell" is a workshop cliche but still a useful one, one worth learning how and when to disobey. I like the informality and spare use of language but the subject matter needs to be something that people can feel, touch, see, taste and smell. Feel free to express opinion in the midst of it, but without experience there's nothing for us to hook onto: the poems will lack humanity and will only connect with readers in the same way as an editorial or opinion piece. They'll nod their head in agreement, or the opposite, but they will not be moved.

Another piece of advice would be that if you plan on being published in future you need to stop putting the work out for free. Editors of journals and anthologies like to get the scoop as far as new poetry is concerned.

Hope some of this helps, good luck with the words, :)

Sun, 30 May 2010 20:42:36 UTC | #474903