Sunday, January 25, 2009
Amy King's Poetry Tip
By Amy King
2007 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere
Avoid the poetry game—don't try to write straight emotional verse and don't try to write straight intellectual verse and don't concern yourself with "becoming a poet." Tap into your intuition and go with what both feels smart and smartly feels. Easier said than done, I know. It takes practice, daily, with lots of throw away. Sit alone and realize that even famous writers rely only on themselves, their bodies and minds that are infinitely not split. Learn to be alone, practice writing without recognition, without approval.
The trick is to get rid of your ideas of publishing. Don't ask, "What do people want to read?" or "How can I become a well known poet?" Instead ask, "What do people *need* to read?" Your words can either merely reflect the culture around you or your language can invent and change the world. Go with what feels right, however odd that appears in the face of expectation—stand out and be loyal only to what you know must be done.
Walt Whitman, shameless self promoter, was not invested in advancing himself or gaining celebrity status, but rather, he was certain of his poetry and how much the world needed it. He changed the face of poetry, who can use it, and even how.