Are Poets Just Lazy Writers?

Are Poets Just Lazy Writers_

Thank you all for taking part in last week’s post, Even Poets Can Be Funny. Your responses kept me smiling well into the weekend. Mrs D got in the act suggesting my humour was like me, best kept in a MOOseum. Hopefully we can have a few more posts like this throughout the year.

In today’s Thursday Thoughts I am returning to the exploration and journey through poetry and a question asked at a writing meetup I attended a few weeks ago, “are poets just lazy writers?” My first reaction was to go on the defensive, but I took the question home with me and it has opened some interesting ideas and reflection.

Poetry can appear, from the outside, to be a writing form taking less time and effort than other types of writing. Compare, for example, one of Issa’s Haikus with Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the finished work on paper can lead to the impression poetry is a less time consuming and challenging activity.

At the same meeting I was asked, “How long does it take you to write a poem?” My answer was “55 years…. at the moment”, because each poem I write contains every ounce of my being going back to the time I took my first breath. This would be no different whether writing a novel, short story or a six-line poem.

Sometimes an idea for a poem can sit in my head for weeks and only after a hundred miles of walking and pondering will the first draft make it on paper. Then there is the drawn-out process of reducing the 1000 words of mayhem into something resembling poetry.  Many poems are put to one side in journals or files and may not see the light of day for months or even years.  In among all this there are the hours of doubt and frustration and a process that may be taking place with numerous poems at any one time. There are many words I could use to describe poets but lazy would not be one of them.

C.K. Williams said  his poem, The Hearth (in the singing), took twenty-five years to write and there are many other poets whose poetry and collections were the product of years of hard work.  Each one an example  poets are far from lazy writers.

Well that’s enough for this week. I have had my daily ten minutes of stretching the pen and grey matter; the log fire and armchair beckons (it’s a poet thing).

What are your views on this. Are poets lazy writers, or is there much more to the dark art? The floor is yours.

93 Comments

Most definitely not lazy writers! All the words are squeezed from your mind, carefully crafted to flow in a page and when read out aloud…
There are times when a verse can just spill from you easily. Those words are like liquid gold, and happen very rarely. When you read the product, there is very little to adjust.
The layers you add into a poem, even a simple haiku, show how much work is put into them!

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Is a sprinter lazier than a marathon runner ? No, just different disciplines . Also Davy, consider how many poems the average poet writes compared to how many novels the average novelist writes.
Or may be the novelist needs 300 pages to convey their thoughts. If you were to write a summary of a novel you could do so in probably 1/2 a page, similar to a poem (I exaggerate, but you get the point).

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    Some good thoughts here Nigel and I am thinking about the time and effort it must have taken you to put together the poems for your recent book. Your comment re the sprinter or marathon runner makes me think, is there more to whether someone chooses writing poetry to other forms of writing. For me there is also a link to personality. I have tried writing a novel but got bored after the first chapter. Poetry allows me to have numerous projects on the go at any one time. Some of the personality tests I have done in the past have picked up this trait. Another area for discussion perhaps? Thank you for your thoughts on this Nigel.

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      I’m the same Davy, infinite patience but get bored easily. Yes the book’s contents were written over 12 mth. Another difference just occurred to me. A novel has a lot ‘filling’ around deeper/intense moments whereas poems have no filling. It is, I believe the ability to make the filling enjoyable enough to maintain the readers interest that is the hallmark of a good writer. It is also this aspect that I struggle with, hence poetry with its intensity is my medium.

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      I would agree with that Nigel. Over the past 12 months I have struggled to find a good piece of fiction and have gone back to the old classics, Orwell, Laurie Lee etc. They had the ability to bring you back to a book. Maybe your brain changes writing and reading poetry on a regular basis?

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      We may have stumbled onto another piece of the puzzle(s) that is poetry here Davy. You may be surprised when I tell you I haven’t read any fiction for 25y. The list I’ve put on goodreads is from probably fro ages 16 – 30. I prefer non-fiction, reality being far more gripping to me. I was given the WW1 novel ‘Birdsong’ a brilliant book by all accounts, I never read it. This is because I had a collection of WW1 memoirs. On the face they’re a tiresome read compared to the constant drama and prose of a novel, but to me it stimulated thought far more and I felt, the constant fear, boredom and drudgery in a way a novel can’t convey (to me). So we’re back to different thought mechanisms. As an example the ‘Battle of Britain’ themed poem ‘I’ll be seeing you’ I wrote recently was a product of the memoirs and squadron histories I’ve read.

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      I am going the same way Nigel and apart from poetry read only non-fiction these days. As you so rightly say, the reality of life is much more gripping than the sensationalism of most novels. I am the same with most TV – documentary above fiction, especially with Police programmes. My Mrs won’t let me watch them with her now as I have normally got the suspect in the first five minutes.

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Thank you Davy for your post and the photo of the feet tickled me.
I went to make breakfast and now, whilst sipping the coffee this answer came out…..is it all about Focus I now wonder?

A POET

What is a poet he asked, Davy D
The thought spun through my head,
Making breakfast the answers tumbled
I am now calm, think I understand,

A poet sees heaven in a shining daffodil,
or in the magic of a Butterfly,
one rock with stripes of pink and grey
becomes the universe just then;

a visit to a loved one becomes focused
on a matchbox and a pipe,
The smell of bread and sound of mouthorgan,
even how it is held,

I could go on – and will
but just now Davy D, you had enough.;
It was just a question after all.

Miriam

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    Thank you for this beautiful response Miriam in a way only a true poet could and I look forward to hearing the rest of this. You make a good point re focus and I have just said to Nigel whether our choice of writing poetry over prose was a personality thing. Shakespeare supposedly only wrote his sonnets to earn extra money as the theatres in London were closed due to plague. There are also many poets who were prolific letter writers, but few poets I know who ventured across both genres. Maya Angelou springs to mind, but not many others. Thank you for your poetry and thoughts.

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Poetry is my life revealed,
For there, in depth of thought,
Lie all my hopes, my dreams expressed
In words intense and tightly wrought.

So do not say my craft is lax,
Lazy and inferior,
In my book all that poetry brings
makes it far superior.

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Not lazy at all!! Davy, I wouldn’t go on the defensive -first I’d almost feel offended someone suggests poets are lazy and then realise it’s just ignorance at work! I’ve utmost respect for the craft, effort, thought and sheer bloody-mindedness that goes into writing poetry … prose by comparison seems a doddle! 😀😀 btw a great opening pic!

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    Thank you for your thoughts and glad you enjoyed the picture and post. I think Annika we just develop different skills for the varying forms of writing we do. From a poets perspective when you spend days reading poetry your brain begins to think and work that way. I suppose it is the same for you writing short stories. Many of my poems begin as a piece of prose and drilled down to their simplest form. Some interesting thoughts here Annika and thank you for bringing them to the conversation.

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Nooo! Poets are not lazy , more like crazy , nice crazy !! It’s more an inner thing that wants to go into the page. The brain can never be lazy.

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A haiku can compress the whole world! Any body can write but only a poet can pour heart and soul into a poem and still soar, waiting for more.
Thank you for sharing the thought, which evoked such lovely responses.

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No, No, No!!!! Poets are not lazy writers! In fact, it is my opinion that poets are some of the most prolific writers I know. A former student I worked with (who was the Youth Poet Laureate in my district a couple years back) responded to a question in this manner when I took her with me to a school/faculty presentation I was doing. (BTW, I have learned that the best way to get teachers on board with including a poetry program into their curriculum and schools to add a poetry club is to have them hear poetry performed by young people. It works every time.) In this particular presentation, I spoke about the bluapple poetry network I was involved with and had a student share a few of her poems so the faculty could understand just what spoken word poetry was all about. The principal and teachers were so moved by this young woman that the school became actively involved and now have a student body of poets who perform frequently during the school year. They even have open mic sessions during lunch in the cafeteria.
The faculty asked this student various questions and one was about how she goes about writing. She said she thinks in the shower every morning. That seems to be her inspiration time and she keeps her phone right outside the shower and either stops and jots down ideas in the middle of her morning cleansing routine, or waits until she dries off and then writes lines down on her phone. (Most kids these days write on their phones.) Every time she had an idea she said she would jot down her thoughts. She stated that for her , sometimes stanzas just popped into her head so every morning in the shower she’d sing those words as she washed her hair. Then she’d write it down and tweak it later. I thought about what she said as I listened to her explain her creative approach to making poetic magic come to life. And, yes, indeed, poets create magic just like novelists do, except I think poets actually write more often and complete projects more frequently. (I have half a dozen unfinished novels under my bed or on my laptop. But, every poem I have every started, I’ve finished.)
Personally, I’m a wordy kind of gal. It’s my style whether it be pros or poetry. But, a good poet has to be concise and pick exactly the perfect word to fit into a pattern or do a free verse in a short space that keeps to a certain rhythm or flow. THAT alone is a gift and takes talent. A good writer is a good writer no matter how long or how short her/his creation is. So NO, poets are NOT lazy. They may produce more work simply because poems tend to be shorter than novels. But, both forms of writing take great thought and precision. Writers aren’t lazy. I don’t think any artist is. (Well, truth be told, I’m lazy about editing…. I will admit that…) but, here’s my final take on my wordy response. I cannot help it, I am wordy even when I don’t want to be…
Writers are in tune with the world around them. They see everything using their senses and put those emotions into words. And whether it be through verse or pros, it is still writing. The Length of a story or poem is irrelevant. It’s all about the emotions and words. And I passionately feel that writers are not lazy! Unique and unusual perhaps, but NEVER lazy.

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    Thank you for your eloquent and much appreciated response Lesley and I always enjoy reading about your teaching experiences which bring these conversations to life.
    I agree about all writers. All disciplines of writing require passion and dedication and some writers move across the disciplines with ease. It would be interesting to find out why writers prefer the style of writing they do. As I suggested to Nigel, is it to do with personality or is it more to do with our early influences through childhood and school? Thank you once again for your additions to the conversation and a few more things to think about.

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      In my opinion, (Oh dear, you asked for it, so here goes…) Writers pick a writing style for various reasons. I think it is a combination of personality AND age. Or the decade in which they grew up.The reason I say that is this… I am lucky enough to have my mother’s journals and since she kept everything I wrote, I have a compilation of all my writing styles which have varied and changed greatly over the years, as I aged and grew as a person. As a very young child I wrote little stories and illustrated them. As a teenager I was all about poetry. I was highly influenced by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and in school I fell madly in love with ALL the Romantic poets.(Lord Byron was simply dreamy and so was Keats.) I also imagined myself to be a bit of a beatnik and walked around jotting down poems about ending the war in Viet Nam, putting an end to racism, girl power etc. I turned most of my poetry into folk music and then into rock music when I switched to using an electric guitar which was pretty fashionable in the mid to late 60’s. EVERYONE was a poet! After my first marriage ended I wrote an entire notebook of poems and illustrated them in Pre-Raphalite images. Poetry is THE best therapy for a broken heart. LOL However, as I matured and became a mother and a teacher I evolved and wrote so many essays while studying for a masters degree, and then wrote grants to get funding for educational projects that I decided I preferred writing in pros. So I was right back where I started in Kindergarten. Writing stories. I published several short stories and articles, especially in the 90’s.
      I think poetry styles depend a lot on the decade we grew up in. Today’s spoken word poets are influenced by rap and their performances reflect that. I was influenced by Dylan and my wordy poems reflected his avant guard style with folk music tied in. While teaching all the forms of poetry to students I had fun writing my own examples as I taught it to the children and I’d a lot of humor, so I enjoyed doing that and discovering that I could still write poems. BUT I THINK IN PROS. I suppose that is my long winded answer. THE STYLE WE SELECT IS WHAT WE THINK IN. Ask a writer “Do you think in poetry or pros?” I think in pros. Therefore, I am most comfortable writing in pros. However, every now and then I hear a poem or see one in front of my eyes and write it. Hmmmm… I’m ambidextrous so perhaps my writing style is like that. I use both my hands for almost everything and perhaps my left and right brain switch around in my head and do both. Look at The Bard. (Everything goes back to good old Will.) I wonder if he thought in poetry. I think he did. His words are way too poetic for him not to have thought like a poet. Yep. His pros are poetic in their rhythm. So yeah, He was poet. I’m not a poet, at least not any more. Just every now and then…Wait… there are pros writers who are poets…. Anne Rice is so poetic in her character creations that every sentence is like a flower opening up. So maybe there are writers who are just talented enough to be both……

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      Some great thoughts here Lesley. I like the connection with age. I think you are right, our styles change as we mature and the influences of the time. I found an old collection of poems last year and was surprised at the style and tone as they were written 35 years ago. It was interesting to see how my thoughts and writing had changed. I am also thinking how maybe social media and current culture has changed the pace of our brains. Maybe that is why I struggle to sit down and read a novel these days. Thank you for these thoughts Lesley and something to ponder for some future posts.

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Hey, hey, hey! Where is this snobbery coming from? Stirring it up again Davy?? LOL!
Seems to me there is a false sense of importance by “some” authors of books when they see themselves compared to poets. (see my comment to Ritu). The number of pages and/or the time it took to write out a story vs. a poem is not the point that is most important, in my opinion. What is the quality of the work? How memorable? How quotable? A poet writes verses as does a lyricist, right? So, it seems to me it is quality vs. quantity that should be the measure. The best novel Hemmingway ever wrote was only six words long – “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn” (those words mist me up every time). I think I would be willing to put Oscar Hammerstein’s life work against any author, even Shakespeare, for universal joy by the masses!

Authors of books are marathon writers. Poets are sprinters. Poets are probably a little ADD too. Short, Sweet, Done and Move on to the next topic! So, is a work of art i.e. abstract art worth more than another piece that took hundreds of hours to complete? No, not the measure of value. And just compare sports. Is an Olympic performance that takes a minute or two to complete any less deserving of a Gold Medal than a marathon or a cross country ski event? No. Apples to Oranges. Time is not the right measure.

It seems to me that those that ask this question or believe it is true have a false sense of importance based on time and pages. Let the critics be critics and those that love beauty be it a single photo, quote, painting or poem enjoy what they love and leave authors to their own view of importance and how they want to measure it!!! Just my thoughts.

Thanks for stirring it up Davy! I love it when you can hit a nerve in me! LOL!

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    Chuck, thank you for your comments and you do know how I love a good conversation. I agree different writing styles require different skill sets and all writers who have the courage to write need to be applauded and encouraged. I include all artists in this from all genres. Like you say no matter how many words are written it is the impact on the reader and the heart and soul put into it by the writer that matters. Thank you for your valued addition to the conversation Chuck. It is most appreciated.

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    I love your sports metaphors, Reluctant. And I think you are probably correct. The time it takes to get to the finish line varies in every event. The point is, we have to make our way there no matter how long it takes. And everyone’s personal best is a thing of beauty isn’t ? It’s all pretty subjective anyhow. That’s how art is. Just attend a book club meeting and see how half the group hates the novel and others love it. Poetry is the same. * The motto used in the Poetry network I work with is, “The point is not the points, the point is the Poetry”. The students wear that mantra on their shirts when they perform. They are still scored in order to calculate a winner, but it’s so subjective. I judge every year and a piece could have me weeping and I may score it a ten while the judge next to me is unmoved and gives it an 8. That’s what happens when It’s art. Long or short, whether a poem takes days or years to complete, writers change the world. There’s nothing lazy about that!

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      Oh, so right on Lesley! You caught me. I was a little proud of the sport comparisons to authors and poets, marathon runners and sprinters. I guess we all get caught up in our own little silo. I love your “Own Way” point. So, true. You are right, everyone’s personal best is a thing of beauty but we haven’t been brought up with that philosophy have we? Law of the Jungle etc. etc. Art is a perfect example of subjective value and the fact that we are each unique – our own little snowflake?

      Ha! Your example of points and poetry is true but the fact that there ends up being points is a little ironic. Reminds me of the example of just messing around at a ping pong table all fun and then when you start keeping score the competitive nature comes out of hiding! LOL! I love it when someone can write something that goes right to my heart and makes me misty! How is it that so many opposites like your fellow judges end up as spouses??? LOL! Makes the WordPress Community even more valuable!!! Thanks for answering. It’s great sharing with you!!
      Chuck
      xoxo

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    Chuck, you are so right about the wordpress community being a treasure. And as far as how opposites wind up being spouses I am the wrong person to ask. My first husband was like a male version of me. We both were in the theatre, both acted, wrote, we could have been the same person and that didn’t work out very well. (We should have just been best friends.) My second husband and I had very little in common but it worked out just fine until he passed away after 23 years together. So, who knows what makes relationships work. I still haven’t figured that one out. LOL

    I really did love your sports references. My oldest son worked a decade for a professional football team in the US and then went on to head up a foundation for one of America’s greatest athletes who is now in the Football of Fame. So sports metaphors were thrown around like it was game time at my house every day. He lives and breathes sports and ironically it was a grant he wrote called the Superbowl of Poetry that got him the funding to set up the poetry foundation that now is statewide and growing. But yes, sadly ironic because they do have judges that score the students. They are told not to take off points for shyness in delivery, or forgetting lines (they have to have their work memorized and in spoken word each piece is about three pages long.) So that is rather daunting.There are three rounds so the kids come to the stage with three poems prepared. (Those are rules and standards set up by spoken word poets nationwide.) Anyhow, they are judged from 1-10. And judges come from a variety of backgrounds. There are poets, authors, local celebrities, educators, athletes etc. The goal is that a poem should be able to connect with anyone from any walk of life. However, I have to say that often times I find that sometimes male judges do not always “get” the poems performed by the girls and don’t rate them as high as the males. (Unless the man is a writer, but the average Joe off the street doesn’t always relate to a teenage girl writing about her insecurities, or being raped, or her father leaving her, or fighting for equality). And the female judges don’t always understand the boys’ poems. But it pretty much evens out. The students who make the finals are the best in the state so those kids are often only a tenth of a point off from one another. But, somebody has to win. And they get quite a bit of money, computers, and other perks for placing in the top three. Every student who makes it to the finals gets something. But scholarship money is included and the foundation needs a criteria so points are given. Yes, it is sad that points have to be given, but the students are well trained to understand that their work is about their art not the points. THEY all get televised and exposure and become local poetry celebs. Still… it is sad that we have to judge them at all. As a writing teacher it was always difficult for me to give a grade. So I had to create a formula as a criteria to judge. (Example If they had a clear beginning middle and end, if they used anecdotes, if verbs moved the action forward, descriptive adjectives blah blah blah.).. so we as a class would brainstorm what was needed and then at least in their heads they could check off that they had a clear, concise body of work to hand in. But, the law required that I give them a grade and so I did. However, I am an old softy and I would always make sure to write in..”I love how you did such and such, or what a clever ending etc. I didn’t want any child to feel discouraged. I even drew little pictures of me laughing when they put in humor. Writers need positive feedback and that is the goal. I’d say that would be touchdown wouldn’t you? Oh, if you are from the UK you probably don’t know what that means. Your football is not our football. So our sports metaphors would be totally different. hahaha Oops.

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      You Picked The Perfect Word – Treasure. That’s What The WordPress Community Is. Some Of Us Have Tried To Capture That In The Go Dog Go Cafe – Come Visit If You Haven’t!

      There Is Little That Is Understood By Most People About Love, Sadly. I Am Rereading “The Psychology Of Romantic Love”. I Have Really Enjoyed It – You Might Too. Check Out The Reviews On Amazon. I Know There Is No Way I Would Want To Be Married To Someone Who Was Like Me – Kind of Like You Describe Your First Husband?

      I Think Your Experience With Your Second Husband (So Very Sorry For Your Loss!) Is A Lot Like What I Have Found With My Beloved Soulmate Of The Last 20 Years. It Is As You Say, Not A Lot In Common At First Glance But A Passionate Connection To Each Other’s Soul. I Think The Thing That Makes Someone So Beloved Is That You Cannot Under Any Circumstance Imagine Living Without Them.

      Wow! I’m So Impressed With What Your Son Has Done! Set Up A Poetry Foundation?? Unreal! So Cool! It Is Amazing What They Do With The Scholarships For The Kids. I Think The Comment I Made To Gina In A Comment Here Is Probably The Kernal Of Truth About Poetry – “Real Poets Are The Ones Who Touch The Hearts And Souls Of Readers” It Doesn’t Matter Your Education Or Experience Or If You Scribble Like Me. What Really Matters Is If The Words Touch The Reader/Listeners Heart And Soul. That’s What I Always Shoot For. If I Can Read Something I WroteTo My Sweetie And Get Her To Tear Up – Mission Accomplished! Ha!

      Sad To Have To Give Points, But That Is A Reflection Of Real Life Isn’t It? Someone Wins The Job Or The Girl Or Whatever! Not Rewarding And Searching For The Best Isn’t So Great Either. Not Surprising Men And Women Judge Differently, We Are Both Wired Differently And For Good Reasons. The World Would Be A Better Place If Women Ran It – In My Opinion!

      You Do Sound A Little Like An Old Softie! Ha! But I’m Sure You Were A Beloved Teacher For It! “I Didn’t Want Any Child To Feel Discouraged. I Even Drew Little Pictures Of Me Laughing When They Put In Humor. Writers Need Positive Feedback And That Is The Goal. I’d Say That Would Be Touchdown, Wouldn’t You?” Yes, My Dear – Absolutely! God I Wish I Could Have Had A Teacher Like You In School!!!!

      No, Not In The Uk – Austin Area Of Texas – But A Transplant From Being A California Boy For 59 Years, San Diego Born – Lived In Sacramento For 30 Years. I Miss My Day Trips Most. I’m Up On Sports – Mostly. Even Learned Some Things About Curling. Ha!

      Lesley, It Is So Wonderful To Connect With You. It’s Been Great Sharing. I’m Almost Afraid To Ask A Poetry Teacher To Come See My Scribbling But Perhaps You Might Help Me Improve And I Could Earn A Smiley Face, Gold Star Or A Heart? Lol!
      XOXO

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    Oh goodness Chuck, you do not scribble. You underestimate your talents. And while I may have to judge student poets so they can win scholarships, I don’t judge poets in the real world. Because you see, I am NOT a poet. Poetry doesn’t come naturally to me these days. It did in my youth, but as a teen in the 1960’s that was the way of the world. My brain thinks in pros. I do consider myself a writer however, mainly because I enjoy writing, but I’m a teacher first and foremost and that is my gift. You could give me any subject (Well, maybe not physics) and I could read up on it and give a hell of a lesson. The truth is I was a heck of a good actress and so I have the ability to stand up in front of a crowd and make just about any subject sound interesting. I am dramatic, and I interact with my audience/students. I use method acting techniques when I teach writing. (I wrote a paper on that when I was working on my masters.) The book, “An Actor Prepares” by Stanislavsky gives a performer techniques to create three dimensional characters. A method actor creates subtext and a backstory so that if his/her character needs to express anger, love, regret,sorrow etc. the actor creates scenarios in his head and draws upon those past experiences when performing. I did improvisations with my students and then they wrote about it. For example, if you do a lesson after students make an ice cream sundae in class and then have them discuss how cold the ice-cream was, how it felt as it melt in their mouths, slithered down their throats, think about the temperature of the air in the room – did it feel cold bla bla bla and then teach children to draw upon those experiences they can pretty much write about anything. It’s rather simple. So I can teach others how to be their most creative self, find their emotions and turn them into words. But, I am not a poet. I CAN teach poetry, however. Because I AM a natural teacher and a performer. But, I don’t judge. For some reason I am just able to think up a million and one ways to get students to put their emotions on paper. I wanted to be an actress when I was younger. But I had a baby to support being a divorced mom and so I taught school. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I found my true passion in life. EVERYONE can become a writer. But not everyone was born to write. You have to love it. I love writing. But I am not Tolstoy. I never will be that gifted. Yet, for whatever reason I would be able to teach anyone how to borrow his style of writing.
    I actually went to college with Sylvester Stallone at U of Miami. (He called himself Mike back then.) And because he had a stoke as a child and his lip drooped he always was self conscious about sounding like a thug. However, he was smart as all get out. One day after class we sat outside and I expressed how much I loved Shakespeare. He had an audition to prepare for and I suggested he do something Shakespearean. I knew he was a good writer because he shared his poetry and stories with me so I said to him, “Why don’t you write something that sounds like William S.and fool everybody.” He loved that idea. We worked on it, he created this amazing piece that had the rhythm of something the Bard would have written and he read it as his audition piece. Because he wrote it and the words meant so much to him he totally killed the audition. He was brilliant! He got the part. (It was for the play “After the Fall.” )My point is, his confidence level went way up because he wrote it and yet he fooled everyone. They were trying to figure out which play it was from. BTW, funny anecdote is while he and I were friends I wouldn’t date him. Back in 1967 I was an innocent freshman and he was two years older than I. I was too afraid to go out with him. LOL He asked several times and I was the vestal virgin and declined. He scared me with all those muscles!! hahah The last I heard from him was when my first husband and I were in NYC and we ran into him. He told us he had written a screen play about a fighter and if he was pretty discouraged about show biz. He said he couldn’t get a studio to buy it and he was ready to throw in the towel and give up “the Biz” if he didn’t find any takers for his film. Needless to say, Mike Stallone created Rocky Balboa and then became Sly Stallone and the rest as they say, is history. I bet you would;t have guessed that HE could write poetry really, really well!!!

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Mrs D is smart and sassy! i loved the Moo comment from her. What a lovely discussion going on here Davy, I am taking my time reading over each response and am learning so much from these brilliant and artistic souls. I don’t have much to add in fact nothing really as I only started writing poetry late 2016…it’s true! But I admire the process it takes, either long or brief, does time even really matter? When we are writing we are suspended in our own cocoon. I do compare the older poets and the new generation of slam poetry where everything is so instantaneous. I think I have mentioned this to you before. a recent debate on who the real poets are, those who labour over words and dictionaries and form to create their pieces or those who instinctively scribble out lines. As always you open up the heart and mind Mr D!

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    She can’t be that smart Gina as she married me lol 🙂 Seriously, she is such a supportive and motivational influence for me and my writing. I like your description of being suspended in a cocoon when writing and I think it is a perfect one. Sometimes I can get just as lost in writing one of these posts as writing a piece of poetry. It is interesting to see the change in the style of poets over the years. I have seen some posts and threads where younger poets said they wrote their poetry in 10 minutes compared to the much longer time taken by poets going back in time. I think it is a reflection of the instantaneous culture but, in my opinion, it doesn’t diminish the quality or impact of the poetry. Going back to the Japanese Haiku Master Basho who said the first thoughts are the purest, these young poets are taking us back in time. Thank you for your thoughts Gina and taking us deeper in to the conversation.

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      she knew a keeper when she found him, so she’s definitely smart.

      There seems to be an evolution of poetry writing if we read them over the decades. And Basho wrote that very intuitively. I do think there’s a process in every writing no matter how simple it seems to look in the final product. I always start with a feeling that has to be released and then the words take shape. Sometimes they maybe be shorter verses but nonetheless meaningful. And yes the impact is certainly felt as shorter poems do tend to linger longer in the mind. But I still cannot conclude if poets are lazy writers, I will leave it as they need to be inspired more than labour over pen and paper and when the right thought strikes at the moment emotion takes over a poem is birthed.

      I’d like to carry this conversation into our poetry group next month with your permission of citing you as the inspiration of discussion.

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      Please do Gina and I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback that comes from the group. I think the more people who can discuss and venture into poetry the more we can find out about what it really means to people. Something that has been done for centuries can’t be wrong, can it? I will save your first lines for the next time I am in the doghouse Gina. Have a good weekend and thank you for your thoughts and insights.

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    Gina, it’s hard to believe you only started writing poetry in late 2016? Perhaps, it is your inner spirit that is an old soul? I’m with you. I love the process and the great questions Davy has posed on this too. When you look at some of the famous poets not all were overly prolific. I think I fall into scribbling out lines group. Real poets are ones who touch the hearts and souls of readers, I think! So, you are like not even a two year old prodigy poet? Your words are wise beyond time.
    xoxo

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      yes i am the baby of poetry writing, small unsteady steps but with lots of guidance and encouragement from good people like you and Davy its been a lovely fulfilling writing journey. I do so enjoy the discussions Davy starts and manages here. your sentence “Real poets are ones who touch the hearts and souls of readers,” i think sums poetry writing in such an amazing and accurate way, the words written hurriedly or painstakingly must touch a person, wonderful comment Charles, I am keeping this as a nugget of gold to return to when I need inspiration to push on. I don’t think I am wise though I might agree I have an old and confused soul, thank you for the compliment, I may just be too opinionated that’s all.

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Davy I thought I would send you a link of former student who received a college scholarship through poetry. He performed this spoken word poem called “Dear Poetry” a few years back and it was delightful. It reflected his teen age angst and how poetry changed his life. Enjoy. It is his letter to Poetry.

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Davy I clicked post before adding this link. A former student of mine won an Emmy for producing a TV special on the poet I attached in the link above. This is the program I am involved with and with your question are poets lazy writers, I had to add the link to the special in case you wanted to see just how poetry changes lives…. (I am sure you already that. ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdQLniLkMUU

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Since I love words, poetry makes me pare down my verbose nature and put the succinct on the page. It is a joy-filled activity which I often employ in my blogs. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

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Poetry is the art of taking words and molding them into an expressive piece reflecting upon feelings and ideas. There is also the use of distinctive styles and rhythm to form our verses as we see fit. Tis nothing lazy about those who enjoy writing poetry and a genre of literature. 🙂

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    Thank you Eugenia and I like your description and addition to the conversation. Maybe a poet has to have a wider range of writing skills to tackle the many forms of poetry available. I think I would get bored trying to write a novel, and I bow to the writers who have the skill and patience to write longer pieces of fiction and non-fiction.

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      I don’t have the patience to write a novel or longer pieces. To me poetry is more of a challenge and a way to express one’s creativity. I enjoy playing with words, rhyming them, and arranging them to a rhythmic beat.

      There so many interesting forms of poetry and I need to take the time to try my hand at some of them.

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      I agree Eugenia and for me poetry creates more of a challenge. I don’t know whether it is a personality thing but I get bored very easily if I have to spend a long time on one project. Writing poetry means there are lots of projects on the go at any one time. This trait showed up in a personality tests I have done in the past. Thank you for thoughts.

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Davy your post popped up again this morning via email and I just read that you don’t read fiction or watch it on Tv. Seriously? How do you escape from life without fiction? I did laugh that your wife won’t let you watch crime shows because you figure them out. I do too but that’s half the fun. My oldest son and late husband used to get so mad at me for doing that. Writers look for red herrings and know who the culprit is using deduction. (Yes, it’s elementary!) so my youngest son and I would write our suspicions down on paper and share with each other so as not to ruin it for the other two. It became a game. Now when my youngest comes back to town we have fun finding the murderers. We get to talk thru the whole thing playing Sherlock because his late father and older brother aren’t around to stop us. It’s really endearing. My oldest son always says… “Don’t do it Mom, don’t tell me!“ I don’t mind knowing… I enjoy watching just to prove I was right. Lol. But I love fiction. Yes, I always figure things out, but I feel like I’m solving the mystery with the protagonist.

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    Well maybe a little bit Lesley 🙂 I have struggled to find any decent fiction books over the last 12 months and have returned to reading some of the old classics. I don’t really watch a lot of TV preferring to listen to the radio, although I do love a good zombie series. The Walking Dead is superb. I have been thinking about some of your responses to this post and may add some further thoughts over the weekend.

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    Loved this comment Lesley! I am with Davy on the books but I do love the movies of great books. You absolutely cracked me up talking about trying to figure “Who dun it”. My Step-Father used to drive me crazy telling me who did it after the first five minutes of the Perry Mason Show. He almost never missed and finally told me the secret which works about 80% or more of the time. I hope this doesn’t spoil it for you??? He said it was easy. You figure out who is the biggest star who is the good guy and then the other biggest star is usually the bad guy, unless its a girl who’s with the good guy. It works pretty well. I get the same treatment – Don’t tell me!
    xoxo

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Yes, I can understand that. Zombies can be cool. I loved the movie “Warm Bodies” a zombie version loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, and of course Pride and Prejudice and zombies was so awesome that I wrote a blog about it and bought the dvd when it came out. I’m a big science fiction fan. Please tell me you watch Dr. Who. (David Tennant and Matt Smith are my favorites but looking forward to a female Doctor next season.) Being out of commission these last two months I’ve become a Netflix binge watcher, can you tell?. So I’ve watched more TV than usual.

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    I used to love Dr.Who as a kid Lesley. According to my parents I used to hide behind the sofa when the Daleks came on. I find that hard to believe lol 🙂 I haven’t seen it for while. I have Pride and Prejudice on my to watch list. Have a good weekend and hope your recovery is going well.

    Like

      Ahahaha…. behind the sofa eh? That’s a fun sight to imagine. Well, don’t tell anyone but I spent my time behind the sofa watching the majority of “The creature from the Black Lagoon” as a child. I remember being scared but looking back it was more from the music letting the audience know the heroine was facing impending doom. I wastched that b&w film several times as a little kid and felt more sorry for the creature than the humans. So when I recently watched the new movie, The Shape of Water, I felt redeemed that finally the creature had a happier ending. Dr Who was on in the US on Saturday mornings in the 1960’s and I’d watch it. Perhaps that’s where I developed my love of anything having to do with time travel. I didn’t watch The Doctor until 45 years later. I was house cleaning one Saturday and had bbc America on. They had A Doctor Who marathon and the episode of Vincent and the Doctor came on. I sat mesmerized. It was the loveliest tribute to Van Gogh ever. I wept. And so I picked back up watching Doctor Who again. I think you’ll enjoy PP& Zombies. Lots of fun and uses Austen’s dialogue right along with Zombie fighting. Very well done. Check this out and get a taste of a more updated Doctor . Enjoy your weekend too. Vincent Van Gogh Visits the Gallery https://youtu.be/-ubTJl_UphPk

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      Thank you for this Lesley. I will have a look over the weekend. I hope there are no Daleks on it lol 🙂

      Like

I don’t think poets are lazy! They are hard working! I think it’s more difficult to write a good poem than it is to write a story. Poets have to be more concise and tend to write about the most important aspects of life.

(I especially struggle with rhyming poems, unless it’s a silly Dr. Seuss-y type rhyming poem…those seem to come together for me quickly. :-D)

And poets write from their heart and soul and they make themselves vulnerable when they share a poem. I find that very brave. They connect with people in a way that other types of writing don’t. They make us think, feel, and act. They make us feel less alone.

When I meet man or woman who says they don’t read poetry or they don’t like poetry…I always think, “Hmm…there’s something seriously wrong with you!” Ha! 😉 😛

“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.” Allen Ginsberg

HUGS!!! 🙂

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    Thank you for these thoughtful comments Carolyn. I agree with you about the people who don’t read poetry and I wonder why many poetry books struggle to sell compared with the trash fiction selling thousands. Love the quote you provided from Allen Ginsberg and it is so true. Many of my ideas for poetry come whilst lying awake in bed at night.

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Wow Davy, you really got the conversation going with this one! Since you are a poet and lazy and Davy couldn’t possibly fit in the same sentence, I think the point is already proven. No, poets are not lazy, at least not if the poet’s name is Davy D! God bless you and your poetic
industriousness.
and genius.😀

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Definitely not; poetry is a unique art in which you can say a lot in few words. I dabble in the craft, like I do other types of writing.

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Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
WRITING POETRY IS HARD WORK—AND MOST OF WE POETS DO HAVE JOB AND FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES! I’M DRAINED AFTER A 5 + HOUR WRITING (AND BLOGGING) SESSION.

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Let me put in my two cents, Davy–I write mostly in the limerick form..often on the spot….as well as every day for my blog posts. It does involve research and responding–perhaps to a blog I’ve read or just re=posted…with permission. Five lines in traditional limerick form—I sometimes achieve. I have done song parodies and four-lined stanzas. etc., but haiku—I rarely succeed at, despite the gracious response of my readers! Perhaps whose-ever those feet are are of an exhausted poet! Found this discussion on my Reader and so glad I can chime in! I host BY THE MIGHTY MUMFORD, on Word Press. I tip my hat to all of you!

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spot on, my poetry like every other poets poems, it is heart felt, intellectually inspired and through one’s own life good and bad experiences but into such a way that beckons the reader to want to know more, to seek out the truth. Every quill that spills its ink is narrated from the heart. Thank you for sharing, I need my wine and armchair now. Love and Light

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    Thank you for your thoughts on this Gemma and I appreciate you taking time out to offer them. I agree that all poetry should come from the heart otherwise it lets the poet and the reader down. Enjoy the wine.

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Poems are my lazy versions of books I don’t feel like expanding into 300 pages, so yes I think in a sense it is taking the easy way out of writing a full on story! I love writing poems for the mere fact I get to play with words, emotions, and metaphors all in one small amount of writing. I feel as a novelist, I don’t get to make every sentence a uniquely structured mind twister, because it just becomes stressful for the reader to get a real feel for the story. Love this article! Thanks for sharing!

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    Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment Nadia and it is good to meet you. I agree with your thoughts in that poems are smaller versions of novels and gives the reader a quicker hit than the novel. I wonder in todays social media age, where scientists are saying attention spans are becoming shorter, poetry will begin to overtake the novel as it takes up less time to read.?

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