Conversation

Thursday Thoughts

Why I write Poetry

One of the best thing things for me about blogging is the interaction and conversation taking place around the poems and poetry. On Inside the Mind of Davy D the favourite posts are those going beyond the poetry and getting to know the poet, what makes them tick; their thoughts, their motivations, their dreams.

 

As a development for the blog in 2018 I am going to have a Thursday Thoughts feature which will hopefully allow us to delve deeper into poetry and beyond the poems themselves. This will include thoughts I have as I research and read for the various projects I am involved with and links to information which may be useful to anyone working with poetry.

 

It will also showcase some of the amazing poetry and talent I encounter on WordPress on a day to day basis. Thursday Thoughts will include links to blogs firing the muse, poems that have moved me to think deeper about the words I encounter and anything else planting a seed for poetry; a piece of music, art, book, photograph.

 

If anyone has any ideas or inspiration that may create some conversation as a Thursday Thought then please let me know. Together we can make 2018 a great year for poetry.

 

Free the Adverb

free-the-adverb

I’ve got myself in a bit of a muddle this week and I’m having a brain freeze about adverbs – the ones ending in ly.

The dilemma arose when I had a poem returned which had been submitted for feedback. Part of the feedback had red rings circled around two adverbs ending in ly. One of the ly words had the comment “adverb” next to it and later in the poem another ly word was outlined with “oh there goes another one.”

Having considered the feedback at length I was satisfied the two words in question were appropriate for the pace and context of the poem and the only (apologies for that one) reason they were being outlawed was for being adverbs.

With most creative writing texts, there is consensus that adverbs should be used with caution. William Zinsser in his book, Writing Well, states “most adverbs are unnecessary” and Stephen King takes the point further by suggesting “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

Listen to conversations and the spoken word, on both television and radio, and words ending in ly appear to be commonplace. Therefore, if ly words are a regular part of language why do they cause so much consternation when they appear in print?

Take this quote from A.O. Scott about the late Robin Williams, “Mr. Williams was one of the most explosively, exhaustingly, prodigiously, verbal comedians who ever lived.”

Or this famous haiku from Kobayashi Issa;

O snail
Climb Mount Fuji,
But slowly, slowly!

Both packed with adverbs, and in my opinion, all bringing depth and feeling to the writing and conversation.

Therein lies the dilemma. What is a wordsmith to do with adverbs?

Any advice would be GRATEFULLY received.