the process of poem

Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer

the process of poem

June 1, 2010 Uncategorized 5

Two helpful comments from poets on the process of poem:
At a recent meeting of SCoP (the Stirling Centre of Poetry)Kathleen Jamie said, “The hardest thing to teach students is that you have to let the shit fall onto the page”.
true, all too true. We have a tendency to censor what we are writing as we write it so a poem can be mummified before it is even born.

And I’ve just read this from W N Herbert’s book “Writing Poetry”;
“Most people — don’t read it (their draft) closely. What they see tends to be as much what they intended to write as much as what is actually on the page–Simply reading what you have actually written is by no means easy.”

That is probably the most helpful thing I have ever read.

5 Responses

  1. Marion says:

    “a tendency to censor what we are writing as we write it” – that’s something I often struggle with, it can be really paralyzing.

  2. me too. But sometimes if you let go and write what you really want to write, it comes out better – more energy, more verve, opens up more possibilities. and sometimes, of course, it doesn’t.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi Elizabeth, How lovely to have a poet join my ‘Tales of a Kitchen Herbwife’ followers. I don’t think I would be able to censor my poetry because it either flows or it doesn’t. It’s possibly the only medium I write by hand now, everything else goes straight onto the computer. I understand not being able to see what you have written down – it’s why we are constantly advised in my writing group to read everything aloud before we submit anything anywhere. I rarely do and then get caught out with awkward phrases or spellings! I wasn’t sure if you found my writing blog, Mercian Muse on http://mercianmuse.blogspot.com/ which has samples of my poetry as well as stories and articles.

  4. Marion says:

    I remember reading a suggestion to try writing in white font, I do that from time to time, find it quite helpful.

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