On Poetry

On Poetry

A Lesson by Camille Corbett

No self proclaimed writer can say that they've never dreamed of being the next Poe or Dickinson, let's work out the kinks in your writing to bring you closer to that dream.


"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling". - Oscar Wilde

When people write poetry, they tend to "just let it flow" while they usually carefully plan out their stories and other sorts of writing. Which always begs the question, what makes poetry undeserving of their proper consideration? For I have no idea why a person would just write a piece of scribble down, then try to pass it as genuine poetry. Poetry, No, I meant good poetry, that is deserving of that glorious title, is thought out properly, given a rhythm, has a topic, and makes a person feel with it's diction and sweet language. In fact, my poems take longer to write than my stories, not to mention the editing to have the correct moving diction. Therefore, I challenge any of you writers who think that "just letting it flow" can create genuine poetry to prove me wrong. Please send me your poems and If you do, in fact prove me wrong, (which I wish you to do) I will exhibit your poem on this course and praise it and pick out all the things I love about it and how wonderful your technique was. However, if I am proven correct, you must promise me you'll have to start planning out your poems from now on. Let the games begin! 

For the writers who do not wish to challenge me, here is an outline on how to brain storm for your poetry and create good poetry (Results may vary).

1.) Think about what you wish to write about.What do you wish the reader would learn or understand for your writing? Create connections between other things that could pertain to your topic. Basically, just think.

2.) Figure out how you wish to convey the message.

3.) After thinking about the message, write down words that remind you of that particular message.

4.) Figure out a rhythm and/or rhyme scheme and follow it.

5.) Begin writing and refer back to the words that you associate with the message and use the connections or metaphors that you made when you created your topic.

6.) After writing, read your poem aloud 10-20 times to make sure everything is perfect.

7.)Edit for about 10 minutes.

8.) Leave it for a week.

9.) Come back to it, and see if you can edit it or add on further in any way.

10.) Read it again

Then you have a decent poem on your hands!

I hope you guys had a great week, and have an even better weekend. I hope you submit to the Master of Writing, writing contest so you can win a chance to teach this course or for me to be your personal writing coach for a year!

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Posted 9 Months Ago

Poem itself is not about perfection or logic . Like real life itself. Important is improvisation and let it flow. Your emotions must be real . Also rhyme is not really using too much in modern poetry.Rhyming can destroy all poem in children talk. Make it flow without that's real art my friend. You have to be more personal and develop communication with reader. Leave it for week and come back etc. Man real poetry it 's out of the other writing rules. It's invisible touch but you feel it strong.Let it flow don't let poetry die in your rules .

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Posted 9 Months Ago

You are wrong -- in that the FIRST criteria is to HAVE content from the heart that flows, else there'll be NO poem. Your suggestions are secondary, but without which, a poem won't be a good one.

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Posted 1 Year Ago

I try not to use difficult words, to spell or to read working on connector to keep the story moving....; besides my text are not to long so there is not many mistakes.
I also like to keep it short since I don't have many things to talk about nor a strong enough story to keep the readers interested enough ... Also, don't know many people that practice this old reading which craft anymore, is the twenty first century, did you notice ...?

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Posted 4 Years Ago

Once you passed the infancy of poetry writing your teaching can be relevant and helpful. I am at very beginning, spontaneous writers should write first, then follow your advice, good learning points
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Posted 6 Years Ago

I can write poetry only when an idea springs in my mind and I keep getting lines in my mind which I quickly write down. If I plan it out like a story and think of writing it down slowly, I doubt I'll ever be able to produce a good poem. I am a poet whom you might call one who 'just lets it flow' but that is just the way I am.
Additionally, I'm not trying to 'prove you wrong' but merely tell you that how you write a piece is not important, how it comes out is.

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Posted 7 Years Ago

Thank you for such a great great lesson - I feel a "write what I feel" poem is actually what we've now deemed a BLOG - or unfinished thought. It almost.. no it does.. it bothers me when someone says this is my poem - my grammar is terrible, I have no fluidity, and you'll never truly know what I was writing about - speaking of.. did anyone ever prove your lesson wrong? Haha. Thank you!!


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Posted 7 Years Ago

I just prefer to write what I feel. if I get stuck I go back and fix. this is helpful, but I also feel that it limits the creativeness. but overall, a nice lesson.

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Posted 7 Years Ago

i disagree with all of this. poetry should spring from the heart entirely at first. it should be as guttural and messy as the feelings it usually springs from. only then, once this purging process has been completed, can a poet truly place the mechanic s**t in. well that goes for me anyway. poetry is like this sickness i feel bubbling in my stomach, and i know that it's there and that if i don't get it all out soon then something horribly wrong might happen. then we clean it up. make it pretty, presentable. then we tie it up in a pretty porcelain package. sorry for comparing poetry to vomit, but it really is. the sweetest smelling kind.

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Posted 7 Years Ago

This is a good lesson but I find when I plan my works suck. My idea of the poem has been in my head for so long and my expectations have gone so high that anything I write at that point seem like crap. This is a good lesson for many other people but for me I could live without it.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

You're absolutely ridiculous. Honestly. You're instructing people to become machines that churn out stereotypical, boring crap. Not good. Advice = Not a good thing for you.

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Added on May 1, 2010
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Camille Corbett
Camille Corbett

Marietta, GA

I'm a 21 year old Fulbright ETA writing to kill the time and find my sanity. I have been gone for a while. But I have returned, so watch out for some new stories.