Hold fast to dreams
For if they flee
Life is a blinded bat
That cannot see.
Hold fast to dreams
For if they die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when they go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
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Trinkets and knickknacks!
Spilling under the tree.
Doodads and baubles
Glistening in green.
Gimcracks and trifles
Jingling and jumping.
Wrapping paper flying!
From the flurry of hands
And warm winter sleeves.
So gay and jolly!
As they give and receive
All the trinkets are swinging
And shining in the light.
*Yes I realise I should’ve posted this around Christmas, but oh well.
How to Write a Poem
Let’s say I’m sitting in that room with you now. Take out a pad and pen, your favorite pen—the one that just slides across the paper. Be sure you have an hour or so, so you can take your time with each prompt.
12 Ways to Write a Poem
Make a list of five things you did today, in the order you did them.
Quickly write down three colors.
Write down a dream. If you can’t remember one, make it up.
Take 15 minutes to write an early childhood memory, using language a child would use.
Write a forbidden thought, to someone who would understand.
Write a forbidden thought, to someone who would not.
Make a list of five of your favorite “transitional objects.” Choose one and describe it in detail.
Write down three questions you’d ask as if they were the last questions you could ever ask.
Write down an aphorism (e.g. “A stitch in time saves nine”).
Write down three slant rhymes, pairs of words that share one or two consonants rather than vowels (moon/mine and long/thing are slant rhymes).
Write three things people have said to you in the past 48 hours. Quote them as closely as you can.
Write the last extreme pain you had, emotional or physical. If the pain were an animal, what animal would it be? Describe the animal.
Use one of the questions as the first line, each of the colors more than once, the slant rhymes, and the aphorism with a word or two changed.
Try using any part of, or all of, the material in any way you want—a line from your dream might work well on its own or your description of the animal might better describe your great uncle.
Let the poem be between 20 and 30 lines; let each line be 10 or more syllables long. Think of the poem as a dream or a psalm you are inventing, and don’t force it. Write in your own speech, allowing its music and sense to speak through you.
No human experience is unique, but each of us has a way of putting language together that is ours.
The 8 rules of writing a novel/poem/autobiography/magazine/diary…
1.Be imaginative. Write.
2.Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3.Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4.Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5.Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6.Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7.Laugh at your own jokes.
8.The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
You’re the love of my life,
So i’ll make sure you’re my wife,
Forever. Till the end.
I know where we’ll meet,
At the alter, in such a heat,
At the perfect moment.
You’ll make me all sappy,
God knows I’ll be happy,
And it’ll last.
We all know it makes sense,
I was never on the fence,
We’ll get there.
So when the clock strikes three,
I need you there: for me.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
The infantry screeched and fled,
Hearts bound by sorrow,
Heads bowed in shame,
So many blind and broken men,
A river of molten confusion,
Gurgling over ruined roads,
Seeping sadly into hidden cracks,
Into deep-churned mud, in silence,
The earth swallowed them up.
Then they came, the crying cavalry,
A single regiment rolling along,
Like horsemen of the apocalypse,
Their presence thick and palpable,
Due to the stench of festering galls.
‘Come Lord and Lift’ by T. Merrill
Come Lord, and lift the fallen bird
Abandoned on the ground;
The soul bereft and longing so
To have the lost be found.
The heart that cries—let it but hear
Its sweet love answering,
Or out of ether one faint note
Of living comfort wring.
This is one of my favourite poems by a contemporary poet. It is a breathtaking cry of compassion for a fallen creature, and metaphorically for ourselves. What do you think?
Do you agree?
He who draws delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.
“For pessimists, the possibilities are invisible. For believers, the possibilities are endless.”
Here goes. This was the first poem I ever wrote, about World War 1, called ‘Look’
Travelled up the wounded trees, taking in the softly sapping seeds.
Hoped not to meet the tired wonder of broken, barren plains.
Could not grasp the gaping holes nor the hellish embers on heath.
Were that a war would never hurt a great land so gravely.
Swallowed grey death on bleak and black and blood ended sands.
Look. It is despair.