Poetry Writing: A Crash Course

Crap rhymes with sap,

avoid o’er, e’en, and hap;

Shakespeare counted on one hand’s fingers.

Beyond that you’re mostly just stringing

some words together, doing some lines*

(*or glasses, bottles, pills, injections, or whatever).

Telling’s no good, but showing’s real fine.

Roses are tired, so give them a rest;

we readers would rather you wouldn’t confess.

A verse is a stanza, but some poetry’s verse.

This advice won’t save you, but it won’t make you worse.

Never mind the wasteland; you’re living in it.

And that wheelbarrow poem don’t mean shit.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

“But What Does Poetry Mean?” They Ask

And I say, poetry means paying attention:

detailing precisely human perceptions

of reality as sensually as possible,

but also thinking through–and feeling through–

the orgasmically wonderful, fearfully horrible,

wrenchingly mundane events (in the broadest

possible sense of that word) that

so many of us so often allow so easily

merely to wash over us, lacking

the courage or will to respond,

and doing so always in the most

beautiful language we can write and read.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper