how not to write a poem

there are
elements in this process
I might have neglected
along the way

like use of meter,
or assonance string-
ing syllables taut,

so it doesn’t sound
like a Blue Mountain
Greeting Card;

because free verse
is often confused
with pretty words
dripping down a page
begging forgiveness
or hoping to get laid
(or both,
on a good day).

Imagery is easy for me;
I dream in simile
& loved the Star Trek episode
where the aliens only spoke metaphor
(Next Generation,
of course–
Capt Kirk
never got that

since I don’t
write in tight meter
or count syllables
(except in haiku)

it is miraculous
that sometimes
this language I use
to translate image
into thought

stumbles into poetry
in spite of itself

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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4 Responses to how not to write a poem

  1. Mr. Walker says:

    Susan, I very much identified with this, as one who often writes free verse. And bonus points for including Star Trek. We’re not supposed to include pop culture references in our poems either; that’s slumming. 🙂


  2. Techniques and so forth are all wonderful but I believe poetry is to its maximum if you’re writing from experience and soul, that’s what connects with others and this, you already do! ❤ Thanks Susan, Deborah

  3. Thanks Deb–missed your comments 🙂

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