Personal Thoughts on Poetry

Through reading, writing, and studying poetry over the years, I’ve formulated some personal opinions on certain poetry components and trends I really like and dislike. There’s plenty I still have to learn about the craft and the community but for now, here are some of my feelings on some poetic aspects:

 

Chapters

I love that my collections have chapters. I understand chapbooks not having chapters due to their shorter lengths or not including chapters as a personal choice and preference. There is in fact a downside to categorizing poems as lumping similar themed poems could end up seeming repetitive to a reader. That’s something I’m becoming more conscious of while working on my second collection Where I Ache. But overall, I do enjoy seeing how certain poems can relate to one another. It’s so cool to see one theme through such a wide range of perspectives in chaptered collections.

 

Titles

I personally prefer poems that have titles. I’ve seen plenty that don’t and I understand everyone will have their own creative ideas and reasoning. Titles to me add something to the poem. They might help give the poem an overall theme, emphasis on a particular word or feeling, or additional information. I like titles to give me a hint about the poem I’m about to read rather than just being thrown into a narrative. Titles set a tone or mood, a time period, or reference point. A creative aspect I enjoy about titles is when they’re used as the first line of the poem.

 

No rhyme or reason

I don’t think poetry needs to rhyme. I think types of poetry work better when it rhymes such as songs and children’s nursery rhymes. There are plenty of forms that require it and plenty that forbid it. I think people unfamiliar with poetry would assume it always rhymes when in fact a large number of poetry presses request that submissions aren’t rhyming poems.

 

Poetess

I like the term poetess – it reminds me of male lion vs female lioness and lionesses are super badass running their prides and being the hunters of their species. They’re strong and fierce, what’s not to like. Leaning on that idea and calling yourself a poetess seems very cool in my opinion.  

 

Insta poetry

I understand that social media is so huge in today’s society and I completely understand artists wanting to reach their audiences on all platforms. The world is moving at a fast pace, technology is fast, and therefore you never want anything taking up too much of your time. So short and sweet ‘instapoems’ have become quite popular. I’m all for being smart with how you use your page’s real estate but I think poems with more than just 4 lines are more powerful and moving. I’ve written instapoems myself, they’re just not the only poem length I write.

 

Indie Presses

Essentially every poem I write, I then publish on this blog. This makes all those poems ineligible for most printing presses since they wouldn’t be exclusive to that publication. I never really understood why poets took the time to publish to indie presses until I realized that some poets don’t have blogs or just might not publish to online forms/sites. When I write a poem, I want to share it with strangers so of course, if I wasn’t publishing them online I would absolutely be submitting to indie presses in order to get my poems into print! I also very very briefly submitted some work and I don’t know how these Poets continuously handle the rejection. 

 

16 thoughts on “Personal Thoughts on Poetry”

  1. I liked your comments on Indie Presses and Insta Poetry. I also think the term Poetess is cool and lends a strength of character. Do you think you will get in trouble with the PC police? I am fairly irrational in my opposition to imposed correctness. It would not allow the beauty of “Poetess.”

  2. Great post! I totally agree with you on the importance of titles–they are another piece to a poem’s meaning. Also, I tend to prefer longer poetry too… though most of the ones I’ve had published are story poems, so there’s that. In response to why poets would go for publication elsewhere, I began my writing career mostly with short stories and novels, so submitting my poetry out before publishing it myself felt natural to me… and I aimed for magazines, journals, and anthologies… not necessarily “indie pubs”…because I’d rather take the risk of rejection (and yes, it sucks–more so of late with body chemistry changes, ugh!) and get paid first and possibly get nominated for awards, before putting something out myself. That said, every writer–and poetess–should follow the path that calls to their heart, and that is the best path for them.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about poetry. As a writer of poetry (most of the time), I appreciate reading what another writer thinks. My poetry tends to reflect a similar style, but I am willing to write in different formats. Nearly all of my poems have a title, and I enjoy using rhyming as well. With a few exceptions, my poetry appears in my blog as I have submitted other poems for submission elsewhere (still waiting on more news there).

  4. Personally I view chapters, titles, rhymes, and other such things as tools that can be used or not used depending on the poem, the poet, or the book. All can be used (or not used) well, and all can be used (or not used) poorly, if that makes sense.

  5. I agree 100% with this post. Love it!
    I joined a poetry challenge on Instagram before and felt I was wasting words because they were so short. But from that experience I actually started writing more outside of the challenge. But I love your perspective in this post.

  6. This was an enjoyable read. It is a subject I’ve been thinking of lately, I started writing a post about it. You’ve given me some food for thought.

  7. Great things to consider. My writing, for the first 45 years, was traditional rhyming poetry. In the last few years I’ve rarely written in rhyme. My poems are also longreads, as I too prefer to write and read longer poems. I also love and use titles, as I agree with you that they help the reader descend into the poem easier. Sometimes my titles are a word from within the poem, other times they express the idea I had in mind, or my feeling at the moment. I haven’t submitted much of my work anywhere, but don’t mind rejection. I haven’t really thought about the chapter thing. It’s kind of like when fashion designers show during fashion week – no, not a fashion person, but I do love watching Project Runway, because its about being creative 🙂 – and the judges always say that the looks must be cohesive. So I get what you’re saying about that. Finally, I think that “poetess” seems quite a romantic word, but I’ve always included an “r,” so “poetress.” Oops. Guess I’ve been saying it wrong 🙂

  8. About dealing with rejection when submitting poetry to publications. I understand get published is a numbers game, so I do not take the rejection notices personally. It takes time to learn which editors like my particular writing style and manner and which don’t. In my case, I know I will receive eight to ten rejection notices for each acceptance. That is the math. Since indie presses come and go, a poet has to keep exploring the new ones, because the old ones vanish too often. Also, if you submit work to a popular, prestigious or university publications they may have 20 slots for poems and receive 4,000 submissions. If you wrote the 21st best poem that they received, you are left out.

    Best of luck and persistence to those of you who submit poetry.

  9. I like your comments on insta poetry and Poetess. You made me think and feel empowered. However, you are slightly incorrect about indie presses. Most publishers do not consider self-publishing on a blog to be prior publication. It may be an issue if you were to seek publication with every poem here first but, in general, blogs are not a threat to publishers. In fact, some publishers are expecting writers to self promote on blogs BEFORE they can be publishable. Printing is not cheap, so they want to be sure what they invest in will sell. Blogs are great marketing tools.

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