Wednesday, 28 August 2019

What non-poets need to know about poetry

  • There are no poets - Nobody earns their keep merely by writing poetry.
  • Poetry's not often a special language - Read it first as if it were prose, ignoring the line-breaks.
  • There are many types of poetry - True, there are many types of music too but you don't often have Abba and Beethoven on the same CD. A poetry anthology can have a crazy mix. Don't expect to like it all.
  • Not all poetry was written for you - Some poets perform only for poets, writing books only for poets. They don't feel the need to justify their poems word by word to unbelievers.
  • Books aren't everything - Book runs don't often exceed 300. Running a workshop for a day will earn a poet more than years of royalties. Most poems appear in magazines you'll probably never see.

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