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ADVICE TO POETS



Don't crumple up your failed efforts.
Tear them into little pieces.
Your wastebasket won't fill up so fast.

Try not to write about flowers
unless they are strange
or homely
or have unusual properties.

Stay away from sunsets, too,
unless for some reason
they are horrifying.
We already know
how pretty they are.

Writing about the sea is okay,
especially if you have the feeling
it wants to eat you.

And don't keep all your secrets.
Secrets are your worst enemy.
You can always wear a disquise.

When quaffing beer or elixirs,
don't expect to write anything very good
after drinking the sixth one.
Especially the older you get.

It is also okay to be maudlin.
But it requires just the right touch.

Don't weep into a woman's brassiere
when she isn't wearing one.
As if that made any sense.

Be sure to write
at least one "sad clown" poem
& at least one "dead pet" poem.
Just don't over-do it.

Less is more,
unless you're crazed,
which can also be a good thing.

More or less.






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Comments

The following comments are for "ADVICE TO POETS"
by gomarsoap

too late
Hi gomarsoap. Well, I wish I'd known all this before I started writing poetry. I seem to have done all the wrong things first. ;) I enjoyed this and got a laugh too. It just came a little too late for me, but maybe I can redeem myself with a sad clown and dead pet poem?
cheers
smithy

( Posted by: smithy [Member] On: April 28, 2005 )

too late # 2

Well I must be crazy since I "over-do" my poems, with too many abstract words and images that I can only see, because I only exist in my own world without and ocean or booze.

However, I aprreciate most of your message, the sun and the flowers get boring unless they're in the process of dying then become more interesting.

Just my feeting thoughts,

macbeth

( Posted by: macbeth [Member] On: April 28, 2005 )

dead pet poets society
Great fun here!

Writing drunk is grand.
Post only when sober.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: April 28, 2005 )

smithy/macbeth/drsoos
smithy! Not one sad clown or dead pet poem? For shame! Thanks for commenting and seeing the humor here, which is intentional.

macbeth - yeah, you're crazy and abstract, which is why I like much of your stuff. Wish I had more time to comment.

drsoos - good advice, especially the posting part. Sometimes I try to guess who's been imbibing, toking, et al, when cruising around lit.org. I guess it doesn't take much for me to amuse myself.

I'd like to thank "weirdwriter". I started this poem earlier in the day, and added to it after reading his piece, "Heart of a Clown".

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

g-soap

yeah, hard to write during those clear lapses.
thanks for the compliment.


macbeth

( Posted by: macbeth [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

Very clever
I agree to most of this... I don't think most could pick my dead poem but I'll tell a secret (You Were the Metaphor). Sometimes picking something to write about is just so difficult; that's when I write pieces inspired by other people.
Thanks.
-Casey

( Posted by: shefallssoftly [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

Gomar's list.
Hi Gomar...I noticed you didn't mention writing about lost youth...unless that comes under the heading of "maudlin". In that case...I guess I'm the most maudlin poet on here...the bad news is...you can expect many more from me! lol.

( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

Gomar's advice ...
Well on a scale of 10, this needs work to be a ten. There is never enough advice to us poets...
especially advice that all could agree upon. Most of what you write hits me the right way. Gomar, I think this was a good thing to do. But it needs more meat....perhaps to fill out that bra? Ha Ha...

"Don't weep into a woman's brassiere
when she isn't wearing one.
As if that made any sense"

This type of writing I LOVE....for the readers can fill in their own thoughts. To me, I am thinking "Yes, handsome this made sense" Girlfriend could be in the shower, lover in the room, inhaling her sweet scent from her undergarments...weeping because he/she is not the lover to BE......

I enjoyed this poem of yours, enjoy the freestyle. I really enjoyed visualizing you ripping up your work into pieces instead if crumpling them and playing basketball with the waste basket.

Well write drunk, write naked!!!

thanks hun,
Darlene ;)

( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

shefalls/Bea/Dar
Casey - yes, it is very hard to pick something to write about. I think that is why writers go through dry spells - they just don't have anything to say for awhile that moves them. And sometimes "it" picks "you" instead of the other way around and you don't have to worry about it. That's when its good.

Bea - Looking forward to more bad news! Lost youth, or lost innocense? We all lose our youth - but you have not lost your innocense, at least not all of it. I believe it's important to hold onto at least a piece of our innocense and never let go.

Darlene - yes, this needs some work. It's a first draft written the same day I posted it and there's one or two more things I want to add.

Very inciteful comment about the bra - I hadn't thought of it that way. It really didn't make any sense to me at the time. That's one thing I enjoy about writing. Sometimes you get to think like you know what you're talking about.

As far as advice writers can all agree about - forget it! Them critters are just too wild.

Good idea for a poem - it could start out, "I'm drunk and naked as I wtite this..."

Thanks all for commenting.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

Great Advice Gomarsoap!
HA-Ha! "Horrifying sunsets" Great advice! I've never been fond of flowery sunset oceans seasons and pet poems myself, but I like the idea of horrifying sunsets! Crazed is also good.

( Posted by: DieBaronHobskewward [Member] On: May 9, 2005 )

dude, cool poem!
I liked part about having that feeling that the ocean wants to eat you. I had that feeling once.

( Posted by: ZonerZone [Member] On: May 9, 2005 )

note
Just for the record, this a revised version. From the original, I added stanza 5. I also revised one line in the first stanza and switched around some lines in the second stanza.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: May 11, 2005 )

TheRealPersephones28, or,
The Woman With The Smoking Gun.

I'm sorry you didn't like my poem. It was meant to be trite and ordinary, but not mundane and boring.

I checked out your "bio" to see who you are and was quite delighted. I like your mom and the "Baron." I'm also glad to see that you are into the performing arts. Is that theater? Acting classes? Performance art? Whatever, good for you for getting off the runway and taking a plunge into the blood-red meat of things.

And you are right about one thing: always try to be fresh. To be fresh is to be real. But you can't be afraid to take a tumble or two, along the way.


( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: May 12, 2005 )

Natasha
Sent you a PM after 2 failed attempts. I've had trouble with PM for several weeks. I type a message and hit "Preview" and a login screen pops up when I'm already logged in. Then when I try to go back to the message I find that it's completely disappeared. Anybody else out there having this problem?

Here's the story of my screen name, which I agree is kinda dorky. I first got on the internet about 2 1/2 years ago. When I had to choose a screen name/email address, everything I could think of was already taken. Ha! I thought. I'll bet I know one that isn't taken - Gomar Soap!

When I was about 12 yrs. old, I was a bit precocious, and read a lot of philosophy books that I got from the library. Inspired, I invented my own philosophical manifesto which I called, "Gomar Etherism." Which, at the time, I felt sounded impressive and mysterious. I think I still have it, packed away in a box somewhere.

When I was 17, I started hanging out in skid row bars and met a lot of derelicts who had colorful names. One of them was Cornbread Red, who I later learned was at one time a legendary, nationally-known pool shark. I watched him hustle drinks by playing pool with a broom handle and one arm behind his back. I decided if I ever became a derelict or wino, Gomar Soap would make a good name. Amos Clod was another name that crossed my idiotic brain.

I thought about changing my screen name, then thought, ah, what the hell. If people don't like it, they'll just have to get over it.

That's the story.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: May 12, 2005 )

Gomar...
handle works for me, but the why, was cool...
to your write, good one, with good sound advice.
I love animal, some present many in the pet cemetary...clowns, I'm not familiar with except members of my family, including self...

thanks for the inspiring words...Robin

( Posted by: Robinbird [Member] On: May 12, 2005 )

long way to go
Clearly I have not peaked as a poet - my dead pet and sad clown poems are still ahead of me. I can't even imagine writing a poem about sad clowns, I distrust them so. Thanks for sharing gomar soap wisdom though!

( Posted by: wrdekle [Member] On: May 15, 2005 )

Gomarsoap
Hehe! I am glad I already wrote about one horrifying sunset and that was before I read this poem, otherwise it wouldn't be original because someone already thought about it.

This is a very good poem as always, and very good advise too! Sometimes the best challenge is to write something extraordinary out of something very ordinary like the rain, or the sunset or love. But that it is possible to do is sort of amazing, what you wrote about writing is MARVELOUS! you managed not to be clicheish talking about many writers have already talked about. Thank you.

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: June 11, 2005 )

Great advice

Does this mean I have to throw out my old copies of National Geographic?


john

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: August 5, 2005 )





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