Monday, August 18, 2008

Saved By Syllabics - Poem Revision Prompts

Syllabics saved me today. I've been tinkering with two older poems that I thought still had promise but were lacking some essential oomph. As I was fooling around with them, I decided to put each in some sort of syllabic pattern and see what happened. Well, I must say I'm very pleased with the results.

So.... as poets (including Mary Biddinger and Deborah Ager) are sharing prompts for creating new poems, I'd like to start a list of prompts for revising poem drafts:
  1. Try putting the poem in syllabics to see what happens.
  2. Remove all line breaks and start over with another method for breaking the line.
  3. Remove all adverbs and choose stronger verbs.
  4. Read the poem several times and then remove it from your sight. Now try to re-write it from memory. You will remember what is most important to you from the poem draft.
  5. Rearrange or remove some of the stanzas.
What are some prompts you use when you feel stumped and can't figure out how to rework what you think is a promising poem draft?

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