« Save These Cats' Jobs! | Main | what equals metaphor plus math? »

27 January 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Ok, do I repeat myself? Pepek, here, as in pepektheassassin, from My Uncle Pepek's Journal. I think I remember you from Montana Raven. Why then have I not bookmarked your pages long ago? Having surfed your stuff all morning, I have fallen in love! So much for passion. About me: I write. I poet. I blog. Sometimes I post pictures of my grandchildren. (And don't let the "uncle" thing fool you -- I am a girl, well, an old girl).


(I don't know if I'm supposed to post in the comments or what so here goes!)

Well fellow writers, I'm Jo an ardent writer and occasional poet with a gladsome outlet for my waxing thoughts called The Road Less Traveled Here are my answers:

Yes I am a voracious reader of poems. Dickinson, Frost, Yeats and the list is endless. I usually find my own hearts thoughts within such lyrical prose and reading poems brings great comfort and inspiration to me.

I do write my own poems. In this particular season of my life I've found there is this inextinguishable urge to write from the depths of my soul, and I'm deeply satisfied when my words stare back at my in poetic rhythm.

Ah well, a good poem must be made of soul. The writer must be courageous to bare his deepest feelings, thus engaging the reader.

Well there's a flood of information but I couldn't resist.
Cheers to you all!
- Jo

Jim Murdoch

What do you do that you consider creative? Is it easy, or difficult for you?

I write in all kinds of media, poems, short stories, novels and plays.

When it's easy it's easy and when it's hard it's hard.


What supports -- or undermines -- your creativity?

The main thing that supports me is experience. I've been writing for 35 years. I've had to fact rejection, writer's block, messiah complex … you name it, I've been there. Once you've been through all that then nothing will faze you. I wish I could think of a clever way for a young author to bypass this but I'm not sure there is and why should they get an out?

Lack of confidence still undermines me, thinking I've bitten off more than I can chew, wanting to write about something but not sure I can do it justice.


If you could give a friend one piece of creative inspiration (advice, or a poem, or a painting, or a book, or whatever occurs to you) what would it be?


Words are the enemy.
Please believe me when I tell you this;
I mean you no harm.

They won't give up their meanings
except after a fight
and they'll betray you without a thought.

But the worst of it is:
they'll shoot you down with home truths
the kind you can't run from.

So don't run.
Just watch what you say
is what you meant to say.


Do you read poems?

I don't tend to buy collections of poetry or poetry magazine nor, to be honest, do I go looking for poetry on-line but I'm delighted when I stumble on something good which, I have to say, I rare.


Why is that?

Because I pretty much hate most poetry I read. Either it's about something I don't like or it's written in a style (or non-style) that makes me feel like a berk for not getting it. I particularly hate the supercilious attitude many poets have, especially those who present you will experimental poetry and won't accept that most experiments fail.


Do you write poems?

Yes, since I was thirteen.


If yes, whatever for?

Because I need to get these damn words out of my head. I feel better when I do. In many respects a poem is, for me, a waste product – I'm done with it – but I accept that readers may take what I've written and impose their own meanings on the work, literally making the piece their own.


What, for you, makes a poem a good poem?

From a reader's perspective a good poem need to be intelligible and accessible. A poem should be capable of meaning something. I know meaning is disparaged by many poets, they feel that a poem should be an experience (along the lines of 'the journey is the destination') but I have simpler tastes. Meaning comes first – everything else is gravy.

Small Talk

Do you read poems?

Yes, in certain moods and certain points in time.

Do you write poems? Why?

Occasionally. When there is an intense emotion or thought that I am experiencing (I can never ever convey intensity in prose as well as I can in poetry) or when I just feel playful and lazy (and thus condense what I want to say in the form of poetry).

What, for you, makes a poem a good poem?

1. Rhythm
2. Condensed emotion
3. Unexpected visual imagery

Ed Kemmick

Yes, I do read poems, though not very often.

Yes, I do write poems, even less often than I read them. When I used to keep a regular journal I would occasionally break into poetry just for the fun of it, to express some stray thought succinctly.

What makes a good poem? I like a poem that cuts to the quick, that says much in few words. Compression is the word, I believe. And I am a sucker for the turnaround at the end of a poem, something Billy Collins does so well. He lulls you into thinking he's just meandering around, toying with some ideas, then steps back with a line that brings everything into sharp focus.

Julie Carter

* Do you read poems?

I do, indeed. I tend to be rather flighty in my reading and read almost exclusively online.

* Do you write poems?

I try!

* If yes, whatever for?

I've got to get my exercise somehow, and banging my head on the desk is better than nothing.

* What, for you, makes a poem a good poem?

Why, appealing to ME, of course. I like poems that deal with something real, something pointed, something elusive and strange. I like poems that make me say, "I couldn't have written that," poems that show me the world through someone else's eyes.


Reintroducing myself. I'm no stranger to online communities but new to blogging. I have two daughters ages twelve and 22. I run a community library at a local non-profit for young girls and women. I also founded and run a lit study group called Color Online.

Now to the questions.

Do you read poems?

I read poetry daily. I also made a commitment this year to study a specific poet per month the entire year. I read Audre Lorde for January and reading Donald Hall for February.

Do you write poems?

Yes, I write. I think studying, working on writing exercises and reading poetry by accomplished poets has helped me improve my writing. But I’m inconsistent and easily distracted. I’m always writing but not necessarily writing well.

If yes, whatever for?

I write because I am an activist, feminist; I am writer who believes we all have stories to tell. Sometimes the stories we tell are the stories of those who cannot tell their own. Audre Lorde’s, The Cancer Journals is currently weighing heavily on my heart and intellect. More than ever, I feel compelled to write.

What, for you, makes a poem a good poem

For starters, a good poem to me some basic understanding of poetics is evident in a work that is well written. I’m not arguing you have to study formally, but do study, hone, learn your craft. A good poem, like good literature compels, incites, anger, delights and informs. A good poem speaks to the writer and reader. If the poem is just for the writer, well, I call that a journal entry and depending on the skill level, I might think it was best shared with those who love the writer and will tell her everything she does is wonderful.

I think over the years, I’ve become a far better reader of poetry than writer and that’s good. I do want to improve as a poet. Still, there’s no shortage of good poetry and I’m glad to be a reader.


Wow -- this has taken off fast.

Pepek: Welcome! It's always a delight to be discovered by new readers.

Jo: Yes, my list of favorite poets is endless, too. And I sometimes think that the appreciation of poetry is a seasonal thing. When I was young, I read poems (and poets) that meant nothing to me, and those same poems speak right to my heart today. Others, vice versa.

Jim: Words are the enemy? Ha! I think it's just that there are so many words, and only one is the right one. And, I hesitate to point you at the CRITIQUES WELCOME notice on the sidebar, but I suspect I might benefit from yours. I'm inclined to agree with you about meaning, though I often don't know what mine are about, exactly, for some time (years, even) after I've written them. And I don't think of them as waste, though I do think of them as ephemeral.

Small Talk: I really like your summary of a what makes a good poem. Concise, and useful.

Ed!!!: It's so nice to see you here. I've never forgotten your generosity in linking to me so early on -- it helped me feel that this might be worth doing. You didn't leave a URL here -- is there one you'd like me to add? (added)

And I like Billy Collins, too. I think he's vastly underrated by the elite.

Julie: Ah, another familiar name! ...banging my head on the desk -- yes, it is like that sometimes, isn't it? That attempt to open one's own eyes, and share what you see.

Susan: I really like that idea of reading one poet closely for a month; I've never done that. You are approaching this with more discipline than I have, I think, at present -- but I've had it in the past, and I hope it keeps the poems afloat. I'm thinking of doing some work with forms, another way to unpeel the poem onion.

I'm glad to have you here, reading and sharing.

All of you!


I’ve been reading poetry quite a bit in the last year or so. Online, checking out books at the library, buying books for Jessica’s poetry book club over at her 9 to 5 blog, buying books to take to readings for autographs (Charles Simic, for example).

I actually described myself as a poet not long ago, when introduced to someone by a writer friend. It was a completely unanticipated and subconscious response and afterwards recognized – by me – as a lovely moment. Notice that there were no modifiers attached to the word poet.

I write poetry to feed my own creative-self. As I ponder questions like last week’s TOP prompt, “what are we here for?…”, which I didn’t answer because I was so frozen by the magnitude and multitude of possible answers, I remember that people need to create. For me, poetry is creation and communication.

Good poetry is, for me: a living entity.

I blog at Stoney Moss (which I co-blog with Whirling Dervish, a friend), “manage” Read Write Poem, and try to participate in online poetry communities such as Totally Optional Prompts, The Last Piaster and Fertile Ground.

(I stumbled onto Watermark about two years ago by way of Endment by way of Raven’s Nest by way of Maureen’s lovely flicker photos…what a happy wandering! I have only started commenting relatively recently.)

((I think I'll paste this into my own blog with the links...))

(((Oh, and hello. My name is Deb.)))


* Do you read poems? Yep, every day!

* Do you write poems? Lately, it seems like I write one poem a day, at least a few a week.

* If yes, whatever for?
It's like Billy Collins said, the trouble with poetry is that you end up wanting to write more poems. Write one poem, and you're doomed!

* What, for you, makes a poem a good poem?
Hard to pin it down to a sound bite, but... something original, either with language or images or thought, or an honest, sel-revealing poem always grabs me.

Crafty green Poet

HI again, I'm Juliet, I blog at Crafty Green Poet and at my shapeshifting Alter Ego blog now called Over Forty Shades. I read loads of poetry, I always have a poetry book on my living room book pile, usually another poetry book in my handbag. I read anthologies and collections by individual poets, living poets and dead. I write poetry too, a lot of it can be read on my blogs and some has been published in journals. What makes good poetry? For me it has to engage me emotionally, say something interesting, be well crafted and accessible and use words well.


Do you read poems? Yes, I do

Do you write poems? Yes, more so this past year and a half.

If yes, whatever for? hooked, addicted
What, for you, makes a poem a good poem? still discovering the various forms, I love those poems that convey the deepest of meaning in short lines

Rob Kistner

Rob Kistner here.

My personal writing blog is Image & Verse. I have another writing blog (which will remain known only to me), to which I contribute occasionally, at 3:30 AM -- and the demons are upon me.

I also moderate the writing-prompt blog, Writer’s Island… come visit, if you have not already.

I read poetry, and love a good suspense novel. I write constantly, because I am compelled to do so -- my favorite type of writing being free-verse poetry.

I am an artist, photographer, and a crafts person. My wife and I create abstract mixed-media sculptures.

I also design furniture, primarily contemporary pieces. I sing, and did so professionally for many years.

For me, a poem is a good poem, if it feels like honesty -- like the genuine voice of the poet. No matter the type of poetry, for me it must feel real, like it flowed from the heart -- with a pulse.

Write on!


Do you read poems?

Yes, of course I read poetry. I read all the older as well as newer poets, Shakespeare, Wordsmith, Keats, Byron, Browning, Burns, Frost, Yeats, Syvia Plath (Some may get disturbed reading Plath but her words carry a lot of power), Dorothy Parker, Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, Charles Simic to name only a few.

Do you write poems? If yes, whatever for?

Yes, I do. All the time. I taught myself to write it. Why do I write it? To give an outlet to my creativity, I take up a lot of social issues in my poetry. I give vent to my feelings. I express myself via poetry. Poetry helps me understand myself. Poetry can bridge the gap left by emotional upheaval, in our heart and soul. It gives me a certain direction. There is some compulsion to write it down. Sometimes it gushes out. Others, I make myself write it. Many times what I intended to write flows in another direction. I seldom write intensly personal poetry. Or love poetry. Still, reading poetry is more pleasurable than writing it down.

What, for you, makes a poem a good poem?

That which moves me deeply, creates vivid images in my mind, is well worded, conveys by speaking out to me. Understanding the poem is important. Using words, which don't make sense fails in the very purpose of poetry writing. Symbolism too should be such which touches our very soul. I like both simple poetry as well as complicated ones.

What puts you off while reading poems ? Online or otherwise?

I will take online poetry. Most are written instantly and are really good. However, I am put off by misspellings and bad or improper usage of punctuations.

Link to my post:
Introducing myself


Introducing myself

I am Christy from A Slice of Life. I am relatively new to the blogging world, have been posting at 'Slice' since September 2007.

Do you read poems? I read poems on a daily basis, I start each day with a good dose of poetry. Generally my morning read consists of visits to some of my favourite bloggers. In the evening I like to relax with a tea and a good book of poetry while cuddling with one or all of my three little kittens.

Do you write poems? Yes I write poems. At the present I have an incredible need to write and the poems are coming on a daily or sometimes hourly basis. I do however go through dry spells when the well of words empties and I write nothing for weeks or months. My longest drought lasted for 2 years.

If yes, whatever for? I write because I have to. If I don't let the poems out they will haunt me. I write to make sense of what is happening to and around me and to express my anger and outrage at our crazy world. I also enjoy a good challenge and like to take part in creative writing exercises to keep my brain active.

What, for you, makes a poem a good poem? A good poem must be filled with honest emotion, it must move me to tears or make me shiver. After reading a good poem it's words will echo or I will find myself drawn back to reread it. A good poem leaves doors open so you can wander and explore it .


Do you read poems? Yes, I do. Every day.

Do you write poems? Yes I do. Almost every day.

If yes, whatever for? Playing with words and with thoughts are two of my favorite things to do.

What, for you, makes a poem a good poem? A good poem tells of the ordinary in an extraordinary way.

I have a blog where I post some of my poems. You can go here to read them...


I am always too quick with the trigger finger...I hit post before filling in my information. The previous comment is mine.


Your page has moved me, very much.

Who am I? Autism activist. Mom of 5. Newbie poet. Survivor. Translator. Alaskan. CFS sufferer.

For the past several years I have become a poetry addict, almost against my best instincts.


I am so pleased to be making your acquaintance. I too will be partaking of Oprah's online course with author Eckhart Tolle in and about his latest book, "New Earth".

I too am often skeptical of these new age books but in the same breath.. I often find myself drawn to them. "The Secret" is actually one that I did not see or read.. it somehow did not ring true with me. I often am unable to understand or get all that the authors are trying to share but I often do come away with some tidbit that better explains or, in some way, adds light to my day. This, I suppose, is my goal. I like to think that my mind is open to new thoughts and new ways of looking at the world.. but at the same time, I only take what I feel I can use.

I will be looking forward to your views and opinions on this book and the dialogue that will follow.


Hi Watermark. I used to have your blog bookmarked, but lost the link somehow. Today, several of your posts showed up in my reader -- under another blog. Weird, but seredipitous. I'm glad that I found your blog -- again!

Do you read poems? Yes. Currently reading Rilke.

Do you write poems? On occassion. Haven't for several months. Don't know where my muse is.

If yes, whatever for? Because I have to!

What, for you, makes a poem a good poem?
A good poem can have any of several characteristic -- fantastic use of words, imagery, meter, form. But what makes all "good" poems stand out is that once you read them, you must read them again ... and again. A good poem seeps into the fissures of your brain and cannot be extracted; it plants itself in your soul and takes root.


My name is David and I starting taking photos last summer for a blog. Then one day I was sitting with some of the photos and they started asking me to write about them. So in a few days I had about twenty poems that seem to bring more visitors to my blog than my photos! But they should only blame themselves!
I started PhotoLink Love so they could live together in their own space and also added some adult supervision. Some of my favorite poets and their poems. Yeats, Dickinson, C.G. Rossetti are there and I usually take just a line or two from them to get me going in the morning.
My poetry is not difficult. It's about dreaming. It's about life.


I am a reader of poetry on occasion. While wandering through some links, I arrived at the poem, Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia has been my constant companion for a number of years. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.


I created a LiveJournal feed for those who wish to view your blog posts on their LJ friendspage: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/watermarkfeed/profile.

Jose Luis G. Soler

Dear new friend of www.futureprimitive.org

Another great interview-podcast. This time a interesting gaialogue with Miriam Sagan

Miriam Sagan is the author of over twenty books, including a memoir, Searching for a Mustard Seed : A Young Widow’s Unconventional Story (Winner best Memoir from Independent Publishers, 2004). Her poetry includes “Rag Trade”, “The Widow’s Coat”, and “The Art of Love”.
In this interview she talks about literature as defiance, community, and her experience of writing in close relationship to Nature, among other topics...


Warm regards

Jose Luis G. Soler
Production Assistant
[email protected]

Ed Warner

I write poetry and stories in italian.
I'm trying to translate my poems in english to increase my readers.
I need a lot of work to do that, but I'm happy to show my words to the world, so I'm happy to invite you on my blog.
I hope you can love my poems...
good luck to this interesting site full of ideas...

The comments to this entry are closed.

  • flickr   Instagram   Pinterest
    facebook   Google+   RSS

  • sbpoet's artstream

  • Follow

  • Created with flickr badge.