Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Verse First ~ Difficulty

Verse First ~ Difficulty


Welcome to Verse First, where simple notions prompt amazing poems. 
Today's notion?

DIFFICULTY

(or why to avoid it in poetry)


Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate, frequently comments about difficult-to-read poetry. Joel Whitney of Guernica Magazine asked him about this. Here is a portion of Collins' response:

"More often than not in poetry I find difficulty to be gratuitous and show-offy and     camouflaging, experimental to a kind of insane degree--a difficulty which really ignores the possibility of having a sensible reader."

I could not more heartily agree with Mr. Collins! Your assignment should be clear. Write a poem, no more than three stanzas, that is completely free of "gratuitous, show-offy, camouflaging" text. 

I look forward to reading your accessible, enlightening writing. ~ Kim


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29 comments:

  1. Yay!yay!! First for the first time!! Woohoo!! Ok, hopefully have synced with the prompt. smiles....

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  2. I do agree with Mr. Collins' thoughts. Looking forward to seeing what you all share.

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  3. I couldn't agree with you and Billy more, Kim. = )

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  4. Anne's life was so difficult yet she gave us an easy access to her world. I hope my piece is readable.

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  5. I have re-posted the shortest, simplest poem I have ever written, inspired by a trip to the Cape Cod National Seashore where I hope to be going very soon. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

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  6. I will be honest here. I will be visiting people who visit others. There are always those who drop links, don't leave comments, and don't visit. We ALL enjoy visits, but it is a two-way street.

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    1. I for one do try to visit all or most - but it can often take all week for me to get to everyone. I do what I can, as I can, and won't push myself beyond my limits. That's why I no longer (or at least very seldom) participate in The Poetry Pantry any more. It's good to have these prompts from Kim, which I very much enjoy and can almost always respond to, and which so far are manageable in terms of visiting others.

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    2. Like Rosemary, I try to make the rounds, but it takes me a while. Between work, elderly parents, young grandkids...well, you know....life...I'm a little slow. The tortoise finished the race, right?

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    3. Oh, heavens, I was not at all thinking of people such as the two of you. You comment on others' work. And truly I REALIZE a person cannot always comment on everyone's poem. My comment was made for those who never respond to anyone else's poem EVER & continue to week after week share their own links. I also know that some weeks are busier than others for people, and we all do the best we can.......but I am talking about a regular pattern of non-response to anyone.

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  7. Kim,

    I enjoyed this very much. I had a character in my mind instantly!!!

    Eileen

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  8. I think what I notice about difficulty is not difficult, though some will enjoy a tiny reference to Susan Glaspell's Trifles (A Jury of her Peers) and to Quaker testimonies. I hope you visit me and smile, Kim. We all do what we can.

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  9. ...i think, i was able to avoid the 3 don'ts today as per this prompt... what do you think? smiles...

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    1. Kelvin, I think you succeeded. At least by my standards. Smiles back.

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  10. Here I am...like Kelvin, me too keeping my fingers crossed! :)

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  11. This sort of blended with another prompt and crossing my fingers as well

    Elizabeth

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  12. Ok, got mine posted. I'll be back shortly to read and comment!

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    1. You are always good about that, Jennifer. Thank you.

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  13. Thanks for the writing tip. I am glad to be able to link up. :-)

    ~Imelda

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  14. I love Billy Collins and totally agree with his comments on "difficult" poetry. Will give one a think or two!

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  15. I always try to write like that! But it doesn't preclude a touch of mystery or the ineffable. :)

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  16. I hope this fits the prompt...only the title is obscure, I think, but I have to say that some people think that for writing to be poetry, it must be obscure. I agree with Billy Collins...my poetry crush...

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    1. Oops! Wrong link! Number 30 was the one I meant to use.

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  17. I cheated a little...3 stanzas plus a couplet! Sorry...

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  18. Will be back to read and comment. Thunderstorms here and electricity keeps blipping out!

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  19. I agree with Billy Collins - some poems just don't make sense to me.

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  20. Sorry, folks! The other link I left was to the wrong poem. This was written. For this particular prompt.

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