April 27th, 2006


Writing Exercise for National Poetry Month

I need to be finished with this poem now.

I’m starting to carry the characters around with me, and I can’t have that.

I didn’t expect it, either! I’m accustomed to my prose characters taking up residence in my head. I hear their voices and ponder their lives and tell their stories and eventually … I have a complete novel.

Somehow I thought characters in a poem wouldn’t affect me the same way.

Let’s just get to it, shall we?

I’ll offer a post-mortem on the thing afterwards.

So! To recap: kellyrfineman has been hosting poetry sessions all month long at her blog. A few weeks ago she was describing narrative poems, and I developed a yen to write one.

These were some traits of narrative poetry that I kept in mind as I wrote (per Kelly):

They tend to be longer than some other forms, and are usually (but not always) told in first-person. They recount an episode or event in a person's life.

Make it florid and make sure it has an arc.

The story, and not the precise form, is the thing.

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