But the truth is that writing poetry (the modern kind that doesn't rhyme) is super-cakey. Anyone can do it if they just follow these rules:
- Figure out what you want to say
- Write down what you want to say. Don't worry about how one thought connects to the next--that's the reader's job!
- Polish it up. If it seems banal, remove some words so that it makes less sense--this makes it seem profound. Replace common words with words that have some kind of sonic impact and strong connotations. Don't worry whether they fit in with your original idea; let the thesaurus be the wind beneath your wings! A boring poem about a "knife" can become an exotic romance about a "scimitar." Have you used too much punctuation? Either throw it all out, or leave just a couple marks in random places to puzzle your reader. Make sure you don't write all the way to the right margin: break your sentences into choppy fragments so that your reader knows this is a poem!
I took some pictures of stuff I found outside my house (but within range of the baby monitor) while the girls were napping, and I was going to write a clever, jokey thing about how important it is to expose your kids to nature. Then I decided that was too much work. So now, I am going to write poetry about these pictures of nature until I get sick of it. Then, I'm going to ask you to write some too!
See--super easy! Why don't you take three seconds and write some poetry inspired by the rest of these pictures, and post it in the comments. I will email your work to Maya Angelou, my close personal friend *cough*bullshit*cough*, and see which one she likes best. Then I will buy the winner lunch or something. Maybe I'll give you some slightly used baby clothes.
Feel free to remix or mashup my poems, or write a better one about the pictures I already poeticized.