Many people have asked me, “How do you write poetry?”
…I wish I knew.
I started writing poetry about the same time that Algebra started making sense. I never have planned out a poem, be it a 12-liner or a 10-pager (why my prose is so awful) and no thought really went into them until I was finished.
Start with a thought. An idea. Write a few words about it, decide if it sounds like the beginning, middle or end of a poem, and write around it.
Or do the reverse. I’ll often write something that ‘sounds’, and if it sounds like something writable I go with it.
The latest poem here was considered weeks ago. I wrote it in 5 minutes when I had nothing better to do. Seems to be like music. It plays/writes itself out, ends when it wants to, and the artist is just the tool.
The only shred of advice I’ve ever given is this: Start small. Think of the smallest thing you can, write a line that sounds like it and GO.
And write of something you know about or can visualize. The art should not tell anything; I don’t think it ought to show everything. The final piece should work on the reader’s imagination, say enough to make him visualize what you write, but write so he sees only that – vividly.