Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, loosen up!

Yes, I've been working more on this lately—working on loosening up, getting more imagination into my poems—more imagination and more movement.

The trick, for me, is to write loosely and expansively without being sloppy. Even when I'm trying to write in a more ebullient—dare I say spontaneous—voice, I still want to pay attention to repetition (of the inadvertent kind) and line endings and music. I still want every word to count.

(For years, I was very strict about repetition—as in "don't, ever." Now I've reached "don't, unless you do it on purpose and you're damned sure.")

How do you loosen up? Or do you?


Dawn said...

I am what I am.
If I portray what I am not,
is it me or a stilted version of me?

Of, course that doesn't mean I don't review to make sure that I've shown what I wish and not reflected something else.

Kells said...

I try to write at night when my internal editor is asleep or sleepy. OR I read other writers who are looser than me (they are not too hard to find!) ;-)

Joannie said...

Kells, for me everyone is too sleepy at night. But I do find that reading other, looser, writers helps.

Dawn, I was thinking about your comment and then the discovery of the other layers, what we might not know about ourselves yet (poetry seems so great for that--and not just the poems themselves, but styles and tones and so many things to play with).

But then, in the new issue of The Missouri Review, Ellen Bryant Voight says, "Poetry is a lens onto the world. If a writer keeps going with what he knows, he will no longer see new things. The great exhilaration is that writers can change the lens. They can put themselves in a position to write other kinds of poems."

That last sentence, especially, says it for me.

Violetwrites said...

I don't worry about loosening up I write and write rewrite and rewrite ...
my muse always joins me.

Joannie said...


I've been thinking about your comment, VioletWrites. Where is my muse? Do I remember to invite her? Is she just plain busy sometimes?

I hadn't thought of it that way lately.