The metaphor -- a figure of speech that compares two things without using like or as -- and simile -- a comparative that uses like or as -- are the heart of writing poetry. It is what separates poetry from prose in that poems have less specific detail and more is left to the imagination of the reader. Metaphors allow you to express yourself in ways that are fresh and interesting.
YWP friend and poet Kerrin McCadden says that she starts a poem by thinking of an unusual and seemingly contradictory metaphor. She then creates another one that seems contradictory to the first one. The pair become the foundation for her poem.
Bill O'Connor, a friend of YWP and a wonderful novelist and columnist, used to write in a daily newspaper about everyday people with unique, funny perspectives and stories. Bills skills were these:
He connected with his subjects and so drew from them great detail and open expression.
He chose his details well and sparingly
He used dialogue well
And he had great first sentences.
"Writing is easy," he'd say. "You just write one sentence at a time, with the second sentence relating to the first, the third with the second, and so forth until you're done." He'd then smile and admit, "But getting that first sentence, that's the hard part."
The haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that developed out of group poetry. Nearly nine hundred years ago groups of young poets gathered to write together what is called a renga, a type of collaborative poem. By the 1400s the short sections of the poem broke from the long poem and developed into haiku.
Daistez T. Suzuki, a Japenese author said this: “Haikus get inside an object, experience the object’s life, and feel its feelings.”
Generally, a haiku will have these qualities (although, nothing is hard and fast):
It contains seventeen syllables in lines of five, seven, and five syllables.
It usually has a theme of nature
It sometimes includes a word or two that alludes to the seasons
It is written in the present tense about the present moment
I am over you. Then my eyes meet yours once more, and I fall in love.. -- Alisha Mead
Vermont Writes Day: Friday, February 1! Seven challenges! Seven minutes!
This is Young Writers Project's annual day of honoring writing, a day when people of all ages in Vermont (and our friends around the country) take just seven minutes (or more) to write to any of seven fun prompts (or pick "general" if you want to write about your own idea.)
You can participate on your own, or in class with fellow students and teachers; you can use pencil and paper (and send us the best), chisels and stone tablets; you can post here and respond to the challenges (links below or see CHALLENGES in top menu bar) or you can post on https://vermontwritesday.org which will be open on that day only (and will be monitored) and you can post without having to log in or create an account!
Have you ever noticed, in life, no matter where you are, if you are paying attention, you will come around a corner, look up from a book, exit a building, walk out of the woods and you'll see something breathtaking be it small or large, or close up or far away. Camels Hump, Vermont, late afternoon, Oct. 26, while stopping by the farm to get a gallon of raw milk ...
There's a moment in Vermont where fall bleeds into winter, more like a gash than a slow wound, a time when the leaves have shed, the perpetual gray sky has moved in and the chill really means it. I have difficulty adjusting. Looking out the window shortly after dawn, I see, to my horror, that it is snowing. My horror centers on the uncovered lettuce and chard and parsley and basil. Old sheets collected, I fly out of the house to cover them and realize, oh silly me, I am barefoot.