Which do you prefer...

Network with other poets, including fans of Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog.
Robert Lee Brewer
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Re: Which do you prefer...

Postby Robert Lee Brewer » Tue May 06, 2008 4:23 am

I think writing spontaneously is often actually prompt-driven--just not in a rigid construct. One of my hopes with the PAD Challenge was to try different prompts that would get poets prompting themselves. Like describing something, or turning a bit of overheard conversation into a poem. Every day, we're confronted with several prompts. And the "spontaneous" writing is usually driven by these living prompts that surround us--from the bad dreams we have to the peaceful walks we take.

So, I think I'll answer this question as one who appreciates prompts, though maybe not in the rigid sense that is commonly thought.

Btw, I love all the communication going on. It's great having a place to talk poetry.



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Re: Which do you prefer...

Postby Eromezis » Tue May 06, 2008 5:20 pm

I like prompts because often times they end up getting you to conjure something pure from your heart that you may not have thought of on your own. However, I do find that when I am really spontaneously inspired to write, what I come up with is usually better. However, I think both need to coexist in my writing regimine, because often times I really have to look for inspiration, and if you are not constantly writing, your tools get dull.

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Re: Which do you prefer...

Postby Wyatt.C.Hilby » Tue May 06, 2008 6:35 pm

Hey there Paige,

I have not written a poem from a prompt but have responded somewhat lyrically to some…Here.


For me - spur of the moment yields the best in humor, commentary and love. I find that when ever my emotional states are tempered with enough stability to keep from going INSANE – I create some of the coolest stuff.

Very rarely have I produced something I liked through a perfunctory exercise yet when I do just that – the core is instant, sparkling, a flash so fast I pen it before it fades. Then I build on it.


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Re: Which do you prefer...

Postby Kevin » Wed May 07, 2008 2:18 am

I don't mull over poetry. It all comes on-the-spot for me. I start with the first word and end with the last. It's the only way I know how to write poetry, which I guess answers the 'why'.

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RE: Which do you prefer...

Postby PaigeVonLiber » Wed May 07, 2008 6:32 am

I'm glad to see such varied responses and I believe this is why so many of us write poetry and it is all different. I enjoy all the ways I questioned y'all about. My only regret, is when something pops in my numb-scull and I don’t write it down or tell it to my handy-dandy recorder, thinking that is so brilliant I’m sure I’ll remember it. Then I say Doh! what was I thinking and pound on my forehead and repeat stupid stupid stupid. Which is why so often I will walk around or be driving repeating the phase, line or even word over and over until I do get it written. I’m sure sometimes I’m mistaken for a crazy, and that is ok too, aren’t all writers and artist a bit crazy?

I think Robert is correct in his thoughts that "spontaneous" poems are probably a self derived prompt either visual or thought related or a cross over of them. After all there is something that made those words want to fall out onto the page or out into the air decorating our world with sentiments.

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RE: Which do you prefer...

Postby Yoli » Sat May 10, 2008 7:15 am

I like them all. Each one brings a different view, a different perspective. The prompts open up new things I may have not known or thought of before (the sestina!). Spur of the moment captures the emotion of a situation or whatever I'm feeling at that moment. The ones I mull over are usually from a line or a thought that I have to write down, but don't know where to go or how to express what's in my head past that line. I always look forward to those, I've often really liked what happens with those. Especially since I don't have a style I stick with, I like to see how my view has changed over time.

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Re: Which do you prefer...

Postby birdee » Sun May 11, 2008 3:23 pm

Hi Paige, I loved the prompts, because they forced me to write everyday. They worked as a discipline for me. But I have to say that I write the best when I am angry about something. The words just seem to flow, usually humorously, and then my mood lightens. Writing is sort of an outlet for me. - Carol

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Re: Which do you prefer...

Postby madcapmaggie » Wed May 14, 2008 12:43 pm

I like the poems that work best { grin} -- how I got them doesn't matter.

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RE: Which do you prefer...

Postby drwasy » Wed May 14, 2008 3:23 pm

I love when inspiration strikes and the words pour onto the page like warmed syrup on pancakes.

And a few times in April, I really felt the muse strike, although most of the time I struggled with the prompts. That said, my favorite poems are those that I've let sit a bit, then reworked, then macerate again,then revisit. My favorite poems I have spent HOURS on; one rondeau redouble I've spent at least 40 hours on and it still is not 'finished'. My favoritest poem of all that I've ever written, a free verse piece called Superconductor, I think I spent 60-70 hours on, All 100 words of it.

I turned to poetry in the midst of writing a novel because I wanted to write something shorter, something more tangible and that did not take as much time. To craft the poems that I love takes the same - if not more - energy and creativity and editing than my novel does, all 122k words of it.

Poetry's harder.

But I still love it! Great question, thanks for asking it... peace, Linda

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RE: reply to drwasy

Postby yogachic » Thu May 15, 2008 12:38 am


I totally agree with you. I had a few poems in the challenge that just seemed to pour out of me, then revised a bit and posted. Those were my best. In fact, those were usually the ones that Robert highlighted. Many of the others we not good at all. But they were only first drafts, so it doesn'T matter much. Some are real tossers!

I, too, let them sit and revise several times before I am satisfied with the results.

Poetry (good poetry) is hard for me, so I write it for fun in between other things. I don't think I will ever be a published poet, unless it is for children. I like to write humorous rhymes and feel more comfortable in that area. Everyone here writes such deep, meaning poems....if only I could!

Linda H.


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