A poem a day is not an Alfred Corn poem a day

I’m not trying to cheat or be flippant, but the past two days have been tough going NaPoWriMo-wise. I’m used to writing a poem before bed, but I’m not used to publishing one on the Net. So lately it’s been tough to relax my standards to put unfinished work out there. It doesn’t help that I’ve been reading Alfred Corn‘s The Poem’s Heartbeat: A Manual of Prosody. He makes you realize the extreme technics of simple and pleasurable verse. At first I thought I wouldn’t want to write poems using the principles he discusses; they would be as overengineered as an Italian racing car. But then, you could aim at a Porsche Boxster, a relatively high-performance and reliable vehicle. Am I prepared to scan my own lines and figure out how to adapt the feet to make pleasurable rhythm that reinforces the content of the poem? Not at 11:30 pm I’m not. But I’ll end up trying it in a week or two. The book is tough reading but worth every moment for writers who are serious about their poetry.

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