It’s been two years and here is what I’ve learnt:
You can use forms to push poems into being. Case in point, sonnets beget sonnets. Once I figured out what subject fit into sonnet form it seemed really easy to write more, like the sonnet was waiting for the poem to fill it out.
It is legitimate to cry when a poet you love reads their poem you love. Just be cool about it.
Poets drink red wine.
Sometimes you can free write a poem but it helps if you are really moody at the time so you can draw on the moodiness to shape a consistent tone and evocation. It can be any mood just a strong one.
If you write when you don’t feel like writing it isn’t good but at least you wrote words. At some point it turns and you just feel like writing as soon as you are writing and it doesn’t matter.
It takes forever for me to find out what I like about a poem, and then putting it into words is the next forever.
Questions I’ve been asked that I quite like:
Is the image fresh?
What is the poem’s shape trying to tell you?
How could you show it differently?
How would another poet show it?
Explore whatever attracts your voice. Develop your voice by practice.
……I think that’s probably enough for now. I’ll scrape the barrel another time!