Posted by: shorelineclusterpoets/NE Fowl | April 29, 2010

Suggested Theme Thursday: ask questions.

While considering a theme for today, I went back to my trusty book, “The Daily Writer,” by Fred White. The entry for tomorrow discusses the causes of writer’s block. He quotes a poet, Howard Nemerov, who said, “Being unable to write, you must examine in writing this being unable.” White suggests listing why you feel you “can’t write.” Beyond that, he asks the writer to ponder what is listed. To me, this becomes questioning.

Think of this:  let’s say you sit down to write, but don’t know where to start. You must “probe the obstacle.” By knowing the problem, understanding the enemy, you can defeat it.

That said, ask yourself questions and see where the answers take you. Since we mostly must write what we know, ask yourself about what you know. What real places do I know? What do I know about them that others might not? Who do I know who is a good character? Why?

Somewhat different than normal… today’s suggestion is to start a poem with a question. Better still, start and end the poem with a question. Or have a title that is a question, and perhaps the poem explores it or even (gasp!) answers it.

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Responses

  1. Some of Bukowski’s best stuff was when he had writers block and wrote about it. So there you have it!

  2. I ordered “Absence of the Hero” from City Lights and it came in on Friday. The pages will be turned this weekend!

  3. My Muse

    Frustrated by a dearth of words I sit in absent thought
    My Muse has left me for another, suggestions come to naught
    What use it is for her to linger where her scribe has lost his ink?
    Why waste words prompting a scribe who cannot bear to think?
    Perhaps she goes to disagree with sullen, self-absorbèd me
    Her breath is better blown across a brain that chooses not to flee
    One where results bring passion by, restoring faith from which words fly
    A Muse can only but inspire
    She cannot strike or build the fire.

    KR Ainsworth (c) — sometimes the words just aren’t there and there doesn’t have to be a reason


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