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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have you ever written a poem?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (31154points) September 30th, 2010

I’m not asking you to post long poems languishing about lost love here.

I’m wondering how many jellies have tried their hand at poetry. It may be limericks or funny haiku. It may be something more serious.

Have you had an experience that you just had to write about, and it came out in the form of a poem?

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58 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

I’ve been writing poems since I was 6 years old, almost nonstop. I am sort of a stoic individual, and poetry has always been an outlet for me… a way to say what I won’t or can’t otherwise say to other people, or just in general. It also helps me to document, catalog, and move on from events in my life.

If you are interested, you can read my favorite poem I’ve ever written here in my profile.

CMaz's avatar

Oh yea.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, several. In multiple forms.

kenmc's avatar

I’ve written many poems. Whether I’ve written a good one or not is another question.

everephebe's avatar

Yes, and I think everyone is a poet.

Form now that’s where everyone gets stuck. Form is not poetry as sushi is not raw fish. Poetry differs from prose in one way. It’s elegant. The words are a form of art, the most economical, and yet also the most beautiful. Prose is writing without the stress, of being beautiful and economical all of the time. It is prosaic. That is not to say that prose can not be economical or beautiful, and in fact some writers are known for their lyrical or poetic prose. Poetry is just an aesthetic standard for writing or speaking.

DominicX's avatar

Only for school assignments. I love analyzing poetry and reading it (and listening to it set to music) but I accept that I really am no good at writing it.

everephebe's avatar

@DominicX the only reason you can be no good at something is if you do not practice it enough. You can be truly good at writing if you work hard at it. If you just did it for school, now try just doing it for yourself or a friend.

muppetish's avatar

I am about to make an incredibly pretentious statement and I beg everyone to forgive me.

I grew up speaking English, but poetry is my language.

Prose has been my medium for telling stories (my “creative” medium, so to speak) whilst poetry is my method of expression. I don’t often sit down and think “I’m going to write a sestina today” or “I feel like a haiku – how many syllables do I need?” or “What writes with kine and will it fit the meter of this sonnet?” I do find it enjoyable to write structured poems, but my basis for writing poetry is to get my words out and not to make them fit.

@everephebe “Yes and I think everyone is a poet.” That reminds me of my favourite Bob Dylan interview: “You don’t necessarily have to write to be a poet. Some people work in gas stations and they’re poets. I don’t call myself a poet because I don’t like the word. I’m a trapeze artist.”

ragingloli's avatar

Roses are red, violets are blue.
In Soviet Russia, poem writes you!

erichw1504's avatar

Yes, but only for my wife on special occasions.

I’m not much of a poet, I just try not to blow it.

Brian1946's avatar

I wrote some poetry in the form of song lyrics back in 1967 because I such Bob Dyan fan.
After that I wrote some poetry because “chicks dig it”. :-p

mammal's avatar

i’m still trying

mammal's avatar

Jolene, jolene, jolene, jolene
Im begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, jolene, jolene, jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can
Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, jolene

He talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, jolene

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, jolene

Jolene, jolene, jolene, jolene
Im begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, jolene, jolene, jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
Hes the only one for me, jolene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, jolene

Jolene, jolene, jolene, jolene
Im begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, jolene, jolene, jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can
Jolene, jolene

le_inferno's avatar

I’m in an intro to creative writing class now, and I just wrote 2 poems. I think it’s kinda fun! Now I’m seeing inspiration everywhere, “I could write a poem about that.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Definitely and I think some of my poems are good.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’ve written most of my poems long ago at school for various creative writing classes, none of which have been saved, alas.

I’ve written some here, but I can’t find them. :/

Jeruba's avatar


JilltheTooth's avatar

Yes, back in the day, lots and have been published in very minor circumstances. I used to be pretty good. Kinda miss that.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I have. Many. All regrettable. It takes more than an emotion, an impulse, and an arrangement in lines of your favorite vocabulary words to make a poem. Poetry is really a very special and poorly understood art, no more for the casual dabbler than writing a string quartet.

[It took several attempts to get this to post correctly—hence the duplicate.]

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Jeruba : Perhaps something got lost when it was flagged, and I was asked to move the question to the social section from where it was originally posted in general.

ucme's avatar

A few of my admittedly hackneyed, although I have to say suprisingly good offerings can be found dotted around Fluther. Here, there but not quite everywhere :¬)

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le_inferno's avatar

@Jeruba I couldn’t disagree more. Poetry is based on impulse. Some of the most successful and respected poets describe their writing procedure as starting with an impulse, or an image, and just writing. Without really thinking or having a plan. Just see where it takes you. Writing is discovery. Sometimes you don’t get anywhere, but sometimes you end up with a really great poem.

Brian1946's avatar


I like you haiku! ;-)

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Jeruba's avatar

@le_inferno, I don’t deny the role of poetic impulse. I just deny its sufficiency. Can you show me a really great poem that began and ended with impulse, without benefit of careful and prolonged craftsmanship?

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Jeruba's avatar

@noelleptc, do you think a poem without an obvious formal structure wasn’t labored over with great care?

downtide's avatar

I’ve written a couple of poems that ended up as songs. I’ve even performed them live.

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Coloma's avatar

I’ve been writing poems forever
some are silly, some are clever

Just ground the axe with a longtime friend
got sick of her s—t, we are not a blend! lol

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I’ve had this feeling that I need to get these thoughts out on paper, and I’ve thought, hey, if that sounded better out loud, it’d be a poem, or atleast a nice piece of writing. But then, no, it’s terrible.

Gamrz360's avatar

Yes I have. Tons and tons.

absalom's avatar

As a student of language/ literature it was inevitable that I’d attempt poetry, but the form is just inscrutable to me. Like @Jeruba said, it’s very difficult to write a decent poem. I write good prose (most of the time), but that capability doesn’t translate to poetry at all.

Having said that, I still have moments or experiences that manifest automatically as poetry. I don’t know why. I’m tempted to say it even ruins the experience because the poetry is always terrible, but it couldn’t happen any other way. I just throw the poems in a folder that no one is likely ever to see.

I do love reading and writing about poetry, though.

le_inferno's avatar

@Jeruba Well, of course good poems need polishing and editing, but poetry can’t really be characterized as a “poorly understood art” that is too lofty for the dabbler. Anyone can express themselves in an effective way if they work at it.

Jeruba's avatar

Exactly, @absalom.

@noelleptc, of course, and nothing wrong with that. Anyone who wants to engage in that sort of expression is welcome to. That’s just not what it takes to make great poetry, any more than a few well-intentioned and deeply felt brushstrokes constitute a great painting.

@le_inferno, you have a higher regard for the literary powers of your fellow beings than I have. You may not call real poetry a poorly understood art that is beyond the reach of the casual dabbler, but I do.

lillycoyote's avatar

@jeruba, I also couldn’t disagree with you more that poetry is “no more for the casual dabbler than writing a string quartet”, for a somewhat different reason. If you had said that brain surgery is no more for the casual dabbler than constructing large, publically travelled suspension bridges, I might have agreed with you. Are really saying that people should refrain from engaging in the pursuit and practice of the arts, in their own artistic expression for their own enjoyment, unless there is some guarantee that the end result is going to be at least good or halfway decent or some other accepted standard of quality? If someone wants to write poetry or string quartets for that matter, what business is it of anyone else? If they get pleasure, joy and satisfaction out of the activity why shouldn’t they?

lillycoyote's avatar

And @mammal Not quite sure why you posted the lyrics to Jolene but it was written by Dolly Parton and she probably should have been credited for it.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I had my first poem published when I was 11. I’ve been published a couple more times since then, but not recently. I’m not sure when I started writing, either. But I wrote an assload of angsty garbage with a few good ones while I was a teenager.

kissmesoftly's avatar

And it goes.
A little like this.

Jeruba's avatar

@lillycoyote, repeating the opinion I expressed directly above your post:

Anyone who wants to engage in that sort of expression is welcome to. That’s just not what it takes to make great poetry, any more than a few well-intentioned and deeply felt brushstrokes constitute a great painting.

If you’ll concede that it takes some kind of knowledge to write a string quartet—for starters, knowing what strings are and what a quartet is, and perhaps the rudiments of composition, such as something about harmony, musical notation, etc.—then you are in fact closer to agreeing with me than to disagreeing.

I would not dream of trying to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t write, paint, compose, etc. Anyone can write verse; it may not be poetry. Anyone can make a painting; it may not be art. Anyone can fling their body about while music plays; it may not be ballet. I am drawing a distinction between doing whatever you feel like with words and claiming that it deserves the label of literature.

Sure, this is a dicey subject. We don’t have objective standards that can be applied like a checklist. It tends to come down to the informed opinions and educated tastes of those who have the discernment to make the call. Note that I am not claiming that role for myself. I am saying, simply and again, that a composition doesn’t necessarily merit the name “poetry” just because the author calls it that.

The assertion that real poetry is a poorly understood art has not been refuted by anyone who has posted here; until I see evidence to the contrary, I am quite comfortable holding that as my opinion.

le_inferno's avatar

* cough * Pretentious * cough *

Jeruba's avatar

I’m not pretending anything, @le_inferno. I’m saying what I mean, as clearly and straightforwardly as I can. That’s all.

lloydbird's avatar

@Jeruba I, for one, would love to see an example of your poetic prowess, irrespective of your doubts about the quality of your creations. Your consistently excellent postings here, suggest a quality of output (poetically speaking) that could not fail to impress. Can you not throw us a snippet? Please?

TexasDude's avatar

@Jeruba, I wrote the poem in my profile in about five minutes, off the cuff, and without any editing and it happens to be my favorite. In fact, I write most of my poems that way, and I’ve won several awards, had one or two published in local publications, and even scored a few thousand dollar scholarship just for writing one. I’ve probably never put more than ten minutes into one. Does that mean they are inherently bad just because I don’t slave over them for hours like a composer would slave over a symphony?

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m not necessarily voicing an opinion here, I just wanted to post this poem because it’s so incredibly apropos.

Anybody Can Write a Poem

Jeruba's avatar

@lloydbird, my poetic efforts are uniformly worthless. That’s what I indicated above when I said “Yes, I have. Many. All regrettable.”

Some of my prose writing seems reasonably satisfactory. And I have a degree of ability to appreciate poetry, although I will never speak confidently of my grasp until I can explicate Wallace Stevens’s ‘The Comedian as the Letter C,’ which after 40 years I still cannot do. I know enough to know that my own poetic efforts deserve to languish in obscurity, a fate I serve by declining to expose them to view. No matter what I may be able to do with words, I can never do anything like this. It’s purely beyond me.

I can wield poetic language as a makeup artist wields shadow and rouge; but I cannot construct a face.

lloydbird's avatar

@Jeruba GA for the great answer, as per usual. Especially your last line. A sentence, and inaccurate claim, that disproves itself by its sheer “poetic” flow.

JilltheTooth's avatar

What @lloydbird said. That said, I can also appreciate that one perfect line can not make up for the rest. I have a lot of perfect lines that I can attach nothing worthwhile to.

mammal's avatar

Not to put to finer point on it
this would be the Bee in my bonnet…..

Those who aspire to become poets versus those who aspire to write poetry. To actually contribute to poetry rather than assume the mythological glimmering status of the poet.

lloydbird's avatar

A creative gal named Jeruba,
was noted for playing the tuba.
Her sonorous notes
she oft played on boats.
Till she sailed off
and settled in Cuba.

Watch out Mr Thomas! :-)

Jeruba's avatar

@lloydbird, I love limericks! Thank you. I’m honored by your composition.

Ultramarine_Ocean's avatar

I have!
I think that most people have written some during school though…

lillycoyote's avatar

@lloydbird That was awesome! Way to take a little of the wind out of everyone’s sails!

lillycoyote's avatar

—@lloydbird Thanks. I was a little worried that my comment might be taken the wrong way. All I meant was that the discussion had gotten a little serious and possibly, undesirably personal, and that your wonderful little limerick lightened up the mood, I think. My using the phrase “taking the wind out of everyone’s sails” just seemed, at least to me at the time, to fit both the tone that the thread had taken and the words of your limerick.—

flutherother's avatar

I think most people have at least tried after all the paint box of language is always to hand. I have written a few and I know that they are no good but I still occasionally give it a go.

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