Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Poetry Exercise #5 Syllable Limits

Here's an exercise: write a poem using only one or two-syllable words. (I borrowed this from a fiction writing exercise I saw in a Bernays and Painter book.) This requires you to pay a lot of attention to the language you use, as well as making for sparer, plainer poems. Sometimes writers make the mistake that a bigger, "fancier" word is needed when it would be better just to use a simpler word. In the revision, fill in the flesh around the bones, but keep true to the spirt of using the best, clearest word, not the pretentious one.

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