Charles Simic on Writing Poetry
A few things to keep in mind while sitting down to write a poem:
- Don’t tell the readers what they already know about life.
- Don’t assume you’re the only one in the world who suffers.
- Some of the greatest poems in the language are sonnets and poems not many lines longer than that, so don’t overwrite.
- The use of images, similes and metaphors make poems concise. Close your eyes, and let your imagination tell you what to do.
- Say the words you are writing aloud and let your ear decide what word comes next.
- What you are writing down is a draft that will need additional tinkering, perhaps many months, and even years of tinkering.
- Remember, a poem is a time machine you are constructing, a vehicle that will allow someone to travel in their own mind, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to get all its engine parts properly working.