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Thursday, 26 July 2007

Exercises for creating new poems

I thought it would be useful to set out some of the ideas and techniques I use to produce new poems. When the creative muse is off on holiday, I sometimes draw inspiration from old poems. I am also really interested in techniques from popular music, particularly approaches like remixing, remastering and cut-ups. These ideas can be adapted to the printed word.


So, I am currently using the following techniques:

  • Take a selection of old poems and re-work each one into a new version, using different lay-outs or verse forms.
  • Take old poems and redraft or create new poems as reactions, prequels, sequels and observations on the material in the original poems.
  • Take a number of poems and dismantle them to create new works from the pieces by putting them back together in new ways.
  • Take one poem and use each line from it as the first line or title of a new poem, creating a whole sequence of poems which builds on the original.
  • Take one poem and reconstruct it into a series of remixes - like musical remixes, draw out key lines and phrases for repetition and distortion.

I'm going to experiment with some of these techniques over coming weeks. If you use any of them, feel free to post feedback in the comments.

1 comment:

JimK said...

Try taking one pivotal word
from each line of a book page,
making a column.
Now run another column from
another book.
Then write between and around to try
and make them make sense.
Results can vary from prose poem
to surreal postmod to muck