Posted by: jeannineatkins | July 24, 2007

Verse? Prose? What is called for.

I’ve written picture books as well as longer fiction and nonfiction. You wouldn’t think I was too self-conscious about switching genres. In the midst of writing verse, I don’t feel awkward, but coming out I am. Is writing poetry impossibly hard? Is it not hard enough? I guess the juxtaposition of those questions should show they’re not relevant. They can cross each other out.

In the July/Aug Poets and Writers, there’s an interview with Ron Carlson, best known for his wonderful short stories, though he’s made forays into novels. He notes that writing “is not a linear progression – you go into different rooms. Whatever you meet there, those new concerns in your life, you’ve got to be square with it.”

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Responses

  1. Writing poetry is hard, if you’re doing it well. Only the finished works don’t often seem hard, and that’s where the disconnect occurs, at least for me.
    I can slave for hours and hours on something small — a haiku, even. And when it’s “right” (to my way of thinking), it reads so easily that it appears natural and effortless. It is, of course, as it should be, but readers can’t see the toil behind it, and therefore frequently have little appreciation for how very hard it can be.
    Just my 2 cents.

  2. I think you put it perfectly, Kelly.


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