Jennifer St. Clair Bush, Associate Editor, Poetry

Issue #1: 01/01/01

Feature Articles
Making Histories
By J.S. Burke
Women and Childbearing 
in Fantasy

By Bryn Neuenschwander
Matching Your Money to Your World 
By Ron Brown
Capturing Time for the Muse
By Vicki McElfresh
In Praise of Praise:
A Second Look at Critiquing

By Lazette Gifford
Building a Better Beast
By Sarah Jane Elliott
State of the Horror Genre
By Ron Brown
Poetry and Everyday  Life
By Jennifer St. Clair Bush
Your Characters Are 
Not Puppets

By Anne M. Marble
Science Fiction: 
Are We Going Somewhere 

By Bob Billing
Stage & Screen: 
The Promise of Premise
By Robin Catesby
Suspense & Mystery:
The Motives of Villains 
and Heroes in Suspense Fiction
By Shane P. Carr
Young Adult & Children:
The Gulf
By Justin Stanchfield
Young Writer's Scene:
Five Practical Tips for Young Writers
By Beth Adele Long
Book Reviews
Web Site Reviews
How Critique Circles Work
By Jim Mills
Doggerel Contest Winner
News from Forward Motion

Poetry and Everyday Life 

By Jennifer St. Clair Bush

©2001, Jennifer St. Clair Bush 

I think at one time or another, every person on this planet has written a poem.  It might not have been a very good poem or one you'd ever show to anyone else, but it was a poem.  And therefore, by default, every person on this planet is a poet.  (I can't help but mention the cliché--but some of you don't know it.)

To me, poetry is distilled writing, an essence or a feeling that has been pared down to the bare bones.  Oh, certainly there is poetry so prose-like you can't truly tell the difference, but most of the poetry I write, read, or listen to speaks to the part of me that delights in finding unique and interesting phrases to get my point across.

 If you read a lot of poetry, you’ll begin to notice the different types that are out there — from the short haiku to the long epic.  From Shakespeare to Shel Silverstein, each poet has his or her own unique voice.  To find your voice, practice by writing poems of different styles until you find one that fits.  Not only will you become a better poet for the practicing, you will learn about the many techniques of poetry, whether you write for the rhyme or the rhythm.

The rhythm in all poetry lends itself well to reading out loud.  Although there aren’t many places available for poetry readings in this day and age, reading your own poetry aloud will not only show you the rhythm of your words, it will also let you see where some phrases might not quite work out as well as you expected.  Before submitting your poetry for critique, read it out loud and listen for awkward phrases.  You want your poetry to sing, not stumble over the high notes.   

Listen to the world around you.  Pay attention to your surroundings and see the poetry in every day life.  Your own life can only be enriched in turn.  Poetry lends itself well to everyday life -- something as simple as a drive to work can become a poem in the right hands.  Practice with instances in your own life; a birth, a death, a new job.  If you study the poetry in your day-to-day life, you will find plenty of fresh material to work with.  And you only need a scrap of paper and a pen to write a poem.  Everything else is up to you.

Writing poetry can be both difficult and fulfilling.  A finished poem shines like a jewel on the white of a page, each line a polished gem of simple words strung together to create a beautiful whole.  Please feel free to drop by the Poetry Board and share one of yours, or critique one already posted.  I can almost guarantee you'll enjoy your visit.  

Oh, You're A What?!?

By Jennifer St. Clair Bush


"Oh, you're a writer," they say.

Since when has being a writer

been like being a leper?  A poor

unfortunate who talks to herself,

and lives quite comfortably in other worlds,

but is a bit touched--in the head.


"Oh, you're a writer!" they cry.

"Yes, a writer," I shout

to the heavens, as loud as I can.

"A writer, and proud to be one. 

I spend most of my nights in other worlds,

and talk to myself--out loud."


"Oh, you're a writer?" they ask.

"What do you write?"

"I count princesses, vampires, and the daughter

of Satan as close friends of mine. 

I sometimes know my own worlds

better than this one."


"Oh, you're a writer!

Welcome to the group!"

Is the cry I receive when I'm

with my own kind--other writers, other

dreamers.  And they all talk to themselves

and live quite comfortably

in other worlds.


Only with other writers can you

begin to understand

how the rest of the world

works.  Only with other writers

can you truly open up and discuss

dreams and distractions without fear.

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