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Features: Generative Techniques

Unique Love Poems

April 13, 2009

Make a list of words that you expect to find in a love poem, then set it aside. Now make another listóthis time, of traditionally unromantic words. When you're ready to start your poem, think of what it might take for each of those unromantic words and images to suddenly seem romantic. Write a poem that describes (or imagines) a moment that shouldn't have been romantic but wasóbut without using words from your first list. More >

Biographical Persona

April 1, 2009

Choose a biographical figure, famous or not, and write a dramatic monologue from their unique perspective. Be careful not to offer your own commentary, and instead explore the inner life of the individual. If it is helpful, select a pivotal moment in the person's life and plan to let the poem end there. More >

Poems Based on Works of Art

March 19, 2009

A poem based on a picture or work of art is called an ekphrasis. Write a poem in three stanzas that is based on an image or work of art. In the first stanza, focus solely on description. In the following stanzas, take your own approach: you can continue to describe, impose a narrative on the scene, or reveal something about yourself or the artist. In revision, pay careful attention represent all of the senses in your description. More >

Give Chance a Chance

March 17, 2009

Read and listen to Jackson Mac Low's poem "Stein 100: A Feather Likeness of the Justice Chair," as well as the poet's note on what chance operations were used. Then select two source texts and create a new poem using your own chance operations. Be creative. The more steps you go through to transform the texts, the more original the poem you produce will be. When finished, include an author's note to let your reader understand how the poem was made. More >

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