Thursday, January 5, 2012

Preliminary Advice

from Nicholson Baker's "The Anthologist"

1. Copy poems out... Memorize them if you want to, but the main thing is to copy them out.
2. If you have something to say, say it. Don't save it up... Begin by saying what you actually care about saying, and the saying of it will guide you to the next line, and the next, and the next. If you need to arrange things differently later, you can do that.
3. Most iambic-pentameter enjambments are a mistake.
4. The four-beat line is the soul of English poetry.

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