Friday, August 5, 2011

Free-Form or Pre-Formed: A Great Guest Post :-)

**Note: This is a "guest blogger" post from the amazing, talented, and thought-provoking Eric "Bubba" Alder of Bubba's Place, a writer of poetry and prose, thinker, and all around interesting person.  If you're interested in guest blogging here, send me an e-mail :-) <3 KL*

                                         Free-Form or Pre-Formed?

When it comes to writing poetry, I’m on the fence when it comes to using forms.

In general, I like to let my ideas flow freely.  I let the ideas and words dictate whether or not there will be an inherent form to the piece I’m writing.  And often my writing just falls into place in my head, so whatever arrangement it takes on is fine by me.  (That’s probably why I write so much prose)

But sometimes my ideas are just a vague notion, or even a single phrase that pops into my head, and the rest of it remains buried just beyond my reach.  That’s when forms can come in handy.  Needing to ‘fill in the blanks’ of a poetry form requires me to stretch my mind a little, to dig up more words or phrases in order to finish things.

But is either method superior to the other?  There are some bloggers who are fanatical about forms, trying as many as possible.  There are even folks who carve their words into shape-poems that create a visual picture.  Others get really slick and create new forms of their own.  On the flip side, I’ve seen people who write nothing but prose, eschewing any ‘form’ as restrictive and limiting.

What do you think?  How do you prefer to write your poetry?


  1. I can't write poetry. Well, not good poetry, anyway.

    To wit,

    Interestingly, though, I LOVE reading and analyzing poetry. I could spend days just reading poems and thinking about them ... and sitting in awe of those able to write with such lyrical gift.

    I actually got to teach a poetry course (a senior English elective) a few years ago, and that was a great experience. I learned a lot about the different types of poems and how to approach writing poetry and the history of poetry, and so on and so forth.

    I taught a lot of kids how to write better poetry, but I wasn't a good enough teacher to achieve that height myself ;-)

  2. I don't write poetry...although I used to, I'm more of a limerick man. I also prefer my poetry to rhyme as I think non-rhyming stuff is just lazy.

  3. I think restriction can be its own freedom.
    and form is like a fun puzzle for me.
    you have to be sure about what you want to say!
    Bubba is the man.

  4. i write mostly free form...i only use for when it fits the thought...nice to see eric here...

  5. I don't write poetry, I usually just write from my heart:)

  6. Dearest Eric: I write my poetry as the muse dictates. Sometimes it rhymes, sometimes it's stream of consciousness, often it's fiction and more often, the truth under the fiction...sometimes, it's all said in the spaces between the words...and then there's haiku. You are one of my haiku muses. Great post!!!

  7. Nice to see familiar faces popping in. I posted a link on my main blog so perhaps we will see more.

  8. I wrote poetry and was published in my prep school's literary mag. But, in my senior year I wrote a poem where the first letter of each line spelled (Going down) "WTIT is the station abreast of the world situation". It got recalled and those who already received it made money by selling it to those who didn't. Of course, I made nothing on it...

  9. Easy - I don't! I would think freestyle would be easier though.

  10. I do it both ways. Formed poetry usually springs from a couplet or some rhyming phrases that form in my mind on their own, and I follow through and add more. Free verse usually just escapes any of my attempts to sculpt it; it's like trying to catch mercury. I just let those flow.

  11. I think I am like you... usually I let it "spill" out - is that due to laziness? but then I force myself to use form and some of those are my favorites... go figure. :)


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