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Improving All Of Our Skills

In giving Loved feedback recently I jotted this down-
Recipe for a poem-
A modicum of talent.
A generous helping of poetic knowledge.
Three very large cups of vocabulary (nb. store bought vocabularies won't do, you have to grow your own by always looking up words you don't know, although thesaurus assistance is allowable).
Stir, whisk, beat or smash together inside a large skull.
Allow to ferment with a few drops of imagination.
Optionally the fermentation process can be enhanced with psychoactive herbs and spices.
Serve carefully, with an eye to detail, to all humanity.

I think we all want to be, and certainly could be, better. Of the ingredients I listed (talent, poetic knowledge, vocabulary, a large skull {intelligence}, imagination, stirring and serving {including form, structure, editing and revising}) only talent, a large skull and imagination are relatively fixed. The rest you can improve.

We can learn and refine our prosodic skills right here, through workshops. I highly recommend Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled" and "The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary" by Frances Stillman, not just for the rhyming dictionary, it has an excellent section on poetic forms. Right here is where we get the feedback on which to base much of our revising and editing.

Quantity is not any measure of poetry. If you spend more time learning, reading, planning and especially revising you can be so much better. Planning need not cramp spontaneity at all. You simply write it all down in the 'creative rush' then plan what to do with it.

Average vocabulary is around 12,000 so yours is probably about 30,000, there are over 1,000,000 words in our language. Did you know that the reading of fiction specifically is as important as reading generally? People who read lots of fiction have bigger vocabularies than those who read lots of non-fiction. This is because a wider range of vocabulary is typically used in fiction than in non-fiction writing. And, of course, a strict rule (the only rule I have ever assiduously obeyed in my life) is always look up any word you come across that you don't know. Try guessing from context first, you'll increasingly be right or close and guessing also helps build your vocabulary and flexibility of thought. If you don't have a dictionary app on your phone you can always jot it down in the notebook that you naturally never leave the house without and look it up later.



I can't but say
the man is a GEM

he picks a few out of my larger trash
calls them
but of course
in small italics

abide in his wrote
you can be a poet
I quote
or for you also
will vote

yes true
you also
I shall promote

in this vast wilderness
I am not alone
many down drains
I pull them out
again and again
some last
many run
as one does in rain
beaten by even few raindrops
as in them nothing
worthwhile sustains

drinking FAYGO 50/40 pop drink..grapefruit and lime
bought by a heavy metal group..
fans are mostly poor.....
group isnt bad...I listen too em!

actually wasnt bad..just slugged the rest into me
...two litres worth...

words in books help....reading like the Elf says is good
because each writer uses different words...
how we learn.
some never read
too busy...
cant focus...
cant read..
but.....a book at bed
or rest or time out is great
I read tons of books
three per month from library
and more
not anymore..too busy
of late
but letting someone else
spill words to go over
we absorb new words
this way..
if U can its a worthy endevor


for a delicious pizza
and i love CHICKS SOUP

A good write and it is a pity that more poets here don't read and reply to it.
As with many good writes some of the replies are flippant, seeming to want to cover the truth, that this place needs a shake up and that there are few that will do so.
I am one that likes to be a peace maker but am having a month off of that on request.
At least Esker and Loved have commented, Loved in his flowery way, then Eskers multitude of thesaurian words.

How the hell can we get through to the other 1000 plus members???
Even the aspects of being published has stalled ??
Take care,
Yours, Sparrow Hawk

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

rrrrrrr....... rrrrrr rampant
there toooo no one reads
mostly poetry is trash i see
from pseudos like me

but ALL Neopoets have polished me
can't you see

great poeet ur I'AM NOT N

If frustration, and anger, are skills then the Neopoet members have Improved my skills in such fields.
All Of Our Skills, how the hell can we improve our skills with the present system, it is slowly becoming a write poems only place, just look up a little there you will find just two comments on such an important subject..
There must be a way to bring others to comment on the poetry here, I have heard many excuses, from the time of the year to a few classics.
If these poets have time to write a poem, then they have time to comment, some of them take ages to write a poem then blame something called Muses for their inability to string words together.
Then they seem to be unable to comment on others works that can take just a few moments, even if they have nothing constructive to say, it would be good to know that they have learned to read and think.
Where do we go from here, do I just comment on those that write something on my poetry or do I gather up my toys and continue as before.
I have many times compiled lists of the ones that write and comment fairly and those that just stream their own poems.
Somewhere the system has to change, there are many returning to Neopoet and a lot of new members, something has to be done..
Yours, Ian.T

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

Besides you the only two members who responded to this post are the two who most actively oppose learning anything. Esker has gotten by for the last nine years I've known him on pure genius. But there is nothing new or different coming from him, just the sparks of raw genius. Loved is at the other end of the spectrum. A hack that produces an occasional gem by the machine gun effect. Set an infinite number of monkeys at typewriters and one of the will eventually produce Hamlet.

We could all be so much better if we chose to. Some have reading problems like dyslexia, to them I apologise and my heart goes out to you. Let me know privately if this is the case and I will do all I can to help.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

It was a day in autumn,
brown dry leaves were rustling around;
I was in a class of human anatomy,
along with some twenty of my classmates.

The professor was a lovely lady,
a senior in academy;
nice and gentle,
with expertise in her teaching;
from her, the class loved learning.

''Loved is at the other end of the spectrum.
A hack(saw)
that produces an occasional
by the machine gun effect.
Set an infinite number of monkeys (((((like lovedly))))
at typewriters and one of the will eventually produce

and worthy of a read

Thanks Jess
you are aiming
to take me out of a mess
since decades
I have being trying
myself to express
yet I am not in any distress
how so awful be the mistress
like Judy trying to fish out of me
my waffling

I like how U blame "pure genius" on how my somehow getting by....Not! I keep producing
poetry....I know some of the constructs of poetry....Its like academics who know the mechanics
of the "machine" and yet then why do they fail to produce volume or work....sometimes being
stifled by all the rules and regs crushes creativity....I like how U chose a time line for me...
I know U want to be superior.....I shall give U a nod that U do know all the technical aspect
more then I of poetry....but its not a valid reason....My ego used to bash people and have
this superior attitude too...It was my insecurity I outgrew.....I have so much more freedom
socially and writing....Not just here.....I have just as much work on other sites...FB...tons of poetry there....and D=land...etc....twitter.... Just sparks of raw genuise......this is like being a teacher of something that the teacher does not use full time.....all my teachers used their craft immensely..the ones I knew and befriended teachers were indeed great artists....english produced short stories and mechanics at shop did frame off reconstruction....english top end teacher...I didnt have...but hung out with them..they went on to do social work like councillor in a big city not just teaching kids in my day of social affects via writing but by actually climbing and upgrading....Maybe not giving up....not listening to rules....just keeping at it...and I admit sparks of geniuse can help...but thats like saying One hit wonders are just that......Im a working poet here and I often take time too encourage others and respond to their works......forget magic stars....twitter shows me what I like and how much I many I follow and who is following me....its on my account there a balance.....seventeen hundred forty seven likes...forty five followed and thirty five following me....not a bad average.......Comparing Love to a Monkey.....U are not Dr Moreau....actually....U reminde me of summer class.......U want to be this teacher but U want too be this rebellious wonder.....of which U are......stop taking time to be frustrated with others and try to get in there and just do....for your style and voice......Nothing new or different coming from him....these very words I can attribute to your own presence here......U used to write so much...the ablility to fall down...get taken down a peg or the schoolyard.....there will always be someone better..more foxier...clever...scheming....talented whom will outshine us.....getting knocked down....rebuffed..disliked is not the end of the world...out here in my reality..Im loud....very out there in it....I have many many haters in my city...and know what..Sticks and stones......I like picking those up and walking right up too those though and this all U got....U can do much better....and show them a few moves.....only through accepting...growth..maturity and the lessening of the ego though.....well U dont have too mature...or write tons.....Im doing this......and I comment tons too.......I keep moving not get stale or pissy.....I changed my shitty diapers in my forties.....and it feels a lot better......and Im not a genius....but thank U.....we are all genuises here for sticking too it...our thick do you think rodeo riders get those dancers work people...they survived basic...saw stuff that has no weight on mispelling or poetry that doesnt stand up too words......I lived out there.....I saw stuff...experienced stuff...genius does not let U pass through all of those trials or chance like long has it been since U were in field....since u were a NFG......bust a new move or two mate.......wish I was there....I could take U on a road trip...not to any old cronies....Im all into the new adventures now.....I still got it! it would be epic mate! Epic....and lastley....I still say there is no one uniformed way we are constructing the work on the construction of poems.....its all hit and miss.....but dont give any villge there are the crabby old people safe on their porch when we are down the road in the heat the woods in the dark making our way...they have good pointers too say.....but we are the raw..pushing where maybe others have given up for whatever reasons....DONT give up......I havent...nor will I...Not here or out there...Kay Peeps.....great comments! without Ire we Have no Fire....remember that...keeps our edge sharp..but watch it...Dont sit on your own stick...Ouch! Crikey!

spent a long time in the doldrums, neither writing nor helping. I'm finding my way back, slowly, please have patience. I once spent 5 years without writing or reading a line of poetry. It was dark.
A few replies to your post-

"sometimes being stifled by all the rules and regs crushes creativity" Way less often than being enabled by knowledge of them, is is techniques and craft I try to share, not rules and regs. This is usually an excuse not to work and learn about one's craft.

"I like how U chose a time line for me...". No, I quite specifically referred only to the time I've known you.

"I know U want to be superior". Fuck that, I've only ever tried to help people. Well, sometimes I've just wanted to piss arseholes off, but not from any sense of superiority. You may also have noticed I have been kinder and more constructive in my feedback for a while now.

I'm glad you have a lot of outlets and encourage others. It does strike me odd that you have only started criticising, even attacking, me after I have made a concerted, and rewarding, effort to change my ways. Don't believe me? You can go to any members page, click on Track and see all the comments they have posted.

You seem to be trying to define me and you are getting it wrong.
I have been badly blocked for a while now, only three poems this year, and it hurts. I've been doing better at helping others. Again, I don't understand why you choose the time when I am down and trying to be better to start kicking me.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

I sorely do not encourage grovelling or whinning..U forget I was here when U
were at your like I cant say Fuck you this or that about a work
religion and call people stupid names like comparing their poetry to monkeys
or your issues with others.....are U getting better or just holding back
covering the tracks....Down...many were down writing here ...I think the recent
health scare is something real.....U compete....even in this comment U are
competing....I have a neighbour who is dying..he pushes his oxygen tank and
his buggy...we canadians are a tough lot mate.......U noticed I dont put other
peoples country down..or religion and dyslexia in school gave me shit marks
creativity zero marks...but I knew I could write stories and poems....even your crass
remarks about rules and regs...just lazy are not encouraging me...I see
through things mate...Its the only point U work at here....but U know what...
academic....that is not talent!!! was Buckowski Valedictorian?? did he care
about rules and regs...I think Not!!...what he cared about was the writing...
not the critique...not what anyone thought about the works.....he never posted
photos of his gold stars from critiques or razing reviews..naked groupies on his
lap and drinking a beer...the working mans dream of which he did..busting
his hump in the postal service......
if someones taking time to point things out its because they take time to
bother to point things out....If your not getting feedback its cause people
gave up..wrote it off....hopefully Im still going to be around writing if this
place is still here....Burroughs lived a long time! Now there was a man
with Grit who could tell anyone too Sod off.....shot his woman and got away
with it...regarded as a hero to many! which he was...he iived....he strove
I dont recall him grovelling or whinning.....and I think he could take what
he dished out....How U find out if people are genuine or Not! thanks Mate
always enjoy these back fence conflabs with YAh~ Mr Esker!

Yes you were here when I was at my worst. Now is now.
You could try being a lot more succinct. Fucking long-winded for a poet.

Yes, I can call Loved a hack, a fucking monkey, and a twisted one at that. It has come closed to getting banned several times on the grounds of the very few things Neopoet ever even considers censoring.

Fucking click on my name, go to my profile, click Track, see if you think I have changed.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment



It is part of me that has always been there. Ask any of my long-term protegees, or Ian. My anger was mostly about frustration at the wall of ignorance I was dealing with, never about superiority.

Another aspect of my new, virtually epiphanic world view is


I have been harsh, even recently I accused somene of mental laziness for not bothering to spell-check. Even with your dyslexia you mostly manage to get it right. 'to' and 'too' is still a common error for you. Seldom do we correct bad old habits overnight.

Again, I'm confused about why now, after nine years, when I am changing inner and outer, why now you start to take me to task? No self pity or whining. Just why now?

But I understand now. It is you assuming superiority.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

Wonderful dialog between the two of you.
It is great to see this fighting spirit.
It is now overflowing into the comments from you both.
This is the thing I have been talking about.
Where poets walk together
Shout create shit and tear strips.
Takes me back a few years.
I hope some of the young poets understand both of you,
The way you both can run with the wind
Yet sit in the quiet.
I miss this dialogue
Remember to be as outspoken
in your comments though.
Take care both
Know that I have a great love of you both,
Yours, Sparrow..

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti


A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment


A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

Now the air has been cleared and frayed tempers have been expressed can I expect you to visit this old man in his cave with his ravings at the world.
I have streamed a few during the as month or so and many other poets, they would love this existing energy to descend on their works in the form of critique.
Love you both, so stop wasting energy shouting at each other when you are brothers,
Yours as always Ian. T

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

Comparing'' Loved to a Monkey.......''
Let him be my master
I only guys humour ..
MONKEY he knows
are intelligent
the two of you take time to discuss such a FOOL !

never mind Loved's too cool
passed age of some of you
may be most!
Standing at the edge
of the cliff of time
like Joe sooner than later
too will not chime
there may be no more rhyme
as he lays
in hands of Divine!!!!
with me all is fine...

word sprang up..not quite awake
glad U are stretching Your commenting
in a different matter
the result of comments

thank U!

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