About workshops

Workshops on Neopoet are groups that meet for a certain period of time to focus on a certain aspect of poetry. Each workshop participant is asked to critique all the other poems submitted into a workshop. A workshop leader helps coordinate -- they set the agenda, give participants feedback on whether their submissions and critique are at they level expected of them, and after the workshop is over, give feedback to participants. 

To join a workshop, first find one that is of interest to you. Once you have found the right workshop (and verified that it is open -- you can find this out in the description below), you can apply to join the workshop.


Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

THE RIGHT WORD .....Let's get started

Status: 
Program description/goal: 

Description: We will be exploring the difference between using an OK word and using the RIGHT word in poetry. We will begin by reading 2 poems by well known poets (one free verse and one rhyming) which have had words changed here and there. We'll then discuss the impact that minor word changes had on these poems.

Next will come a general discussion of how just a word here and there can significantly affect a poem.

We will then each submit one of our own poems which we feel could be improved by a few word choice changes. This can be either a new poem or an old one.

I will then randomly assign a member to rewrite the poem. The assignment will be via random drawing from a hat.

I anticipate each rewrite to take an average of 3 days and the following comment period to take another 2-4 days for each poem.

After the poems have all been rewritten and discussed, the original authors will have an opportunity to rewrite their own poem with the previous rewrite being kept in mind.

The number of word changes in all rewrites will be limited to 3 word per stanza maximum and 1 word per stanza min.. This is in order to show how small changes can make a big difference.

Leader:
Moderator(s):

Objectives:

Level of expertise: Open to all

Subject matter:

Length: 
40 days
Number of participants (limit): 
12 people
Skill level: 
Date: 
Monday, November 25, 2013 to Sunday, December 29, 2013
Short description: 
A search for the "perfect" word in poetry.

Comments

Just the right workshop at just the right time, looking forward to it.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Looking forward to this one :)

love JC x

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

Sounds like a very beneficial workshop. If you would, please save a spot for me.

thanks,

Scott

Scott

You will be a most welcome participant...............stan

author comment

This sounds interesting. I'll join in.

No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - TS Eliot

http://www.wsgeorge.com/

Great! I'll get you listed now. I think we'll all have fun and maybe even become better poets...........stan

author comment

I am well aware that we all have limited time. But you can still pop in on occasion if you wish and perhaps join in on my next shop..........stan

author comment

thanks Stan .....
thanks for your great thought
but my knowledge about poetry,
as u know is minus zero ....
as is the snow here
but I will join as you say ....
with the option
to withdraw if you permit as and when my
idiocy is becoming too predominant

I am a fee---verser
off the cuff poet
as you know

I'd wish to learn though

loved

I will try to keep up with this one, so just bear with me and add my name, Take care yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I will gladly add your name. Be sure to read the syllabus before we begin. Hopefully we'll all have some fun while we teach one another................stan

author comment

As I've already said I'm in
thanks Stan

Emina
Maybe it's better to stay completely within
as fire hides in metal
as water hides in rock.
Rumi

I'll get you on the list now. Hope you have fun and feel free to ask questions if you have them.............stan

author comment

We are going to start by my posting a lesser known poem by Robert Frost. In keeping with the spirit of this shop I will change a minimum of one word per stanza and a maximum of three words per stanza. DO NOT LOOK UP THE ORIGINAL POEM! That would be cheating lol. At the end of our discussion of this poem I will post the original poem so we can all see what the difference is between the right word and the ok words which I will inject.

Ya'll's job is to try to spot the words which have been changed and to leave a comment on which words and where they are. Now as quick as my index finger can type I'll post the poem below:

GOOD HOURS by Robert Frost

I had for my cold evening walk
no one at all with whom to talk
but I had the houses in a row
up to their eyes in shining snow

And I felt I had the ones within
I heard the sound of a violin
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
of youthful forms and happy faces

I had such company outward bound
I went until there were no cottages found
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window except black

Over the creaking snow my feet
disturbed the sleeping village street
like something profane by your leave
'twas ten o'clock on a winter eve

OK folks have at it.I've been up since 4 o'clock this morning and it's 8 o'clock in the evening now. I'll do a quick check in before I retire and check in again in the morning. PS to all free verse writers;don't worry I'll be posting a free verse poem which has been altered later in the week. PPS feel free to explain why any word you think has been changed isn't quite right...................stan

author comment

s1 l1 cold -just felt like there was a better word. rhythm was also off
s2 l2 heard - again felt like there was a more descriptive word
s3 l4 except - This one was a sore thumb. Also changed rhythm
s4 l1 over -just grasping at straws

I feel like there is more but only because Stan said between 1 and 3 per stanza

Scott

There Are more. But don't worry they'll all come out before it's over.............stan

author comment

GOOD HOURS by Robert Frost………. Good Hours..Caps title is Stan style.
I had for my cold evening walk
no one at all with whom to talk……….Should be ''NONE..''two words as one…
but I had the houses in a row….. had?.... Not a good word..may be ...held…..
up to their eyes in shining snow
And I felt I had the ones within ……….And ……..redundant delete it
I heard the sound of a violin
I had a glimpse through curtain laces…a glimpse ''glimpses'' as one doesn’t glimpse once only
of youthful forms and happy faces
I had such company outward bound
I went until there were no cottages found
I turned and repented, but coming back …comma is redundant ,before a but Also too many I’s!
I saw no window except black
Over the creaking snow my feet…… Over seems questionable?
disturbed the sleeping village street
like something profane by your leave
'twas ten o'clock on a winter eve…winter’s ….winter must show possession

Please note ..
Too many I’s in this poem …smacks of Frost’s ego… could be reduced in original..

loved

I think you are beginning to get the idea of how just a few words can affect the flow and impact of a poem. But you will be suprised at which words were and weren't changed I think. ..................stan

author comment

just being transformed
from nothing two
to mixed one
final
loved

loved

why people???
and why not students ,poets prospective poets
all people don't even read poetry

Would you like to rethink
Stan Sir

loved

Aren't poets also people?...............stan

author comment

but people are not poets

loved

Thanks for the invitation.
Please consider me in if you can bear with me as my time is very limited due to some family commitments, but I'll do my best in sha'a Allah.
Thanks again.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

How do I join or apply for a workshop and what all does it entail?

much <3,
V

just read the syllabus and the first exercise is under way
http://www.neopoet.com/comment/96278#comment-96278

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Have a lovely day!

much <3,

V

You are most welcome here. Please check out the syllabus so you will be awareof what's going on then read the above Frost poem and join in the commenting.....................stan. PS if you have questions feel free to ask. If I'm not immediately available either weirdelf (Jess) or serendipity (Jayne) will probably be there to answer. Have fun and I hope we can all learn from one another........................

author comment

For filling in in signing up. My time like everybody else's is limited and the quicker a person is signed up the better..............stan

author comment

Give them all a time frame
48 hours max

loved

Hi guys,
He speaks about snow and there's not a word winter in the beginning of the poem that's a bit weird to me
so maybe
s1 l1: winter evening walk
the rest of the first stanza seems correct
s2 I really don't know what you've changed I'm gonna think a bit more
s3 l4 : I also think the word except is wrong, simply sounds different from the rest
s4 l2: ''sleeping'' is too simple

this is difficult stan... I'm gonna think more

Emina
Maybe it's better to stay completely within
as fire hides in metal
as water hides in rock.
Rumi

It's kinda amazing how a poem can sound a little "off" just by changing a few words isn't it? We'll all know which were changed the first of next week but you're welcome to keep looking..........stan

author comment

Yes Stan, you're completely right . I can hardly wait to see the original.

Emina
Maybe it's better to stay completely within
as fire hides in metal
as water hides in rock.
Rumi

As you know from my PM I am busy till Monday but I have copied the above copy of good hours and I will take a look at it over the weekend and see if I cant spot the changes I don't know this poem so its going to be a challenge, looking forward to being back on Monday.

love JC xxx

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

I wanted to use a Frost poem because most poets (I think) are at least a bit familiar with his stuff. But I Didn'too many people might have already read and I didn't want it too long or short. Don't overdo it this weekend and I look forward to your take..................stan

author comment

S1...houses doesn't feel right...he uses cottages in s3 which seems to fit with his more romantic language tendencies

S2...hard to say exactly but I'm going to guess it is something in the second line bc the rhythm just feels off

S3...again not 100% but last line feels short

S4...feels as if the first line is mixed up...should be something like 'over the snow my creaking feet'

Again not sure...hope I did it right Lol

Your observations are pretty closr but nobody has gotten them all yet. But then I wouldn' have either given the same circumstances lol. As soon as I hear back from everybody I'll post the original with highlighted changes............stan

author comment

Had I been Frost ....how I would have composed this poem

Good Hours by Robert Frost

I went for my lonely evening walk
no one at all with whom to talk
but I saw the houses in a row
up to their windows in shining snow

I felt I saw the one’s within
I heard the sound of a violin
I had glimpses through curtain laces
of youthful forms and happy faces

I had no company outwards bound
I went until there were no cottages found
I returned and relented coming back
I saw no windows except stark black

Over the creaking snow my feet
disturbed the sleeping village street
like something profane by your leave
'twas passed ten o'clock on a winter’s eve

PS
This site doesn't have a system of spell check and highlighting and italics like other sites
that would have helped
Unless as Jess would only expose my ignorance Do help

loved

One of the things I like about Frost is the plainness of his language which makes it easy to see where alternate words could be used. But the alternates almost would never improve the original poem.
As to the tech question you are doubtless asking the wrong man. It's about all I can manage to turn on the comp. and type with my sore index finger lol.............stan

author comment

apply balm
sending some
kindly go along with age and
use index finger lesser

OK Forgot to addd on
LOL LOL LOL whatever rfol hahahaha

loved

The system which we will use is pretty simple. We'll just capitalize all changed words.............stan

author comment

S1 ... I see had is repeated twice. I think one of them is added for purpose.
S2...'And' seems not to be necessary at the beginning of that stanza.
S3... 'went' reads abit weak ..
I thought Frost would use a stronger word
S4... 'creaking snow' reads odd, at least for me.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Good thoughts. I expect you might be suprised at the original lol............stan

author comment

All my guesses are wrong?

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

No it doesn't mean that. But if I were to identify which "guesses" everyone made were wrong and which were right at this stage it would tend to influence people's ideas wouldn't it? All will be clarified when I post the original poem monday evening................stan

author comment

I also thought so ...
that's why my ? Qs mark

loved

Seems few here have walked on cold dry snow and heard it creak.............stan

author comment

they say
a difference of 10 degrees centigrade
and 14 degrees fah ..
makes ice creak scientifically
So I have removed my qs mark do see

loved

Here's My look at this destroyed piece of work!!

GOOD HOURS by Robert Frost

I had for my cold evening walk (A cold walk ??)
no one at all with whom to talk ( At all ??)
but I had the houses in a row (I had ??)
up to their eyes in shining snow ( Eyes ??)
And I felt I had the ones within (I had again ??)
I heard the sound of a violin ( No sense with Line 1??)
I had a glimpse through curtain laces ( I had, I caught??)
of youthful forms and happy faces (and, With ??)
I had such company outward bound ( Had such, nonsense??)
I went until there were no cottages found (Double negative No cottages found??)
I turned and repented, but coming back ( non sense Again repent for ??)
I saw no window except black (Saw no, very bad ?? )
Over the creaking snow my feet (Ice may creak not snow.??)
disturbed the sleeping village street (Streets don’t sleep, they just lay there LOL??)
like something profane by your leave ( Profane doesn’t fit ??)
'twas ten o'clock on a winter eve (A bit too late you have wrecked this poem??)
What can I say other than this, I didn't read the other comments or looked at the original , will you put it under the one you have here when everyone has commented, Yours ian.T
.

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

Repent in this instance is used to designate a change of mind. And the original will be posted Monday evening. I think all will see how much better the original is than the changed version and all the result of a few minor word changes..............stan

author comment

Frost wasn't some ordinary Loved !
he deserved a Nobel

loved

I'm not certain but I don't think Frost ever won a Nobel. Shows what THEY know lol..........stan

author comment

I'm not certain but I don't think Frost ever won a Nobel.
Shows what THEY know ???????

yes themoonman told me as a comment

Frost never got it
But it doesn't mean all deserving guys they know or do they???

loved

Do wait for Serendipity
Time out she had asked till Monday
No?
see how actively I have been participating ....hopeful to learn more
so all know ....
.hahaahAAAA
LOL LOL LOL whatever also Rfol

loved

We're awaiting Jayne who has had a death in her family. I'm hardly going to rush anybody who is dealing with such.........stan

author comment

elections
ur my man Stan always

as u r good positive kind methodical humorist and well of course to the point
except
when I put you off

loved

I'm not sure if being elected would be good luck or if not being elected would lol. But I appreciate your support and expect those who have been carrying the torch a while would like a break..............stan

author comment

Good Hours

I had for my winter evening walk..........changed winter to cold
no one at all with whom to talk
but I had the cottages in a row............changed cottages to houses
up to their shining eyes in snow

And I thought I had the folk within.........changed thought to felt
i had the sound of a violin
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
of youthful forms and youthful faces............changed youthful to happy

I had such company outward bound
I went till there were no cottages found
I turned and repented,but coming back
I saw no window but that was black...... changed but that was to except

Over the snow my creaking feet .....instead of change here, I rearranged..over the creaking snow my feet
disturbed the slumbering village street........changed slumbering to sleeping
like profanation, by you leave.....changed profanation to something profane
at ten o'clock of a winter eve.....changed at to twas

Alright, now you can see which changes ya'll found and which ones you didn't. You can also see that there can be many ok words but few "perfect "ones. . You might also not that Frost broke a lot of what many consider rules" nowadays. He used a lot of "I"'s. He also repeated cottages fairly closely.and youthful within the same line. But this poem shows how the right word should take precidence over assumed rules.

I am about to posy a short free verse poem but this is a good time to state your ideas on the use of different words in this poem and why the substitutes don't work as well as the originals............stan

author comment

Just a couple comments on the poem. S2 L2 also had a change - "had" to "heard"

Also, the syllabus stated that there would be 1 to 3 word changes per stanza. S4 had a change in each line.

Thanks,

Scott

Scott

Always nice to have my feet held to the fire lol. I guess I got a bit carried away in S-4. Must have wanted to give ya'll more chances to find changes. I'm embarassed to say that the change in S-2, L-2 was result of a typo........stan

author comment

It is late here so I will sort out things tomorrow. Frost was born 68 years to the day before me:-
Robert Lee Frost [1874-1963] was born in California USA on 26th March 1874. His parents William Prescott Frost and Isabel Moodie,
Maybe I should be able to connect with him lol,
See you on the morrows sun time,
Yours Ian.T
Good Hours

I had for my winter evening walk—
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.

And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.

Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o'clock of a winter eve.

Robert Frost

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I appreciate the bio but remember this shop is about the poetry, not the poet lol. .................stan

author comment

I saw that you had put the original poem on here but to me it was a bit hard to read so I put a clean one in my comment.
The Bio well it is my anniversary??? apart from that it is good to know a little about the poet, as his poems reflect his thoughts therefore his life. An American at that..
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I wasn't chastising you about the bio. Just didn't want anybody to be led into different areas which this shop isn't covering. Personally, the more I can learn about Frost the better...............stan

author comment

What did you write on your 68th birthday, Ian?

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

At that time I was writing a few bits for Neopoet and upsetting our loving Jess lol I would need to go into my archives to find those pieces and it would be too much trouble.
Since then I have learnt a great deal on this site, though it may not show that much lol.
Frost and me cover 139 years..
Take care out there Jess and know that we think of you,
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

Frost
he never followed rules ...

loved

0/10 bad start ....

except that you also say
Frost used too many I's so give me just a mark
and one more for not following rules =2/10
what say u master?

loved

We're not keeping score so don't worry about that. Perhaps you will fare better in the free verse below. Now the thing about knowing the rules is realizing when breaking them is a good thing. I expect Frost was fully aware of the flaws in his poetry but I'm also of the mind to think he knew exactly what he was doing when he broke them. (unlike myself who just breaks them out of ignorance)..............stan

author comment

to be able to laugh at himself
and u have abundantly
overflowing ...
of a such a quality
god bless u
with new AEC
C H A I R

loved

Grass by Carl Sandburg

Stack the bodies high at Austerlitz and Warterloo
shovel them deep and let me start---
I am green grass, I conceal all

And pile them high at Gettysburg
then pile them higher at Ypres and Verdum
Put them under and let me work
Two years, two decades, and passersby will inquire
what place is this?
where are we?

I am the grass
let me grow

So,,,,,let's examine this short free verse and let me know what doesn't seem quite right.

Now is also a good time to start thinking about which of your own poems you will be submitting in hopes that we can find a few word changes that might make a big difference.................stan

author comment

S1 L2 - start
S1 L3 - conceal

S2 L1 - is it "hight" or "high"
S2 L1 - And
S2 L3 - put
S2 L4 - passersby

S3 L2 - let

Scott

Me and my damned typos lol. HIGH. Well you got some wrong and some right. We will now await others' input...........stan

author comment

Nobody seems to want to discuss why the changes in Frost's poem don't work as well as the original. Perhaps it's confusion as to what is expected. So I'll start off by discussing the first change where cold was substituted for winter. The word cold is not specific in setting the time of year when the walk was taken. "Cold" could be a cold spring or autumn day as well as winter. By stating right at the beginning that it was winter, the stage is set and the reader prepared for what was to follow. Also there's the rhythm thing . Winter gives a perfect scansion match to the 3rd line while cold (although it sounds ok within this first line) doesn't quite match up...............stan

author comment

Taking a look at the second word change "cottages" to "houses" -- The word change not only moved the location, it also changed the time period. Cottages gives it more of a village type feel as opposed to a neighborhood feeling of house. That being said, I felt the change brought the poem into a modern time period which took away some of its grandeur.

Scott

I agree. also cottages paints a picture of smaller more intimate dwellings.................stan

author comment

Either I have offended everybody here by accident or this shop has become boring. Whichever is the case, I will close this up unless we start getting happening here. I don't want to put ya'll through something which you're not enjoying.......................stan

author comment

any one can change any word
who knows
what was in the mind of that poet
Sorry Stan
I'd still hold on

loved

Check the changes if you want but then read the following change in shop format.........
Grass by Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo
Shovel them under and let me work....
I am the grass; I cover all

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdum
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass
Let me work

author comment

Due to lack of interest I think it best that I close this shop. I place all blame for its lack of success entirely on myself. I apparently failed at keeping it interesting enough to keep folks responding. .............stan

author comment

Workshops are not an exact science, to put it mildly. I once ran a small video production company called JNP. They were our initials but the inside joke was it stood for "Jump'n'pray"
You have run some of our best workshops ever Stan so I'm keeping that big stick, in case I actually need to use it on you [grins].

And even if this shop has lost momentum it was still very valuable to all who participated. Thank you.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Stan, from the mental picture I have of you, I don't mean the physical picture but the person within that frame, I believe you have expressed your disappointment with what you may have expected the workshop to be in terms of level of participation. However, I agree with Jess, even if it has helped a few it has served the purpose. It would be nice if those who were benefited through this exercise express so to Stan, even if it is in the form of messages.

Cheer up Stan

raj (sublime_ocean)

I've been around long enough to know that not everything a person does will turn out as well as he/she expected. So there's not really any need to try cheering me up as I'm not "down in the dumps" about this in a personal level. But I am sorry that there are those who put their faith in me to only not have their expectations fulfilled. They say one learns more from their failures than successes so I was due for a good learning experience lol.........stan

author comment

say well done
as FREE verse poem
has been posted by none
except now by
the Loved one

I wanted to have a cup of tea with you today

It was a very sunny day
clear skies
no clouds
but freezing winds were not silent,
only minus 37
the temperature was only
minus twenty seven

I walked across my garden of Eden
with knee deep snow laden
just about over a mile
All alone
gasping for breath !

but then when I did return
I knocked at the nearest door
I am now in
do bring a pot of coffee
sizzling!

but the door bell didn't ring
the blistering storm ahead
had broken many an electric string

so I returned home
to have a drink...
next time may be..
you will offer
a cup of tea.

loved

And I thought it was cold here because the temp barely got above freezing lol. The doorbell didn't ring because I have no door bell. Next time try beating on the door. I thought about getting knockers but figured I look strange enough already lmao.........stan

author comment

next time shall bring a hammer along
have a nice winter
we are neck deep in snow
as you know
may be buried too
before poets of Neopoet
say they knew
Any way thank you
my love for ya'll is true
borrowed ur
ya'll

loved

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