Sunday, May 20, 2007

Words I'm Not Going to Use in My Poems Anymore

Today I went through the poems I wrote this year, and I began to see some patters in my writing. I tend to use the same words over and over again when what I really need is a good thesaurus.

This is a list I can see myself adding to, but here are the words I will no longer allow myself to use in my poems ... at least for a while.

  • dark
  • dumbstruck
  • poem
  • unspoken
  • disappear
  • underlife
  • fingertips
  • flower
  • sky

14 comments:

Eric said...

Interesting that you should post on this. I was pondering the same subject recently and came up with a couple in my own works in progress: ethereal scents, muse, and the color yellow seemed to stand out. Go figure...

But, thanks to your post I am now keeping a document on the computer with a running list of words I use more than a few times...

Good Luck with this one! :)

Leila said...

Sometimes we forget that writing is 5% inspiration and talent, but 95% craft. I like the idea of keeping a list of overused words. Like a cliché watch. Thanks!

Catherine said...

"Unspoken" is one of the daily prompts from NaPoWriMo that I haven't figured out how to use yet.
I'm wondering if a corresponding list of words you haven't used and would like to, would be useful. I can imagine a list of "words not to use" might make you keep thinking of them, keep wanting to slip them in.

Dick Jones said...

I find it difficult enough to piece most of my poems together bit by bit over time. Excellent discipline though the notion is, if I employed some sort of a word-check I'd freeze up before I'd even begun to write!

January said...

Dick, I had to stop myself from adding "I" and "this" (I loved ending poems with the word "this."), but I thought that would be a bit ridiculous.

I am always tempted to use these words, but the idea is to stretch myself and continue to find interesting language.

January said...

Catherine, I like the idea of a list of words to be used in future poems. Thanks for the suggestion.

jz said...

If you're not going to use them, can I have them?

deirdre said...

I've begun to see the same words popping up over and over again in my writing too. Making a list of over-used words might get me onto another track.

BTW, you could use the same word twenty-seven times in the same poem and it would somehow still sound lyrical and fresh.

bostonerin said...

In my fiction, I use just, look, remembered, together, turned, and glanced ALL THE TIME. I have to do an "Edit/Find" global search in Word to catch those nasties.

I heard once that the human brain tries to impose a pattern on everything it recognizes (that's why we see faces/objects in clouds, ceiling/wallpaper patterns, etc).The same is true when writing--when you get in a groove, your brain slips into a pattern. When you revise, your job is to bust up the pattern and make it different.

January said...

Now that's interesting, Erin. Makes sense that the brain creates patters and revision is the way to correct them. Cool.

January said...

Jim, my words are your words!

ReggieH said...

What an interesting idea! I've noticed this in my own work, but it usually happens when I'm reading and I think to myself, dang I just said that in the poem before this one! Also I keep remembering one of Audre Lorde's poems that begins "Tired of poems beginning with 'I'..." It haunts me and I have to catch myself to not do that

paris parfait said...

I think we all do this - we tend to use the words we use in everyday life most often. I must take a leaf from your book and do the same!

Alex said...

I love that you're doing this. It'll force your mind to stretch even further as you write. As a sendoff you should write a poem only using those words.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails