Writing the worst poem of my (adult) life

Yesterday I tried an experiment. I brought to my poetry group the worst poem I’ve written in my adult life. I warned them before they began to look at it that what I hoped they’d look at was the rhyme scheme. I wanted them to see if they found anything unusual in that. WELL… they were instantly all over the poem with critique. The poem was too full of “stuff, didn’t make sense, seemed to be two places at once, was not up to my usual, etc. etc.” What no one noticed however was the rhyme scheme. Not one poet recognized I’d rhymed the primary word of each line to the one following; in other words initial rhyme. I listened as each one tried to find something constructive to say about this very bad poem. I laughed inside as they struggled to be helpful.  The moral of the story:

try new things without fear

bring new things to your peers, without fear

throw very bad poems out, without fear

be grateful you have close readers!


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