One of my regular readers (bless you, anonymous!) emailed me after those recent epic poems I crafted. You know—the ones about my refrigerator; and meeting Satan in my front yard.
What? You didn’t read them? They’re insanely clever (speaking in all modesty), so scroll down right now and check them out. They’re just a little bit further down this page. No, go ahead. We’ll wait.
OK, welcome back. Hope you enjoyed them.
What? You don’t think they qualify as epics? Well, c’mon, what’d you expect, “The Ancient Mariner?” Or maybe Homer’s “Iliad?” No, not Homer Simpson; the one from Greece. (These culturally challenged folks! What are you gonna do with them?)
Well if you don’t like them, don’t read them! Good! Goodbye!!
Hmph. Well, now that SHE’S gone, I’ll get back to my subject. Anonymous emailed me asking how I was able to come up with ideas like those and then put then into rhyme.
Well, that’s not exactly how I do it.
I just pick a topic (like Karyn’s refrigerator tag idea, or Nicole’s comment on the heat, along with my threat to write an “Ode to the Lawnmower”), write down a first line, think of a word to rhyme with the last word in that line, and see where it takes me.
I had no idea when I started the refrigerator poem that I would end up with my hand stuck and flooding the house. All I had in mind was to describe some old, moldy stuff that had been in there for months.
For the mowing poem, I knew I wanted to end up with a statement that it was “hot as Hell” or even “hotter than Hell” but I was halfway through it before I thought of meeting the devil and having HIM tell me how hot it was. You know how sometimes you just get on a roll, and things flow? And at other times you have writer’s block big time and NOTHING flows? Those poems just flowed.
For me, the tricky part is trying to select and arrange words to keep the rhythm going. And let’s face it; I’m not really striving for literary accomplishment. I’m just trying to entertain and provide a little humor.
Poems are like songs. Instead of a melody, you just need a steady rhythm. And music has always been built in to me and a part of my life and thoughts. That’s why I put so much of it into my first novel.
Thank you, anonymous, for asking about the method. I enjoy “doing” poems. I’m seldom at a loss for words.
They don’t call me “motor mouth” for nothing!