I put together a short piece on writing poetry. It was possibly going in the mag. Then I found someone else, far better known, had written something and was happy for me to use it. But, as I was brought up to 'waste not, want not', I couldn't just throw mine in the non-recyclables. Yet.
- Read it aloud and listen – you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly combinations of sounds. Choose the ones you want.
- If you’re aiming for a regular metre, clap, bounce a ball, or tap your feet. Or sing your poem to a tune with a definite beat.
- Use a rhyming dictionary if you’re really stuck – an unusual word could lead you to a new image or idea. It’s quicker than going through the alphabet in your head and trying out all possible rhymes.
- Remove words that don’t work for their living, especially in free verse.
OK, what have I missed? There must be plenty.