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Make your choices.

A poem asks the writer to make some choices. Some of these might be:

  • Who is your audience?
  • Do you mean this poetry to be read or performed? A poem you write to be read is a private and contemplative experience between the poet and the reader. Performance poetry is an exercise in communal sharing.
  • What’s the purpose of the poem? Is it to tell a story? Is it to see if the audience’s lachrymal glands are in working order? Is it to present an image?
You may make a set of choices about a poem, and as you are writing it, the poem may take an unexpected turn. If this happens, don’t force it, just re-examine the choices to see if they still apply.

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