The Shine Journal

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Poetry Recipe


Melissa D. Lamb


aim your sights high,
to the line’s finest plane.
don an arrogant tone, and
self doubt is acclaimed.

never contrive,
keep your mind free.
follow the flow,
to sharp clarity.

no ideas but in things,
carve the image concrete.
swift verbs are at heart,
mark meter and beat.

when in doubt, take it out,
save just what you ought.
draw short, simple sounds,
in circular thought.

don’t gush, don’t rush,
m i n d  t h e   l e n g t h     o f    y o u r         l i n e s.
and for God’s sake, don’t rhyme.

Motivation: I wrote this in a poetry workshop for an arrogant poet/instructor. he was not amused.

Bio: I am an English Professor. I teach literature, composition and critical thinking.  I  live in Nashville, TN. My passions include all art forms, nature, and teaching. I love to teach kids how to play with language and how to honor it.

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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