A Little Poetics

I said once before that one of the things I like to do when writing poetry is just write out phrases that come to me, that sounds good. Anything poetic. It has to feel good to say, taste right on the tongue as it rolls off onto the pages of my mind. I thought I’d share a couple, kind of in a list. Fair warning: I like alliteration and consonance. A lot. And I like things that really don’t make sense the first time you read them, or even the second or third. Anything that sits on the mind in just such a way that it sounds odd, but something…almost sticks, almost makes sense, and you have to chase that strand of thought. And even if it leads nowhere, the chase is thrilling and beautiful.


flustered, flourishing furlongs

riding the axles of time

the sweet sound of silence

purloining the permeating notes of peace

single-minded songs of reflection

flying on bloodied feathers


like shards of memories scattered

tolling bells and ticking timers

engulfed in golden hoops of mercy

silver pearls strung across ebony silk to meet the diamond in the sky

little dreams murmur in the silence


So hey, poet or not, give it a shot. Just write what words or phrases come to mind and just enjoy how they feel as you say them. And heck, share them in the comments if you feel so inclined. It’s so fascinating to me how these things say a lot about personality in a subtle way.

That’s all, nothing fancy or insightful. I’m not all philosophizing.

Posted on August 15, 2013, in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I really like “endoplasmic reticulum” for some reason. I always have. (No, I’m not joking about this.)

    Sometimes *words* get stuck in my head like songs do. Interesting words or phrases like endoplasmic reticulum just repeat over and over in a gentle flow. It’s nice, and I like it.

  2. Mmmm, I know what you mean. And I love that flow of words…endoplasmic reticulum…it really makes you roll it around in your mouth for awhile.

  3. I find myself doing this a lot after reading Shakespeare. Some of the phrases he uses are so cool! For some reason, I remember him using “child-changed father” to describe King Lear and I thought it was really cool because it could refer to how his children were treating him or how he was changed into a child.

    P.S. I love that you included “phantasmagorical” by itself. That’s an awesome word!

  4. One that I just recently read was “leaf-fractured sunlight”. I like that one because it is memorable and the clash of consonants is striking, but it also draws an immediate image for anyone who’s ever been under a tree in the summer.

    Of these I think my favorite is “little dreams”.

  5. Frank, that is so very true! P.S. YES it’s my favorite word in the English language by far!

    Andrew, yes, that is so perfect; the clash makes you slow down and savor it without being frustrating, and the image is a beautiful one. Love it!

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