The Poet’s Manifesto

To set the tone for a year ahead, as an experiment, I’ve decided to post a poem I wrote recently, inspired by some of the poems I’ve read here on WordPress. My poetry is heavy and melancholic, in the form of prose poems and this is quite different and out of my comfort zone 🙂 –  I hope it will motivate you and inspire you in your writing poetry.

The Poet’s Manifesto by Maja S. Todorovic

I am the poet.

You are the poet.

Poetry is everywhere:

in your squinting eyes due to  the bright Sun beams;

in the smell of your first morning coffee;

in the smile of your friend when he sees you;

in the angry voice of your boss, when he teases you;

in the playful butterfly resting on your fingertips;

in the warm, passionate breath on your lover’s lips;

in the barking of your neighbor’s dog;

in the dense fog, heavy autumn rain;

in your unbearable pain.

That’s why you write:

you don’t need to explain,

to confess,

to impress,

anyone, just in vain.

You write because you feel,

you experience,

unsaid, unknown, unseen,

unheard, words unthrown.

You don’t write for adoration

or appreciation.

You don’t write for praise,

someone else to be amazed.

Your poem is your breathing.

Your poem is your existence.

Your poem is your persistence

to continue dreaming.

Words and letters, surprised

gathered here to take off their masks

to let you know:

whenever in doubt –just write!

Your creativity is well disguised.

Sometimes is shy,

encourage it to shine:

– just write!

 

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For every poet who wants to get published

Silvia Plath

In times when we are all overloaded with information, coming from all sorts of media sources, it is hard to be noticed and keep someone’s interest. I think that this is the biggest problem that most writers struggle with, especially poets. It’s true, poetry always had its devoted fans, yet is less popular than other forms of art. As it is easy to start your own blog and publish your work, it is hard to get through among other writers and get published in literary journal or anthology. Not to mention earning from your own writings – some people think it equals science-fiction!

“Poetryhasvalue” is a fabulous resource for all aspiring poets as Jessica Piazza documents her journey on submitting her poems to paying literally journals. Getting to know her experiences can help you avoid certain pitfalls and direct you towards choosing the most appropriate journal according to your genre, writing style and of course, your goals. Is your goal to make a living from your writings or you are on the quest to gain more popularity and get people acquainted with your work? It will determine which literally journal and magazines suit you best. For more about the author of this project visit www.jessicapiazza.com

Are poets born, taught or both?

This post is inspired by the poem “The Poet And His Songs” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and it goes like this:MTE5NDg0MDU1MDQ0NTg5MDcx

As the birds come in the Spring,
We know not from where;
As the stars come at evening
From depths of the air;

As the rain comes from the cloud,
And the brook from the ground;
As suddenly, low or loud,
Out of silence a sound;

As the grape comes to the vine,
The fruit to the tree;
As the wind comes to the pine,
And the tide to the sea;

As come the white sails of ships
O’er the ocean’s verge;
As comes the smile to the lips;
The foam to the surge;

So comes to the Poet his songs,
All hitherward blown
From the misty land, that belongs
To the vast Unknown.

His, and not his, are the lays
He sings; – and their fame
Is his, and not his; – and the praise
And the pride of a name.

For voices pursue him by day,
And haunt him by night,
And he listens, and needs must obey,
When the Angel says: Write!

and it left me wondering: are we born writers and poets with innately need to write and create or is it something we discover with time and then put effort and energy into it in order to develop better writing skills? I mean, we all can work to improve our abilities in any area, but are we born with notion that writing is supposed to be our life calling (or any other profession, for that matter)? Do you simply “know” that you must write in order to be yourself, to express your true nature? As Longfellow says “so comes to the Poet his songs…from the misty land…to the vast Unknown”.

For me, some sort of writing was always present. During my career it evolved into scientific writing, yet the most natural way for me to write is in the form of poem – and it showed early in my childhood.

As Marina Abramovic likes to say:

 For me, art is like breathing. You don’t question if you breathe, you have to breathe. So if you wake up in the morning and you have to realize an idea, and there’s another idea, and another, maybe you are really an artist. It doesn’t make you a great artist, it just makes you an artist. To become a great artist is a huge undertaking! So it’s really important, that instinct. You need the instinct to do it”.

There is no doubt that further developing skills requiers hard work – to move from ordinary to extraordinary. But do we need that “special thing” to carry inside in order to go beyond the average crowd? What are your thoughts, please share in the comments bellow.

3 creative ways to earn money as a poet

 Money is everywhere but so is poetry. What we lack are the poets.

               ~Federico Fellini

The truth is no matter how we are aware of the poetry artistic value, writing poetry and therefore reading and buying it, is not popular as reality shows for examples. For most of the publishers the profit they make from publishing poetry is minor or almost non-existent.

When we think of earning money from our writings, we first think of traditional ways, like submitting to literally journals, and different contests where acquired attention and popularity can ultimately lead to publishing offers. In nowadays digital world, the rules of games are changing on the behalf of indie and self-publishing opportunities.1a9af70f265d0cc691471e6b27d27e11

You can start a blog, publish your e-book or chapbook with very little investments but getting needed exposure might be hard. Today I want to share with you examples of successful poets who are doing things a little differently – and it actually pays off.

Explore the possibilities of Instagram

There are many young writers who are combining old typewriters, sentimental atmosphere and witty words to attract readers and viewers. Robert Macias, who goes by the name R.M. Drake, is one of them. He is a self-published writer, with over 1 million followers on Instagram, 16K on Twitter and over 20 000  likes on his Facebook page. His book Beautiful Chaos is one of the best-selling books in Amazon’s poetry category.

Robert was previously an art director, but now with his writing he is able to quit his job and only devote his time to writing. In an interview he gave, he is not very sure what pushed him forward in the poetry fame but he reckons that it might be related to his confessional writing.

The more I write things about myself the more that people relate to it..At least on social media, people want to expose how they’re feeling and things they’re going through and that’s what my writing does. It’s self-exploration and self-therapy.”

He likes his raw, uncensored approach and apparently his readership love that too!

Become next haiku guy/girl

This idea for poetry-writing business emerged when two college friends wanted to do an interview series about entrepreneurship. In Williamsburg they organized a little booth with aim to attract possible interviewers and in return they offered writing a short poem – haiku (since they both were quite artistic and eloquent). Very soon they got an assignment for yoga festival and that’s how haiku guys were born.

Charging between $200 and $250 per hour, The Haiku Guys are able to earn some dissent money by writing poems at events, especially since they sometimes attend up to six a week.

If you are a poet, maybe you can also offer custom-made poems for events, performances and ext.

Publish your poems beyond paper and digital world

This last example is about non-profit organization, but they are doing so diverse and inspirational projects that by far they are my favorite.

The Red Room Company is dedicated to creating unusual and useful poetry projects that positively transform expectations of, and experiences with poetry. Through imaginative projects and learning programs they aspire to make poetry accessible to all, especially those who face the greatest barriers to creative opportunities. Organization is located in Australia and is mostly directed on affirming Australian poets.

One of the projects I really liked is Dust Poems with unique aim to deliver 6  perspectives of the road, both from professional poets and professional truck drivers, exploring their experiences of driving across the country.

Original copies of poems were hidden in 5 locations throughout the Sydney Olympic Park  which the public could find through an interactive online map. An ongoing installation of the poems, as well as audio and visual material was displayed in Sydney Park between March and July 2009.

I think this is very creative, fun and imaginative way of using poetry while creating unique experiences for both the readers and poets. Now, what’s interesting is that in order to popularize poetry we can step out of conventional ways and publish poetry elsewhere. Like small company from the Netherlands, Plint: they print poetry on different objects like tea towels, mugs, boards and pillows. And with the possibilities of Internet you can publish your own poetry on the objects you choose, by using zazzle.com or cafepress.com services. Initial investment is small and you can outreach for more readership this way.

I hope you find this ideas interesting and that ultimately can help you, if you are a writer – to create a valid business model.

Rich or Poor by William  Henry  Davies

With thy true love I have more wealth
Than Charon’s piled-up bank doth hold;
Where he makes kings lay down their crowns
And life-long misers leave their gold.

Without thy love I’ve no more wealth
Than seen upon that other shore;
That cold, bare bank he rows them to –
Those kings and misers made so poor.