These "proverbs" are in dialogue with Bibek Adhikari's "workshop suggestions" and with Lawrence Beck's energetic objections to them! I read the exchange with interest in the hope of learning my own mind.

Proverbs of Tommo

The image, clearly presented, explains itself.


Words should not smell of mildew and Teasdale, but of rummage sales and lilacs, of perfume and perfidy, of coffee and freshly baked bread.


Abstract nouns are generally bad news if too many of them are loitering on the streetcorner. Arm yourself with something palpable: a wheelbarrow, a rhododendron, a pair of old socks!


Yes, give me the woozy certitude of Wonder! The blank unholy logic of Joy! Give me Enthusiasm, which is Exactitude in dancing shoes.


Submit to Mistress Metre until you seduce her into becoming your servant.


Listen to the language. Play with it. Push back against it.


Master the conventions and rubrics, pay heed to the tutors and teachers, the better to subvert them with your own irreplaceable voice.


There's wiser poetic theory in a ladybug on an April hyacinth than in anything I've just jotted here.


Pay attention to your world, O boisterous camerado! It's telling you something that only you can hear.

Essay by Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 270 times
Written on 2020-03-29 at 05:45

Tags Theory  Proverbs 

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Wide-ranging, fresh as a bouquet of wildflowers.

Bibek The PoetBay support member heart!
This reads like a fine balance between the two conflicting thoughts. You've presented some timeless poetic advice, with a touch of wit, I assume. And above all, I couldn't agree more with "better to subvert [tutors and teachers] with your own irreplaceable voice." Thanks for writing this!


Hello Thomas,
I perfectly understand the palpability of a wheelbarrow and acumen of a ladybug, as for my tutors, I have forgotten their faces.
Proverbs wrapped in wisdom.

Kind regards, Tony.

P.S. Thank you very much for your welcome.

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
This strikes me as an odd conversation, this dialectic on poetry.

Bibek's teacher offers an opinion. it elicits a strong (and interesting) response, which leads to a second strong (and interesting) response, and now a third.

Odd, in that there are no rules universally true. Let the teacher teach their methodology, let the student heed or not.

Odd, in that one finds it not just wrong, but vehemently finds it wrong; and another finds it engaging, even charming; and another, me, is simply puzzled by the whole thing.

But I like the conversation, odd or not.

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
I have two Friends two very Friends, both well educated, he's a retied head techer from New Zeleland, LLoyd is his name. were ederting my spelings. Our other Friend a very good atist writer painter dawer sccolpter, a well euucated Brititish/Enggliish/Irish man of age. Well we all three, yes we are The Old Coges. we got to talking about my work, when Partik said: ' whears the dyslexic spelings?! He made the points, my work is dependant on my dyslexic words. In poetry/verse, are dependant on the writers way with words. NOT on the spelings gramoer &Co! Any one any one who looks four florrs in a writers work, simply are not NOT reading the work! ENce my work, for one writer wordsmith will be kargelky uncoreckted! Only some words will be eddeted by me! My own bugger ups!
ken d williams