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Saturday, April 2, 2011

National Poetry Month and the 3 Rs

NaPoMo reminds us of three R’s important to poets, not just in April but throughout the year: Reading, ‘Riting, and, you do the ‘Rithmatic to know it’s also time for Revising.

Read Poetry
To become a serious poet become a great lover of poetry.
Enjoy poems more and more as you learn how to read a poem.
Support poetry! Buy poetry books and journals.
Borrow poetry anthologies from your public library.
Study classical and contemporary poems on the Internet.
Investigate Poetry Resources in an earlier article on The Poetry Editor blog.

Write Poetry
Write a poem a day until May.
Research an interesting topic.
Remember a happy/ sad/ scary time.
Describe an event and how it made you feel.
Write a poem to recall a favorite person/ pet/ holiday.
Focus on something in your home or outside your window.
Let thoughts flow without editing, revising, or censoring yourself.
Put these poems aside.

Revise Poems
Each day of NaPoMo, revise an older poem that doesn’t seem quite finished.
Read the poem aloud. Listen for any jolts or flaws in sound or sense.
Ease the process of revising as you get a new vision for each re-vision.
Use this checklist for Editing, Revising, and Otherwise Improving Your Poems.

Have a Happy National Poetry Month! And keep the NaPoMo momentum going all year long.

(c) 2011, Mary Harwell Sayler


  1. I just stumbled across this post, and I'm so happy I did! I'm currently taking part in the Poem A Day Challenge via the Writer's Digest Poetic Asides blog--what an adventure! Your revising checklist will be most helpful as I edit my poems and start submitting them to potential markets. :)

  2. Glad to hear it, Krissy. Thanks. When you're ready to submit your poems, check the Resources page of The Poetry Editor website for hotlinks to poetry markets.