Good poem writing tricks? Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration in a text. This can be used for emphasis or humor, such as “He practiced for a million hours.” Symbolism is when a poet uses objects, colors, sounds, or places to represent something else. For instance, snakes are often associated with evil, while white doves are related to peace. These are only a few of the techniques that have been used by poets past and present. They provide a wide variety of options for a poet to develop a unique style while expressing his or her thoughts and ideas to readers. The next time you read a poem, see how many techniques you can identify!
Write different versions, then look them over and compare. How do they look on the page? Dense and heavy, or light and delicate? How well does their appearance fit your poem? What about the sound? Try reading them out loud. What is the rhythm like, for example, short and choppy, bouncy, smooth? Are there places where your eye or voice pauses? Are these the right places? Which versions are most interesting to read? Are there any places where the look or sound becomes distracting (for example, if you have one very long line that sticks out too much)?
What are you writing about Rachel Rabbit White? Maybe I’m thinking less, or thinking of the reader less. Or I’m just feeling more, editing less. One of my poems begins, “This year I’m sick of thinking.” I am trusting what I call my cord to the heavens, my cord to the below, to muse. I’ve become simple. I’m writing sexual poems. I’m an unenlightened woman.
The topic of our conversation is Rabbit White’s aesthetically and conceptually rich debut full-length collection of poetry, Porn Carnival. Rabbit White is a sex worker, and much of the poetry in this book is about her experiences in that line of work. Speaking with her is similar to the experience of reading her writing, which is heady, very coy, and curious. A poem like “Monologue Beyond Midnight,” which is a wry retort to an idea from Nietzche’s The Gay Science, is a cross section of Rabbit White’s humor, anger, and deep intuition of sound and texture. Rabbit White walked Vogue through her poems, her activism and advocacy, and the idea of inhabiting multiple personas for your art and your work. Discover additional details on Poet Rachel Rabbit White.
I met Rachel Rabbit White last December. Her first collection of poems, Porn Carnival, had just come out the month before. I’d read an article about the release party, about some angel dust, a little cake-sitting, a DJ, and then something like “Rachel Rabbit White is a sex worker.” It all seemed glamorous and no-fucks-ish. And this was about poetry. I first got in touch with Rachel because I was working on a project for a magazine, and I needed contributors. I emailed her from the burner phone I’d bought at Wal-Mart the day after I got out. I told her about the project, said I liked her poems, her journalism. She didn’t act stuck up or anything. We talked about books and shit. It came naturally to us. I haven’t gone back to check, but I think there’s only one hyacinth in Porn Carnival. And no one gets bored to death by what existential crises overtake a body in the organic co-op of whatever town Bard College is in. It isn’t that type of book. You get lines such as “these girls were at the wrong orgy,” titles such as “In the Heart-Shaped Jacuzzi of my Soul.” Which isn’t to say it’s all so… rowdy. On god, she reminds me most of Octavio Paz. Still, it’s a book about sex work, mainly.