Technique poètique

People are fascinated by the process of poetic composition, and often ask me about my technique. It’s really not as complicated as people imagine, and I’m happy to share it here:

1. Select any book and open it at page 25.

2, Now select the word that is five lines down and two words across on that page, and make a note of it.

3. Open a different book at page 33 and select the word that is eight lines down and four words across. Again, make a note of it.

4. Continue in this way, using increments of 8, 3, 2 (for humour), 11, 3, 5 (for satire), and 14, 0, 1 (for inspirational).

5. When you reach the end of a line in any book, make a new line in your poem, and continue to calculate as before.

6. For the total number of words required, subtract the total number of pages in the first book from the corresponding number in the second book. The square of the result is the total number of words needed for your poem.

NOTE: You must begin at page 25 for every new poem, regardless of genre. There are no exceptions to this rule, unless you are unable to appreciate the difference between poetry and posturing.


 

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