The world, as we know it, is inherently unfair. My cousin, for example, is a fashion model, and she can also sing, while I am plain at best, and tone deaf. This has always troubled me greatly. It is just not right that people come into this world not only with very different family backgrounds but also with very different talents. Or the lack thereof.
But recently Iâ€™ve realized something that makes everything even more unfair. While most people agree that being born into a rich family, or with genes that make you tall, slender and beautiful, or a great singer or athlete, is just sheer luck, when it comes to poetry, not having the gift for it suddenly becomes a sin. People who would never laugh at someone for having an odd-shaped nose or being the last one to be picked for any sports team think you are fair game for their snide critical remarks about your poems.
If you, dear reader, are as completely devoid of talent in the field of poetry as I am, this short guide is for you. Iâ€™m here to tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have developed a simple, fool-proof method to get back at those bitter uppity fancy-shmancy critics who clearly need to get a life (and who we will pray for as soon as we are done with our poetry, so they can find God's love in their hearts).
Letâ€™s face it: writing a poem from scratch is difficult. Thereâ€™s the question of what it should be about, and how to start it, for example. Then thereâ€™s the obvious problem of how to continue, and eventually you even have to come up with an ending. When you consider all of these difficulties, it becomes clear that it is much easier to use a poem thatâ€™s already written, preferably by someone else who is good at writing poems.
Finding such poems should not be hard. We live in blessed times: there are millions of poems on the internet, available at the click of your mouse. If you donâ€™t know where to start, just write â€œpoemsâ€ or â€œpoetryâ€ in the search field of your browser, and you should be on your way.
Once you find a poem you like, apply to it the modern literary technique known as â€œCopy and Pasteâ€. With your left mouse button, click on the beginning of your poem; then, holding down the button, move the mouse slowly to highlight all the words you want. Your poem should now be blue. Next, right-click the selection and choose â€œCopyâ€ from the drop-down menu. You are now ready to create your poem.
Open your own document or website where you want to do your poetry. Place the cursor at the right spot, click with the right mouse button, and choose â€œPasteâ€. Your poem should now be displayed on your page. (Some websites will tell you to press Control and C or V to achieve the same results. Follow the instructions, then make a mental note that you will have to pray for these people as well.)
There is, however, still a problem. Some sad, hostile people (who clearly need to get a life and a lot of prayers said for them) claim that this proactive, creative method is somehow wrong. They call it (I am sorry but I have to use the word here, so we can understand the viciousness of these haters) Â plagiarism. That is right: they have the audacity, after the millennia that people like us have been maligned and mistreated in literary circles, to throw the that slur, the hurtful p-word at us! Alas, they truly have no shame.
But the sad fact is that these people exist and we need to protect ourselves. Therefore I will share a few tricks to get around these gangs of vigilantes, the p-police.
First of all, when you choose a poem to make your own, do not pick very famous poets. Avoid Rap Artists, for example, or anyone still alive and thus possibly in proximity of a lawyer. Instead, go for relatively obscure and thoroughly dead poetsâ€”that guy T. S. L. E. Yott, or the other one that shakes spears or something should be good choices.
However, there are some particularly overedumacated and cantankerous p-police stalkers who will recognize the works of even these mediocre writers. To fool them, we will apply another ingenious literary technique called â€œChange a Couple of the Wordsâ€. To make this effective against even those unhappy punks who are so obsessed with harassing us that they google the words of our poems to see if they find a match, the best formula would Â be to change about every third word to something else.
This may sound like too much work, but it is actually quite simple. I shall demonstrate the process by creating a poem of my own right here. As my starting point, I chose an obscure poem of the genre â€œnursery rhymeâ€ from the remote islands to the northwest of Europe called the British Isles. It was written by Traditional, who lived a really long time ago, therefore the poem is in the public domain. Its title is â€œJack and Jillâ€. It goes thusly:
Â Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Now, despite this being a little known poem, if some p-police punk googles the words â€œJack and Jillâ€, unfortunately a whole bunch of websites will come up with this very same text! We clearly have work to do.
First, we will have to change the names. There are two challenges here: one is that "Jack" and "Jill" start with the same letter, and thatâ€™s kind of cool. Another is that "Jill" and "hill" sound kind of similar, which is called a rhyme. We are doing rhyming poetry. We want to preserve this sort of stuff that makes poetry good, so we will probably have to change the word â€œhillâ€ as well. The people in the poem, however, are going up, therefore we still need a word that means something like a hill. So what we do is go to www.thesaurus.reference.com, and search for the word â€œhillâ€. Out of the choices listed, I picked â€œknollâ€, because itâ€™s a word only smart people know.
Next, of course, we need a rhyme for â€œknollâ€. We go to www.rhymezone.com, and enter â€œknollâ€. Bingo: the name â€œNicoleâ€ rhymes with â€œknollâ€. Now we only need a boyâ€™s name that starts with an â€œnâ€, and we have our first line!
Â Nat and Nicole went up the knoll....
Â (Notice that we have improved the original poem by extending the alliteration to â€œknollâ€. This was unintended, and must be a reflection of our genius.)
Â Next, we change â€œfetchâ€, which no one says anyway, to â€œgetâ€. For extra security, we may change â€œpailâ€ into â€œbucketâ€. This changes the rhythm too, which is good, because it will confuse the p-police.
Â To get a bucket of water.
Â We must be very alert for what comes next. If we donâ€™t pay attention, we could end up forgetting that we changed â€œJackâ€ to â€œNatâ€ and write â€œJack fell downâ€ in the next line. The p-police would have a field day!Â Also â€œfell down and broke his crownâ€ would be too long a strech without making a change, so we will have to change change â€œbrokeâ€ to â€œbustedâ€:
Â Nat fell down and busted his crown....
Â Now we have come to our concluding line! Again, we will remember to write â€œNicoleâ€. However, â€œcame tumbling afterâ€ is an unusual phrase and thus it creates a problem for us. A quick internet search will verify that indeed it would be picked up on by the p-police. In any case, â€œwaterâ€ and â€œafterâ€ hardly rhyme. But this is something that happens in poetry sometimes: a well-crafted rhyme scheme is interrupted to call our attention to something important. So, since we are poets after all, we will do that too. Hereâ€™s our completed poem:
Nat and Nicole went up the knoll
To get a bucket of water.
Nat fell down and busted his crown,
And Nicole did too.
That's it! Weâ€™re ready to post our poem on our site and await the congratulatory comments on the depths of meaning and the many different layers that comprise our masterpiece. Rhyme scheme, images, metaphors--the works!
Thank you for reading. I hope I have shed some light on the mysteries of the creative process and provided some resources to help with your own poetic endeavors. HappyÂ cut-and-pasting!