For Miz Quickly’s Impromptu Poetry Day 16: Line
Brief Line Lesson
A poetic line
should not be longer
than the easy breath
it takes to speak it.
Should never end unexpectedly,
lest the reader stumble, then have to mumble
trying to cover unsightly glitch
in simple rhythmics.
A cough or sneeze (pretended or not)
won’t mend these awkward phrases,
might be better to scrap the lot
go back and relearn the basics.
Elizabeth Crawford 4/16/13
Notes: The instruction for today’s prompt was to take an old poem, write it as a paragraph, then break it down into poetic lines. I had a poem immediately in mind, one of those kind that you know is wrong from the beginning, but just never take the time to fix. Followed the instructions only to find the poem was wrong because it didn’t fulfill my original intent or vision. So scrapped it, for a later day when that original vision has become clearer.
The first verse in this present poem jumped into my head when I made the decision to scrap the other poem. My daughter calls those awkward glitches, “hiccups.” I agree and wrote this as a reminder that when I force the process, I usually end up with several lines that sound like hiccups (like the ones in that original poem). The image is from the internet, Doris Day no less.