News print poems are very restrictive. My "regular" poems are sometimes very emotional and somtimes quite humorous. I use a lot of forms-- rhyming and free verse. When I rhyme I try for unusually rhyme schemes--instead of ABAB or AABB, I'll have 7-line stanzas and make the third and seventh line rhyme or I'll change the rhyme scheme from stanza to stanza. I like to experiment with differnt rhyme schemes. I also use internal rhyme and near rhyme.
Here is a poem from my book, The Poetry Connection.
Yesterday, I cheated, but just a little.It is so frustrating when
I’ve done the whole poem, and I just can’t make the last line make sense.So I added the word “history”.Call it poetic license.
Actually, athough the word "history" was not in the news article, the letters in the word history, in their exact order did follow the last word that I selected from the article. That's why I say I only cheated a little.
After over 50 poems, I think I can be
permitted a small departure from the rules. They are my rules, aterall, so I can change them when I must.
Yesterday, I posted the 50th poem to http:newsprintpoetry2012.blogspot.com. I've actually written more than 50; somedays I do two or three even though I ony post one. I've been sending some of the ones that I do not use on the blog to The Found Poetry Review, an online magazine. Maybe one of my poems will be selected for the next issue.
Headline writers for the Orlando Sentinel, like headline writers for a lot of newspapers, like to use puns. That's fun for me because I get to title my poem with a pun. For instance, "Talking Turkey" on February 3, was a story, and then a poem, about eating turkey legs at the theme parks.
But sometimes, I get an unintentional pun. For instance, the poem entitled "Too Early" on February 14, was taken from a newspaper story reporting that it was too early to know exactly how Whitney Houston had died because toxicology reports were still incomplete. However, I used the words to mean that she had died too early, that is, too young.
My poem today, "Tortoises Slow SunRail", is a little different in style from what i have been doing. It's more narrative, written in full sentences. Using a narrative style leaves me open to the question, "What makes that a poem?" There's alliteration, assonance, consonnace, imagery, and a certain rhythm to the phrasing, but mailnly it's a poem because I said it's a poem.
If it doesn't rhyme, if it doesn't have structured meter (such as Iambic pentameter), if it doesn't use imagery (like metaphor and simile), is it a poem? Yes, it can still be a poem. If you say it's a poem, if you think it's a poem, if it feels like a poem, it's a poem.
When I'm doing a news print poem, I'm very limited because I can only use the words in the newspaper article and I can't re-order the words or add words. Despite those restrictions, I can make use of some poetic techniques--rhythm, sound, image, emotion, rhyme, repetition, line breaks, etc.
For instance, rhymes: It may not be a structured ABAB rhyme scheme, but I often get some internal rhymes and end-line rhymes going. It's fun when that happens.
Additionally, the poems create a mood, tell a story, or make a point.
Free verse may seem easy because there are no rules, but it is also difficult because there are no rules. "Roses are red, violets are blue" is easily recognizable as a poem, but when I write a poem without traditional structure it seems to me that I am convincing the reader that this is a poem be sheer force of will.