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Welcome! I’m participating in the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge where I’ll share 26 posts on the theme “The Poet’s Alphabet: 26 Secrets for Crafting Beautiful Poetry”. In each post, I’ll offer bite-sized tips and tricks for crafting and perfectly editing poetry. Today’s tip is:

Question Everything – Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge Conventions

The beauty of poetry lies in its ability to transcend boundaries and push against conventions. While there are certainly rules and traditions within the world of poetry, it’s important to remember that they are not set in stone. By questioning these conventions and exploring new forms, styles, and techniques, you can create work that is uniquely your own.

One of the most powerful tools for questioning conventions is experimentation. Try writing in a different form, style, or genre than you’re used to. Take risks with your language and structure; don’t be afraid to challenge traditional ideas or philosophies. For example, you could experiment with writing a sonnet that doesn’t follow the traditional rhyme scheme, or use free verse to explore a topic typically associated with more structured forms.

Another way to challenge conventions is to explore new and unexpected themes. Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult or taboo subjects, or to approach familiar topics from a fresh perspective. By exploring new ideas and experiences, you can create work that is both innovative and meaningful.

Rumi’s poem “The Guest House” is a beautiful example of how questioning conventions and experimenting with new forms and styles can lead to fresh and exciting poetry. The poem, which is a metaphor for the human experience, compares the mind to a guest house and suggests that we should welcome all emotions and experiences, even those that we may initially perceive as negative.

The Guest House

Jalaluddin Rumi (Translated by Coleman Barks)

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

In addition to experimenting with form and language, Rumi’s use of plain and accessible language is also notable. Rather than relying on complex or ornate language, Rumi uses simple language that is easy for readers to understand. This approach was unconventional in his time, as many poets of his era favoured more complex language to convey their ideas.

Ultimately, questioning conventions is about staying true to your own unique voice and vision as a writer. By pushing against boundaries and exploring new possibilities, you can create work that is fresh, exciting, and truly your own.

Hope you found this tip useful.

See you with another tip, tomorrow.

This post is a part of the #BlogchatterA2Z 2023 challenge.

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