- Paperback: 210 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (April 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0609800981
- ISBN-13: 978-0609800980
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 98 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words 1st Pbk. Ed Edition
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Poemcrazy is the poetic analog to Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird or Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones, two classic works on how to forget that you "can't write" and just start the pen moving. Susan Wooldridge is a swimming instructor in the wide ocean of language, encouraging us to move ever farther from the shore, dive deep, and dance on the waves.
“This is a wonderful book—smart, wide-eyed, joyful, helpful, inspiring. You’re going to love it, and love writing poetry more for having read it.”—Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird
“Wooldridge wants each of us to connect with our inner poet. Savvy . . . optimistic, warm, unpretentious.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Written with exuberance and great heart, Poemcrazy is a collection of high-spirited meditations and strategies which provide both writing teachers and students a wealth of approaches to poetry.”—Wild Duck Review
“Poemcrazy is, in its simplest sense, a book of ideas and techniques for people who teach poetry. But Wooldridge’s enthusiasm takes it into another realm, in which poetry is a state of mind, a way of being spiritual and powerful, a glimpse at the secrets of the inner self.”—Arizona Republic
“Jubilant . . . More than an instruction book for tapping the creative and beginning to write, Poemcrazy is also about being alertly alive. It is a field guide to imagination.”—Chico News and Review
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I've been writing poetry for a while after a long stint of not writing any since I was a teenager.
I started out with my own technique to write poetry, basically incubating dreams that gave me fragments of awesome poetry and imaginative writing. The issue was that my dreams were too few and far between and I couldn't rely on sleeping all night to produce the amount of poems I needed to for writing a book of poetry.
After reading the review of this book I decided to buy it and give it a try. Well, from the first exercise to about 33% through this book I've written excellent poetry comparable to that which I wrote from my dreams. What's more, I didn't have to wait to fall asleep to do so and I think the poems are more relevant and express beautifully every day life and the hidden world and motivations within me.
Highly recommend this book for those wanting to write poetry or wanting to improve their poetry.
I like Wooldridge's writing style very much; I would describe it as gentle, casual and very clear.
I love how she consistently makes references to the outdoors, nature and the pastoral way of living throughout.
Within its pages you will become acquainted with such things as: wordpools, word tickets and the image angel.
The book is divided into 5 sections; each section averages right around 10 to 12 chapters. All the chapters are either short or very short. I found that very refreshing, like sips of cool water. Take a small drink, stop and think. Take another sip... At the end of most chapters there is a "Practice" which is nothing more than a simple non-threatening creative exercise or suggestion; they are genuinely good ideas in my opinion, practical and clear.
I think that the overall message from the author is that poetry is freedom when all the restrictions are removed and when you allow yourself to look for poems everywhere, because that's where they are, everywhere.
I recommend this book without any reservations.
In order to reach a "poem-drenched state of mind," Wooldridge advocates tapping into one's unconscious mind. To this end, Wooldridge recommends keeping a notebook by your bed to jot down details from your dreams before you forget them. I actually tried this, but my groggy morning-self kept forgetting to write about my dreams before they evaporated. What did work well for me, however was her suggestion of writing interesting words down on bits of paper, then picking handfuls of words out of a "wordpool" to sort into poems. Sometimes, the desire to be a good poet can be stifling. Wooldridge's free-spirited approach to poetry gave me license to write with a playful heart.
Wooldridge's teaching philosophy is summarized quite well in her introduction: "in a safe, free setting anyone of any age can gather words, play with language and write poems." (xii) I love her non-elitist attitude. It is all too common for published poets and poetry critics to complain about the excessive amount of "talentless" amateur poets. I believe that anyone interested in writing poems should be encouraged to do so . . . and be given a copy of "Poemcrazy".
Allow yourself to melt into these pages, and they'll work like magic. Through her insights, poetic prose, gentle encouragement, and fun exercises, Susan Wooldridge brings out the poet in all of us. Moreover, she offers a way of interacting with the world that instills a childlike joy. I caught myself grinning many times, while reading poemcrazy.
Thank you, Ms. Wooldridge, for enhancing my writer's journey. Your book is delightfully inspiring.