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The Pain of Titles

Updated on April 4, 2015
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.


My # 4 for National Poetry Month

words breathe in and out

between my ribs

as they foam and beach

in a dance of brine and birth

the contractions of line

and flow of feet

unfettered by

voices better left

in boxes

their ribbons tied in multiple knots

joy in morning

a moment tended to

without deference

or diffidence

but titles

give me fits

unerring pencil


hoping inspiration will wend

its way

but like Icarus,

the sun burns

and water drowns.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015


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    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      2 years ago from California

      Thank you RQ!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Provoking thoughts, and an air for penchant. Nicely done. My title comes to me first, then I write around it.

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      3 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Oh, my goodness, I have the same problem even with my simple tuts. It is always so difficult to find out a good title. In most cases I am ready with the whole tut but the title doesn't want to come to me :)

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 

      3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      A lovely poem Audrey; surprised that you didn't make poet of the year on here, though I guess you don't need the recognition as your captivations speak for themselves.

      I usually choose titles at the end of the write in order to try to sum up the spirit of the message if there is one; very occasionally, they can be tricky to invent.

      A pleasure to read.

      Best Wishes;


    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I have a hard time choosing titles also. I voted up.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Audrey, your poetic expressions are exceptional. You express simple truth (titles are a common struggle among writers) in language loftier than most of us can. Enjoyable!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      3 years ago from California

      Hi Rolly! Thank you for your words of wisdom! Sometimes they do come, but usually not easily for me--I think some writers are just gifted that way!!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Audrey, you have a gift! I am getting into poetry and am growing and experimenting. I so enjoy your use of words - in a dance of brine and birth- exquisite!

    • suziecat7 profile image


      3 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Wow - that's really beautiful. Titles are so important too - you express the angst well.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The title is the most difficult aspect for me when I write a story or poetry. You are doing GREAT....

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      3 years ago from Taos, NM

      "Words ... foam and beach ..." beautiful imagery, Audrey. Titles are hard to come by sometimes and you express that so well here.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago

      Titles are tricky, but in the world of SEOs, if you start it with "How do you...?" you are pretty safe. I feel your pain. Now writing about 20 headlines on deadline for a newspaper was really tricky. You have to stay on subject and keep it within the specifications of so many lines, so many letters per line, and specific point size. Voted up

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      wonderful poetry Audrey Happy Passover and keep this month coming my friend :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Easter, Audrey, and thank you for all the beauty you bring into this world through your words.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      3 years ago from Reno NV

      Audrey, what beautiful imagery. So creative and beautifully executed. To find inspiration from an irritation as a "Title" is incredible. I hope the next comes from something other than the title, simply for your own sanity. Happy Easter! Jamie

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      I find that using a generic URL relating as much to the subject matter as possible, is best since that can't be changed very easily. Wrylilt says the URL can be changed with a lot of trouble, but I'm for avoiding trouble, so now that I've been writing for a while I try to go with generic on the URLs. The reason for that is that I can then change the title more easily if the one I start out with isn't working.

      Title is the most important thing for drawing the attention of Googlers. The next most important thing is summary, which I know many hubbers choose to ignore to their own peril.

      I have changed the titles on several of my articles more than once. I have even been known to change the content rather than delete a poor performing hub. When you delete a hub you lose credit for all the views it has received. Currently I have one article that has received over 15,000 views, but it has no advertising on it. No one is benefiting from that hub and I would like to move it to another site where webmasters aren't so puckered at both ends about certain subjects. If I do, I will lose those 15,000 + pageviews from my total pageviews.

      So what I may do one of these days is change the title AND the content, writing about something related to the original subject, but sufficiently different that I can move the content that is there now where it will be better appreciated by site managers -- also leaving out those parts stork supporters find offensive.

      I believe Wrylilt has done these same things to some of her hubs too. I keep referencing Wrylilt because she is one of the more successful hubbers here monitarily speaking.

      To choose your title, (the Learning Center backs me on this), think about what words YOU would put in the search engine box if you were looking for information like you are including in your article. Put those words in your title. If those are the words that come to your mind to search for that information, likely those words come to other people's mind's as well.

      Catchy Phrases and cutesy titles look great and tantalize when you're standing in line at the grocery store, but no one is doing that with their computer. No one is trying to think up a cutesy title when they're looking for information on how to do something, etc.

      Use your shrewd titles, the ones that seem so cool, in your capsule headings. Google uses capsule headings to determine position on their pages, too, so be careful. You may even prefer to use a plain ordinary to the point capsule heading and put your snappy title in the first sentence of the capsule or make it part of your first stanza of your peom.

      There are no slick covers to draw attention in a Google search. If your title has the words people put in the search box in it, your article -- or poem or story -- is more likely to come up on the first page or two of search, and more likely to at least get opened for a few seconds or longer.

      Your summary should be enticing if possible without telling the whole story. Make your possible reader want to know the rest of the story, and do this even with poems and fiction stories. Why not?

      Don't ever be afraid to change your title if the one you have isn't working. Nothing is set in stone here. No need to agonize over your title even before you start writing. If when you're finished writing your poem, story, or article, you don't like the title you have, change it, yes, even before you publish it.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      3 years ago from UK

      Unerring pencil halts- Audrey I love the way your words flow and swirl in this poem. Brilliant!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA


      Well, I must say, for the pain titles cause you, it sure made you produce an interesting and excellent poem here!


    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Audrey... love the way you have written this... I think all writers struggle with titles.

      Something that has worked for me in novel writing is I create my character , around him or her comes subject matter, other characters, locations etc. As the story begins to flow the title seems to find itself.

      Just write as you do and the title will create itself... maybe a little unethical but then keep in mind you are the writer...

      Hugs from Canada


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