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Writing Poetry Tips, Part Two: Write it, Own it

Updated on February 25, 2017
PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.

A Short Writing Lesson

Anonymous poets/authors/playwrights/journalists are cowards. Either the poet lacks confidence in their words and is seeking feedback without ridicule, or the poet is writing something offensive and/or controversial and is afraid of reprisals.

Either way, shame on you!

When I say anonymous, I am not referring to pseudonyms. I'm referring to poetry, or stories, that have no author identification whatsoever. In a free and safe society there is no excuse for this.

No One Is Going to Kill You

Before you start submitting your hate mail to me, let me clarify my point.

I understand. There have been times when poets or storytellers could have been (and were) killed or jailed for their ideas. That time time still exists in some places in the world. That time may someday exist again here in the good ole US of A. But, unless your life or liberty is immediate danger, own up to your writing.

In my poetry workshops, anonymous poems are not allowed. No one in a class room is going to behead you for your ideas. They may excoriate your writing, they may lambaste your style, they may hate your writing, but they won't hurt you. They won't threaten your liberty.

Sticks and stones.

If you expect me, or anyone else, to read your poem, you need to offer some kind of identification. I don't care if it's a pseudonym. If you don't respect your work enough to tell me who you are, I won't respect it enough to read it. I'm not going to mock your poetry if it's bad (okay, maybe I will... but not to your face!). Writing, especially poetry, takes practice. And courage. Not every poet, not every poem is good, but, be proud of your work. Robert Frost wrote bad poems, Billy Collin writes bad poems. Not many, but some. You can still see their names at the top of the work, under the title.

If you're not proud enough to put your name on it, why should I waste my time reading it? I'm not going to hate you if you spout a different opinion then mine, even if it's a mean or hateful one.If you're going to be controversial and be anonymous, you lose all credibility.

I won't hate you, but I might hate your work if you don't put our name on it.

Write it. Own it.

all rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price November 10th, 2011

Thanks for Reading.

Learn to Write Poetry

Need an edit or Critique?

That's what i do. Contact me for rates and services.


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    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 15 months ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks Nell! I love it when people agree with me!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 15 months ago from England

      Yep I totally agree with you! I would hate to write a poem or piece and not put my name to it! Seems totally pointless!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Jeremy, I still don't see the connection. Call me obtuse!

    • goego profile image

      goego 5 years ago from Loserland

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Jeremy, I'mn a little confused by your comment, but thanks for leaving it!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks Audrey. I'm pleased you enjoyed this and glad you stopped by again!

    • goego profile image

      goego 5 years ago from Loserland

      Hey about a week ago you shared Nun for fun, did you see the volcano comin'??? Strange, 33,000 evacuated, good timing my friend... What time ya' got

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Came back for another read! And this info is always valuable to see again!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      PearlDiver, I'd be happy to interview you. Any time.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      I write about my life and experiences... bear my soul and spare no horses... But my name is that of a Pro Skater and dude.... Pro Skaters don't do poetry, without their board brands anyhow! I agree with your point of view though Justin! Maybe when I can write better than I do.. you can interview me.. hahaha! Take Care my friend.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      fair enough, Blake. Fair enough

    • blake4d profile image

      Blake Ford Hall 6 years ago from Now Rising Out of Phoenix Arizona Earthlings

      I write but I own you. So take that. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Mary: whatever title you want to give (or not give yourself) is irrelevant to me. As long as you enjoy what you're doing, it doesn't matter to me. You're a great writer.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      I enjoy writing poems; some rhyme, some dont', some just say what I want to say. I don't profess to be a poet, I'll leave that distinction for those who are sure they are poets.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      debby, i think it's actually easier :-)

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Okay. Glad you clarified that. [I'm not used to viewing most recent at the top. Hahahahaha]

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Caroline, thank you. i like being agreed with.

      debby, I don't consider pseudonyms to be anonymous. They do offer some kind of identification. it's the people that publish without any kind of identification that annoy me.

      thanks for writing. Always nice to see you!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Hi Justin ~ what happened to the "pen name" and "pseudo nom?" Geisel was best known by the pseudonym 'Dr. Seuss' as an example. Sometimes people test the waters before they release to the world their identity. Some people may have a number of identities. If you are in a classroom setting, then that may be different. Always in appreciation for your thoughts. Blessings, Debby

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 6 years ago

      PDX I totally agree with you! Well written.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      audrey, I think that's the power of poetry. if you're not being honest, even to yourself, then your poetry will suffer.

      Carlon,I did your e mail. i have finals coming up so if I take awhile to get back to you, don't take it personal!

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 6 years ago from USA

      Whew, I'm glad I had my name on my request for you to read my poem. You're tough. LOL. Thanks too for your comment on it. Smile!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 6 years ago from California

      I always have a moment before I push "publish" where I wonder will it be good enough--will anyone besides me get it--will anyone read it or care---but I love writing and I always want to own what I have done--but all this may change if and when I get slammed hard enough--I guess I understand the "cowardly" thing--although it is hard to hide-

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      North wind, thank you. If you've been a coward, then I'd hate to see what you DON'T right. you seem pretty bold and brave to me. Thanks for reading and sharing and commenting!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Good point.On the internet a lot of people post anonymously afraid that they will somehow be judged. Some post anonymously because they know their opinion is not a favorite one. Others still post anonymously because they do not say the things they think out loud in real life and wish they could.

      Poetry is personal. Anyone who claims it isn't doesn't get it at all. A poem is a fingerprint of the author's soul.

      Had to edit to add that I sometimes am a bit of a coward PDX!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Jamie, that's all I ask. I'm easy!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 6 years ago from Reno NV

      I'll write and own it and hope to hear from you whether you love it OR hate it. Jamie

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      horseback, I very much appreciate your clever comment. it's much appreciated, though, this HUB has been read many times and I have many many friends, including you. Thanks as always for your thoughtful comment and for reading my HUB, even though,it seems, you disagree with it.

      Till, same here. I've never been shy about my work or what i have to say, good or bad

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      I guess the egotist in me doesn't understand not identifying your work! Good or bad, it's what you created. I think part of the problem in the world today is people don't own up to their behavior - writing or otherwise.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 6 years ago

      Idealist statements as such

      aren't really read all that much

      If you want to grow as you age

      drop such self absorbed rage

      Open yur mind and sheath your pen

      who knows might make a friend

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      sue, Thank u. I agree. I don't like every poem I read, but I like every poem i read that has a name on it more then the one's without the name. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Everybody has different taste and one person's poetry may not appeal to everybody but still we should be proud of our work and put our name on it.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      amy, it's important to be courageous, no matter what you have to say. Not only do I loathe the message of the KKK, but the fact that they hide their faces attests to their cowardice. Thank u so much for commenting and never be afraid to speak your mind or say what you feel!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I dunno. I don't actually teach poetry outside of these hubs, but I'd like too and I've written lots and critiqued lots. Poetry has a very broad definition, but rhyming doesn't make you a poet. From what I've read of yours on the Hub, you're a poet, at least in the sense that you've written poems :-)

      Thanks for reading!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      PDX, Your words remind me of my ex, who used to roll his eyes at my Letters to the Editor at the STL Post-Dispatch, saying "someday someone is going to assasinate you". My reply was "I'd rather die standing up for what I believe than never have a voice". Even if the words incite anger, I would never write them if I didn't have the courage to claim them. Great topic that makes for a great read.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I think i understand. Can't a person just be a rhymer of words and not be a poet..I,in no way feel that i'm a poet, but i love to rhyme. Since you are a teacher and know poetry, couldn't this be true? Did i make any sense at all? Cheers

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      @ Prasiteo: follow your heart, my friend. Thanks for the best wishes.

      @ Will- this was offering more practical advice and stemmed from a physical poetry workshop where poets wanted to remain anonymous. This is essentially what I told them. I figured it was good advice beyond HUB Pages since Hub Pages is only one form of publication.

      Thank you both for stopping by!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      How can we be anonymous on HubPages? What am I missing here?

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love your tips. But I don't have any courage to write poem. Thanks for share with us. I got new motivation after reading this hub. Success for you. Have a nice weekend!


    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Denise, absolutely, but I feel poetry is more personal for a lot of people and you're more likely to run into anonymity.

      Andrea, I agree. it shows a lack of confidence in yourself and disrespectful to the reader.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Andrea333 profile image

      Andrea333 6 years ago

      yep. agree with you on this. seriously. if a person isn't at the very LEAST going to stand up and defend their art, than what ARE they going to stand up for?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hmmm, could this apply to any writing, not just poetry?

      Interesting views. Thanks for sharing.


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