NOT EXACTLY SHAKESPEARE
Hello! This page will feature a series of articles that will help anyone
(young or old) to write different forms of poetry. Most people
(especially when they leave school) find that they are not encouraged to
be creative -- to express themselves in a variety of ways. That's
unfortunate because as we grow older, we are more likely to find our
voices (our own unique way of saying what's on our minds). Not
Exactly Shakespeare will help you focus on the voice within you,
draw it out of yourself and hone it so that your words can take their
rightful place in the narrative of your generation.
Let's be clear about one thing: writers are not a special breed who
see things differently or take a deeper look at the world around them.
A writer is a person who sees, feels and experiences the same things that everybody else does; the only difference is that a writer feels the need to record these things on paper. That's it. That's the big secret. So please don't waste your time thinking that you are not intellectual or profound enough to be a writer or a poet. If you have something to say, say it. It is as valid as anything on this website. In fact, not to share your insights is to leave the sum total of our knowledge impoverished.
So why not give it a try? In the coming weeks we will look at how to write different types of poetry. Anyone who uses the ideas included in Not Exactly Shakespeare is free to submit their compositions which I'll post on a page set up specifically to showcase the work of the budding poets among us.
One other thing: I myself am a bad poet ... I think. Let's just say I've had mixed reviews. One teacher thought my verse was so great that the sun shone out of my butt and another thought my words had issued from the antichrist himself. Whatever. It's all irrelevant, because it's all subjective and down to personal taste. You may encounter this too -- just don't let that shut you up. You have every right to express yourself and besides, poetry is fun. It is something that everyone can enjoy -- not just the Shakespeares and the Wordsworths, but every Tom, Dick and Harry (or Dawn, Vic, and Mary) -- see we’re rhyming already. Besides, if only experts were allowed to do stuff then only Olympic hopefuls would run the London Marathon (and there wouldn’t be one chicken suit among them); only Formula One Racers would drive (just try crossing the street then); and I would never cook a meal because I'm not Jamie Oliver (though, granted, my family might applaud this). So dare to try. Write stuff that is good, bad or ugly -- it doesn’t matter as long as you have fun with it. Who knows? Maybe one person reading this will go on to be a Poet Laureate -- which would be fantastic. But just as good: maybe a hundred will go on to be bad poets -- and loving every minute of it.
Click on an article below to download. More articles will be added regularly, so be sure to check back soon.
Website by Aimee Bell on behalf of Matador. Illustrations by Dave Hill.