Online Poetry Professor with Dr. Christopher Bursk

How To OPP

Last Will and Testament

Let's begin by imagining you have only the next three months left to write poetry; twelve weeks to say what you need to say in verse. Knowing this, you summon the strength to write two poems a week. You are determined to leave a chapbook of 33 pages before your poetry-writing time expires...

1. Start writing! What do you decide to write first? What second poem does that first poem prompt? What do you have left to say in your lifetime that you must say in verse? Imagine you have only this "semester" to say it.

2. Remember, we are imagining after these twelve weeks, you will NEVER be able to write poetry again (you will, you will - this is just make believe - JUST make believe (no such thing as JUST make believe).

3. In considering what to write, you might consider what in your life not only demands expression, but requires it in verse - in that play of the mind we call verse.

4. You may, of course, want to "submit" the poems you write during the course of our workshop and get response on them as we move through the months, so you can also be revising them.

Visit the OPP Gallery often to post your poems and pictures, provide feedback and comments on other OPP poems.


Online Poetry Professor is presented by The Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program (MCPL)