(Brief moment of acknowledgment for the unintentional rhyme in the title.)
I was extremely interested in Richard Hugo's idea that assumptions "lie behind the work of all writers" in chapter 3. I agree with it wholeheartedly, and I think that as students make their way through high school and through the first years of college, the idea of assumptions become taboo and a huge no-no; we're taught that facts and scholarly evidence are the backbone to our papers. While that is true, I think it's important that we exercise our use of creativity and imagination. Not only does it help us grow in our writing, but it also just keeps us from getting bored and careless. I can't tell you how many essays I had to write that had set rules and outrageously tight boundaries, and I wasn't a huge fan of them. I did what I had to do to get by. Now that I'm in my upper-level English courses, I actually enjoy writing my papers, because they give me so much more wiggle room.
I also believe that the second kick-start at the end of the poetry section in our Four Genres text is an important guideline to remember: "Find a book full of interesting words." This just goes back to the idea that "all you need is beautiful language." You might be a master of the iambic pentameter, or a sonnet legend, but unless you have words that reach into the depths of your own soul - as well as your readers' - then you won't be going very far. A haiku is nothing without descriptive, beautiful language.
So my (not so great) question is: You can use beautiful language in a boring, scholarly paper, but can you get away with using small assumptions?
The book gives me all these guidelines to follow to make a good poem. The language of a poem is extremely similar to the language of prose, so what I end up doing is looking at what I want to write about as if it were prose, and then I sculpt it to fit the criteria of a poem from there. Poems are my kryptonite, so I take what I'm good at and turn it into what it needs to be. Whether or not it works it debatable.