Okay first, my thoughts on Chapter 3 and 4 in Triggering Town. When I was reading chapter 3, Assumptions, I felt like I was reading into Richard Hugo's mind and thought process. I really enjoyed this and exploring all of the scenarios he described and imagining the poems that could come after them.
In chapter 4, I thought it was very interesting that most students would write the best poem of the term through the demanding exercise Roethke gave out as homework. Item 7, the poem must be meaningless, was hard to wrap my mind around. Hugo writes, "With item 7, it says: say nothing and just make music and you'll find plenty to say. Item 7 is an impossibility of course, but when the student finds out it is, one hopes he will have increased faith in sound and the accidents of imagination." The accidents of imagination is amazing, putting together words that essentially mean nothing and then creating something beautiful.
My favorite section from Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief was "Images, symbols, and figurative language." I thought this section was the most important because it demonstrates even further how important good language is. The difference between "the sky is blue" and the "sky is as blue as a fresh crayola crayon". The models and methods to creating images, symbols, and figurative language were very helpful.
Question: Is simplicity really the ultimate sophistication when directed to poetry?
Learning how to write poetry from a book only goes so far. A book can't give you your own voice and your own rhythm. The books can give advice and direction. They can teach you terms and how to properly use them.
When writing your own poems you find your voice and explore your own imagination. A book can't give you that.
I don't exactly have a set process for getting poems. They usually just hit me at the most random times in random places. My last one hit me while I was sitting in a coffee shop studying Earth Science. It had nothing to do with what was around me. I guess my process is just being patient and waiting for the inspiration to come along. There is a struggle when the inspiration never comes, I'm usually just lost when this happens and my poems end up sounding like crap. Patience is key.