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Group Info Group Founded 6 Years ago Statistics 222 Members
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(come on guys, you and I both need to get this done.)

And you thought #HammeredPoetry was dead...

Story Telling and the Power of Three

I know I've said it before, but I think there should be more poems that tell stories out there. I'm thinking lots of decent concrete imagery, a plot to invest in, a couple of characters, and some kind of resolution. The key to telling a story in poem form is sparsity. If you thought you had to pick your words carefully in prose, you have to be minutely precise on a poem. Each one counts. And you still need to think about the sonic elements: metre, alliteration, assonance....

I want poems worthy of Medieval bards and Anglo-Saxon scops. I want adventure and heroism,  maybe a run-in with the gods, or a doomed romance, or a trip to the underworld. Something epic, in the classical sense of the word.

I also want to see the Power of Three.

Three, as they quite rightly say, is the magic number. Things in stories always come in threes, and the stakes get raised each time. Think about Beowulf: first he defeats Grendel, who is killing off his host tribe; then he dives into a cave to destroy the demon's mother; and finally he battles a mighty dragon. Three tests, three victories.Oops, eek, ARGH. 

So your challenge is this:
  • Write a poem that tells a story. Expect it to be long-ish.
  • The story should have elements of fairy tales or the epic.
  • It should use the power of three: whether its 3 challenges, 3 magical items, 3 gifts, 3 strangers on the road...
Bonus options:
  • Write it as a medieval ballad using an xAxA rhyme scheme. That means the second and fourth line rhyme, but the first and third don't have to. It should also have a regular metre, although you can afford to be loose with it at times, for the sake of the story.
  • Write it as a prose story. Look, I'm getting prosier by the day and I don't want to cut prose off. If you'd rather just write a story, go ahead. But make the writing spare, have every word punch its weight.

A note on the group

When I started #HammeredPoetry I was a barely-employed 20 year old recent graduate. Five years have passed (holy crap, five?) and I am an over-employed teacher with only a scraping of free time. Writing is still what I want to spend my time doing, but my time is scarce and precious.

So I will be changing the group to make it lower-maintenance for myself. No strict dates for new prompts, although roughly-a-month per prompt seems about right. I might not participate myself. I will try, but I might have 90 books to mark (oh wait, I already do....). I might not read every entry. Again I will try, because I appreciate the effort people put in to these prompts. And if you put the effort in, you're in the gallery. No quality-control. Effort is the point, not judgement.

Deadline for the journal feature: probably July sometime.

Get hammering guys.

More Journal Entries

Recent Journal Entries

Gallery Folders

7 Reality Television
2 Escape Voyages
1 Being Someone Else

Want to get Hammered?

:bulletgreen: Looking for the rules? I thought so.

I’m sick of bad poetry

I’m bored of dull poems about the seasons or break-ups or feeling alone. I’m tired or badly-written sonnets and of modern writers who get their “thee”s and “thou”s mixed up.

Some poetry is easy to understand and some poetry sets out to challenge you. But every good poem has that moment – on the first reading or the fifth – when you get it. And you come out feeling changed.

Good poetry doesn’t happen by itself

Poets do not pour profundity from their souls into their computer keyboards.

Poetry is a craft and a poet has many tools at her disposal. Before she can call herself a master she must practise until she can handle any tool, any technique; can bend and forge together words until they do exactly what she wants.

So I’m setting prompts

They are not simple, dull prompts like “write about winter” or “use the sense of smell” or “start with the phrase I like the moon”. These prompts aren’t challenging or inspiring and what’s the result? Bad poetry.

I’m setting complicated, difficult, demanding prompts. Prompts that make you stress and strain and twist your brain into Celtic knots to get right. Prompts for people who genuinely want to be better writers.

I do not expect you to write a masterpiece for every prompt, and neither should you. I do expect you to want to write a masterpiece. I expect you to invite critique, and if you get it, to act on it. I expect you to go out and help your fellow recruits in the battle for better poetry to improve too.

Feel intimidated? That’s the point. Sign up!

- CrumpetsHarvey :heart:

Prompts so far

:bulletgreen: Nov 2010, #1 Being Someone Else: prompt l responses
:bulletgreen: Dec 2010, #2 Escape Voyages: prompt l responses
:bulletgreen: Jan 2011, #3 Subject and Object: prompt l responses
:bulletgreen: Feb 2011, #4 Etymoetry: prompt l responses
:bulletpurple: Dec 2011, #5 End Rhyme to End All Rhyme: prompt | entries | results
:bulletgreen: Jan 2012, #6 60 Extraordinary Words: prompt | responses

Group Info

Hammered Poetry: where poets are forged

Looking for the rules? Here they are.

Sick of poems about the seasons? Sick of clichéd love poems? Sick of prompts like "write about ashes" or competitions rewarding "the best poem about winter"?

Yeah, me too.

It's easy to fall into the trap of writing what we're good at. If we keep on like this we won't challenge ourselves as writers and our poetry will become stagnant. My poetry is stagnant. I read a lot of poets, and they write good poems, and then they write them again, and then they write them again, etc.

That's why Hammered exists. To set detailed writing prompts which will both inspire you and challenge you to step outside your comfort zone, risk doing the difficult thing, and actually improve as an artist.

After all; isn't that why we're all here?
Founded 6 Years ago
Oct 29, 2010


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Add a Comment:
HollywoodRaptor Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Are you dudes still alive? I contacted you about joining almost a week ago and recived no answer so far.
foolish-sage Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015
I'm glad this group is back!
CrumpetsHarvey Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2015   Writer
:D :D :D
icandotoo Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Is this group active? I signed up but noticed there hasn't been anything posted for a few years
CrumpetsHarvey Featured By Owner May 10, 2015   Writer
Ok, it's back :)
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014   General Artist
If this group does become active; I'd love to join! :la:
CrumpetsHarvey Featured By Owner May 10, 2015   Writer
Please! I just have to refigure-out how to administrate groups on this new and shiny dA-machine.
DaCoda-Buchan Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
I'm looking to get involved again. Is this group current and active?
CrumpetsHarvey Featured By Owner May 10, 2015   Writer
raspil Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014   Writer
COME BACK, YOU ARE NEEDED.  dust it off.
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