In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop
I write. I write at work - reports, newsletters and such; and I write for pleasure too. I love writing. But poetry intimidates me - not because I think it arty and inaccessible but because it is the ultimate of all of the written arts. It distils writing to the minimum number of words necessary to do the job and presents it in such a way as to get inside your head and do judo.
Consequently I have made only a few attempts to write a poem, and each time have come away from the experience depressed at my clumsy, awkward attempts to express some deep and meaningful experience.
Steve Kowit knows what that is like. He takes you, in a series of interesting and enjoyable exercises, through the process of distilling art from memory. Even the exercises of recovering memories are fascinating as he helps you remember descriptive details of things long forgotten, before helping you to commit them to paper.
Importantly though, the best bit about this book is that it gives you confidence to have a go, and at least have half of an idea whether what you are trying to create is poetry.
However, don't come to this book expecting someone to learn about Pantoums, Sonnets or Villanelles - lessons about strict poetic form are not what this book is about. This is a book to help you stretch your wings and take the first step of the edge of the nest, before deciding whether you want a go at fitting your fledgling poems into a poetic-metrical box.
I loved the book - and keep loving it each time I go back to it.
You're still not seeing my poems though!