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Maybe it’s a Jewish thing – the result of having my foreskin snipped while my aunts and uncles noshed on pickled herring – but I always get a little bit wary when people start talking about tips.
Don’t get me wrong, some tips are worth repeating – show, don’t tell; get rid of adverbs; intellect can make you forget that a great arsenic lobster could fall suddenly on your head. But whenever I hear myself offering these to my students, they always sound like oversimplified rules.
October 9, 2014 | Ben Berman
I recently came across an old file of mine that I’d titled, Poems to Plunder and/or Fix.
I’d meant it as a space to keep those failed drafts that I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to – something I still believe in doing – but the word, fix, struck me as strange – brought up memories of seeing my dog get fixed when I was a child. And while no one wants to write the kind of poem that humps a stranger’s legs, I’m not sure that neutering a work-in-progess is the solution either.