Are there certain things that you will never do in a poem, either intentionally or unintentionally? Are there things that you won't write about? Techniques you refuse to use? Sometimes it's fun to look at your work and see what rules you follow, even if you never set them in the first place.
Here's my list. Post yours as a comment, or on your own blog, and link back.
My Unwritten Poetry Rules
1. I don't write poems about writing poems. Not that I have anything against a good ars poetica. I just dislike poems that try to tell me what poetry is, and what is poetry.
2. I don't write (directly) about my family. I don't think I ever will. I do create versions of people I'm mad at, including family members, and put them in poems. But I don't think I could ever write a poem directly about my childhood, or my kids.
3. I don't make many allusions. If I do, they're (in most cases) unintentional allusions to other contemporary poems. A rare exception is here.
4. I don't write long poems, or short poems. I always have to use a set line length, and even when I vary lengths it's part of a pattern or shape. Some day, I have to overcome these neurotic tendencies.
5. I can write in form, but I don't. I don't rhyme. Sometimes accidentally within lines. But not on purpose. I feel slightly embarrassed that I never write in form, for some reason. It's just not my thing.
What are your unwritten poetry rules, O Blogosphere?
PS--Justin, I know the allusion in the title isn't industrial, but I couldn't help myself.
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