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What Is Creative Writing in Poetry?

What is Creative 
Writing in Poetry

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The Basics: "Creative Writing"

Over the course of our education, we're inculcated to believe that all writing must be in a rhetorically neutral, expository style that helps to clarify our meaning. This is why expository prose (a.k.a., exposition) is called “expository”: it seeks to expose our meaning through a use of direct statements relying on straightforward vocabulary and logical syntax.

Belles lettres, the original French term used to classify a written work as “creative writing,” translates literally into “beautiful letters” and included anything that was composed primarily for its artistic merit. The importance of this to creative writers should be self-evident: your primary responsibility is to the use of language to create something of beauty, rather than to communicate facts and expose meaning directly. A beautiful style of language, including the nuanced—often metaphorical—use of words, is essential to becoming a creative writer.

Beauty or Truth?

Don't take this to mean that your poetry should be written only about beautiful things, or that only beautiful words can be used, which frequently leads to sentimentality and cliche. Furthermore, there is room for interpretation about what “beautiful language” in creative writing actually is. The Romantic period in literature is renowned for a florid style, connecting the lavish detail of the natural world to the complex emotions of the author's internal world. It's one style of poetry—albeit a highly influential one. However, for some peculiar reason, the Romantic sensibility is the predominant cliche many people think of when they try to describe what poetry ought to be. Newsflash: we've moved on from the Romantic Period. Realism and Modernism have since paved the way for a less florid kind of poem that's permitted to be more confessional, more vernacular in tone, and dependent on the image.

Some, however, overreact and become too spartan. In the twentieth century, some authors have championed a very matter-of-fact narrative style, which unskilled writers sometimes misinterpret to mean “write the same way you talk.” This is the very essence of prosaic language use, and it was never the intention for plainspoken poets like Charles Bukowski and Williams Carlos Williams. In their minimalism, these poets developed a beautiful literary style through the use of active verbs and subtle imagery. Unfortunately, some budding young poets—okay, let's be honest: mostly young, heterosexual male poets—turn to rugged minimalism as a way to "butch up" a genre of writing that the culture misrepresents as girly or gay, and so lose out on all the advantages of elegant and subtly beautiful language.

To put it bluntly, “understated” does not have to mean “prosaic” any more than “creative” has to mean “flowery.” The creativity of “creative writing” should be found in all the parts of speech we use as writers, and where there are deficiencies in a writer's vocabulary, those weaknesses become evident in the writing style, itself.

However, it is similarly difficult to disabuse beginning writers of the idea that "truth" in our writing is about accuracy, and that "accuracy" is achieved by remaining faithful to facts. even in the genre of poetry, writers will often embroil themselves in the nitty-gritty of what objectively happens, as though the truth of a poem lies solely in the accuracy of its facts. However, the point of writing a poem is to convey a subjective truth: "Life seen through a temperament," as Emile Zola once said about art. As a result, their writing once again sounds more like a summary or a synopsis, rather than a work of literature, because the language needed to report the facts objectively is the same prosaic, dull, and safe language students use to "sound" objective in their expository writing.

There's nothing better you can do to reprogram yourself than to read contemporary, living, literary poets. In so doing, you'll read and hear the language of poetry used subjectively, see how writers create imagery and experience, and come to understand how truth depends more on a point of view than on a collection of factual details. Remember, readers most want to relate to the subjective "truth" of your poetry, not the objective accuracy of it.

Poetical Language

Newbies to Creative Writing tend to fall into two camps: those who love expressive poetry and those who love to write genre fiction. The camps are not equally opposing forces, however. While inveterate fiction writers have outbursts in class testifying to how much they "hate" writing poetry, rarely does the opposite ever occur. Poets tend to make the transition more easily, because they bring with them the power of poetical language to the act of writing prose. Prose writers, on the other hand, frequently detest the alleged falseness of expressing the kind of sentimentality poets do (not realizing just how falsely they, themselves, cling to simulacrum in storytelling).

It's a damaging and self-stymying view of poetry, to be sure, but it's not wholly unfounded, because many beginning poets misinterpret "poetical language" to mean the language of "pure" emotion (whatever that is). The poetical use of language is hard to pin down, and it's as diverse as the poets, themselves. However, this much is true: poems can be killed by overfeeding, or they can die from starvation.

Consider the following examples. All three poems are written on the subject of Alzheimer's, but only the poem by contemporary poet C.K. Williams seems to treat the subject matter with any credibility. Why? First, consider that millions of people suffer from this tragic disease. (Perhaps you even know someone who suffers from it.) What's required to treat the delicate subject matter with dignity? If you were asked to write a poem for one or two people with Alzheimer's or dementia that you would later read to them, how would you show them your respect? How would you discuss them in your poem to do justice to their particular experiences with the disease, while still making a general statement about Alzheimer's? In other words, how would you make them a representation of the more general tragedy of Alzheimer's without losing what's specific to them as individuals. What sort of general statement could you make about the disease that doesn't just exploit the subject matter (or the people about whom you're writing)? What in the Williams poem speaks to you and makes you relate to it, and why doesn't that happen with the other two? Why doesn't generalizing the experience of Alzheimer's, or writing about it in a more traditionally "poetical" way, have a more powerful effect? Consider the different ways that Williams uses imagery and concrete detail to connote the emotionally complex nature of the disease.

OVERFED

STARVED

Message For My Grandson

At this genesis of a new life,
I write these solemn words,
upon the pages of my heart.
lest I someday not recall
all your purity and promise
or my own memories of pain,
that impulsive awakening of the past
that cruelly time forgets.
As my brain corrodes, like a cancer,
spreading its hopeless loss
until tears, like torrents of water,
come flooding back into the ocean,
I will remember my love for you
from moment to moment.

Forgetting To Remember

My elderly face looks haggard
As I force my feeble legs to walk on,
Barely able to maintain sufficient strength,
Body aching, muscles pushing
One more yard, then two more feet.
As soon as I open the door
As I start to wonder
When this day began. I begin to realize
The day is already ending.
As my brain deteriorates a little more
each day, still making the motions
That move me to and fro,
I watch my life go by and gradually
I accept I will forget who you are.

This poem's point of view is someone suffering memory loss. The poet seems sincere enough in choosing to write about this. However, which preoccupies your attention more, the real difficulty of memory loss or the poem's bloated, overfed diction? Which words are grandiose or cliched, and why? Do you relate to the poem or this language? What is your opinion of the line, "As my brain corrodes, like a cancer"? As with "Message for My Grandson," this poem is in first person point of view (i.e., it's written from the perspective of an "I") and has a serious motivation. Do you believe it is actually written by an elderly person suffering from dementia? Or by a loved one? Why would that be important to know? In what ways does the diction seem starved of poetical style? What effect does this leave on the poem as a whole?

SATED

Alzheimer's: The Wife
by C.K. Williams

She answers the bothersome telephone, takes the message, forgets the message, forgets who called. 
One of their daughters, her husband guesses: the one with the dogs, the babies, the boy Jed?
Yes, perhaps, but how tell which, how tell anything when all the name tags have been lost or switched,
when all the lonely flowers of sense and memory bloom and die now in adjacent bites of time?
Sometimes her own face will suddenly appear with terrifying inappropriateness before her in a mirror.
She knows that if she's patient, its gaze will break, demurely, decorously, like a well-taught child's,
it will turn from her as though it were embarrassed by the secrets of this awful hide-and-seek.
If she forgets, though, and glances back again, it will still be in there, furtively watching, crying.

What's different about the language of C.K. Williams's poems? How about its subject matter, point of view, and motivation? Does it feel like C. K. Williams actually knows someone suffering from Alzheimer's? Which details tell you this, and why?
 
 

Poem #1, "Message To My Grandson," is an example of an overfed poem. By "overfeeding," I'm referring to a poet's tendency to use a lot of rich abstractions. The resulting poems are sentimental and corpulent with lots of non-count nouns like anger, agony, bitterness, vile cruelty, pain, jubilation, evil, darkness, love, loneliness, exaltation, suffering, ecstasy, magnificence, and--everyone's familiar fave--heart. In some earlier literature class, these were the words that turned up in students' explication of works by famous poets from those centuries when everyone seemed to be speaking a different kind of English. Because of this, beginners assume such words must somehow be on the approved list for really deep and expressive poetry. And, in composing a little missive from the heart, it can be cathartic to name the emotions getting you down. However, even at the height of the Romantic period--that era of poetry believed to be the most emotive— this was hardly the case. It is true that poets in the Western tradition have, for centuries, "written from their hearts" and tried to capture those emotional and psychological truths that are the connective threads of humanity. However, using the language of poetry shouldn't mean explicitly identifying those abstract themes by name. Poem #2, "Forgetting to Remember," is an example of a starved poem. By "starving" a poem, I mean the willful refusal to use emotion at all, as though "sentiment" and "sentimentality" were one in the same. This is the kind of poem that embarrassed prose writers frequently draft the first time around, in an attempt to make their poem read more like their matter-of-fact stories. The results are lines of lackluster simple sentences where the nearest thing to a concrete detail is the use of a sensory word like "smell" or "taste," or a verb of observation such as "watched" or "listened." In the end, such poems die on the vine, withered by prosaic writing style, parched by the lack of imagery and concrete detail, and choked by their own triteness.

As with the prose genres, the answer is to open your mind and educate yourself about what contemporary poetry actually is, what poets today are writing about, and how the image and the line prefigure in the success of a poem. If you're only reading John Keats, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Edgar A. Guest—just because you recognize their verse from that one anthology on your aunt's bookshelf, A Treasury of Great Love Poems—you're doing yourself a disservice. If you don't know where to start, begin with our current Poet Laureate (which, as of the posting of this article, is Juan Felipe Herrera). Find out who they're reading, and who credits them as an influence. Read those poets as well, and immerse yourself in the contemporary milieu of poetry. You'll learn fast that satisfying, contemporary poetry is not the rhyming game that most people believe it to be, and that it has great power to move readers with its ideas, its specificity of language, and its lyricism.

Lyrics, Lyricism, and Rhyme

"Lyricism?!" you say, "Isn't that about song lyrics?" Well, no, not exactly, but they're obviously related, so let's clear the air about this. In every Creative Writing class or first semester of Poetry writing, a small percentage of students have enrolled to improve their songwriting skills. Among these, rap lyrics are the favorite, because these are currently in style, but in past decades rock and folk were the favorites. Lester Bangs, often extolled as one of the greatest rock critics who ever lived, took creative writing classes at Grossmont College during the late 1960s, and even he overlapped poetry with song lyrics; in fact, later in his life, Bangs went on to write songs influenced by his formative experiences in his high school and college writing classes. However, is writing poetry actually the same as writing song lyrics? Can students "improve their songwriting" by taking a poetry class? 

The short answer is, no, not really. True, there are songwriters whose lyrics read like great poetry, and there are poets whose verse reads like great song. Furthermore, slam and hip-hop word artists use many of same demonstrative techniques used by hip-hop and rap performers. Songwriting and poetry writing, however, take divergent paths when performance becomes a factor. In other words, writing for performance requires a different set of priorities than writing for the page. I'm not talking about poetry readings, either, which adapt poems to a performative reading style. Rather, in songwriting, composing a good melody and/or laying down a good beat are singularly important to the success of the performance of the lyrics, and in most cases the songwriting is but one part of a collaboration among musicians, sound engineers, etc., whose performance is also a factor. To the contemporary poet, however, priorities are given to how the arrangement of words reads on the page, and the stimuli experienced while reading is produced by the mind, not by the body language of a performer or the music coming out of the musicians' instruments, or even the vibrations created by the beat of the subwoofer. The music and the voice exist inside the poem, itself. For that reason, alone, the process of writing (and teaching) poetry is different from the process of writing lyrics.

Unfortunately, because poets and songwriters are emotionally invested in their process and product, they sometimes dogmatically form opposing camps: poets might become elitist about writing poems and look down upon songwriters, and songwriters understandably might become defensive because they are very moved by certain songs or artists. So, let's be perfectly clear on the matter. Word artists, songwriters, and performers undeniably can influence how we write contemporary poetry, and, conversely, contemporary poets can have a strong influence on songwriters. However, it's unfair to judge songwriting and rap performance by the same criteria with which we judge a good contemporary poem on page, and vice versa. Nor is there room for snobbery. We don't hold other genres to such standards. For example, there's an art to telling a good story when you're sitting round a campfire or slouched upon a bar stool, but what "good" means in this case has more to do with the use of the storyteller's voice, body language and facial expressions, all of which are performance techniques to maintain interest, create suspense, and evoke reaction. In translating that same story to the page, a writer would need to rely on the written word and the narrative craft, invoking the powers of description, narrative point of view, and other techniques. A different set of rules applies for the written work than for the performance. The same is true of poetry. Different rules don't mean that one is better than the other. They're just different concerns. If you want to be considered "good" among songwriters or performance poets, be a studious audience member and study their craft. If you want to be a good poet, acknowledge these external sources for the influence they are, but be a studious reader of contemporary poetry and study what makes a poem work on the page.

And, one of those concerns when you are writing poetry is lyricism. I don't encourage rhyming when you're trying to learn the basics of poetry writing. You might think rhyme is basic to poetry. Songwriting, after all, has groomed us over the years to expect rhyme, so it's the one thing everyone should know how to use to guarantee that a work of writing is actually a poem. Rhyme and meter make writing lyrical and musical, and music and lyricism are ultimately important to writing poetry. Fair enough, but these are also good reasons not to use rhyme: in order to sensitize themselves to a poem's internal music (its rhythms, cadence, lyricism), developing poets must be forced to work without those formal conventions of poetry writing learned over the years from pop songwriters, classical verse, and nursery rhymes. This is certainly no diss to traditional poetry writing. There are plenty of contemporary poems beautifully written in rhyme, meter, and form; no one is saying that rhyme is obsolete. However, just as being overly dependent on training wheels prevents one from learning to ride a bicycle, being dependent on rhyme can stall the process of learning to write poetry. For this reason, you are asked to be open-minded and trusting of your poetry instructors if they deny you the pleasure of rhyme, for, in drawing more attention to lyricism and music inside the language and imagery of a poem, they are attempting to cultivate the poet within you, rather than the songwriter inside—again, with no disrespect to the role played by songwriters.

A Note About Self-Aggrandizement

Perhaps the hardest lesson for young creative writers to learn has to do with their own ego. Truthfully, it's a lesson that seasoned writers don't always master, either. What, for instance, should your reaction be to someone who rises to an open mic and bloviates the following?

I am a warrior of words. My pencil,
a weapon. I unsheathe your truths
upon this page, and stand up when you
are down. I, the dreamer, dream for you these dreams.
 

This sort of poem seems ideal for Scotch-taping to the fridge alongside other wonder-works in crayon and sparkle. We all write creatively as an extension of our egos; this seems inevitable. Regardless of how altruistic, therapeutic, cathartic or well-meaning the act of writing is, ultimately it puts us in a spotlight of our own making and control. There's nothing wrong with that. All art, even art for art's sake, starts by projecting a single voice. What happens, though, when that single voice likes the sound of itself a little too much? We've all had our Saturday afternoon held hostage by that one kid in the neighborhood who, one day, learned to use his forefinger and thumb to wolf whistle, and then kept doing it for the next five hours until threatening calls were made to his parents. Or, that person who droned on at a party about all the cool places she's traveled, never hearing anyone else's stories about where they've been. Or, that date who ruined the evening by talking only about himself and his interesting life. Or the person who always takes over the conversation by starting with, "You think you've got it bad!" Why do these people bug us? Because they are consummate self-aggrandizers."

Self-aggrandizement" is the act of making yourself seem "more" than others are: more talented; more interesting; more important; sadder; smarter; luckier; healthier; sicker; wittier; darker. In creative writing, when the author's voice is identified with self-absorbed behavior, unintended insensitivity, or both, it is self-aggrandizing. Such behavior ranges from being superficially precious to deeply intellectual; from moral entitlement to martyr-like superiority; from acting clever and cocky to self-indulged and tortured. That isn't to say you shouldn't feel these things as motives for your writing, but when you begin to call attention to your own motives, and you make it sound like you, alone, are privileged to these motives, it rubs readers the wrong way. It changes an act of ego into an egotistical act.

Self-aggrandized writing is fueled by a desire to be impressive, regardless of how that may be defined by the writer, but it always ends up feeling intrusive. Readers welcome the vulnerability, self-reproach, and self-doubt that a writer injects into his poems, stories, and characters, but when writers become unnecessarily self-indulgent, the work seems less authentic. Self-aggrandizement has become a kind of trope in the boastful lyrics of rap and hip-hop these days, so you don't need to look far to find it. What works for those genres doesn't necessarily work for the voice on the page

In the end, the courage to keep a lid on the boastful moments of your own poems is really the hard part.

 

Some Practical Suggestions To Better Style In your Poems

Students are always looking for the keys to succeeding in any writing assignment, as though, if they knew exactly what the instructor was looking for, they would have an easier time completing the task. For creative writers, that's simply not real life, because writing a poem or telling a story is not a task. It's work, yes! And, of course, it's good to have deadlines and writing groups to keep you motivated. However, the rules of writing creatively are something you pick up along the way, sometimes by trial and error. The following are not so much rules as they are pitfalls that occur because of a lifelong habit of writing prosaically. (Dialogue is exempt from requiring a literary style.) Be aware of these pitfalls at every stage of the writing process: drafting, editing, workshopping, and revision. Force yourself to care about these. Besides reading and daily writing, this is the only means to improving your literary style.

1. Avoid Passive Voice 

A.
Avoid the following passive verbs altogether, if possible. (Note: the first three are commonly used as auxiliary verbs used in different verb tenses, but they can be avoided as main verbs.)

be, is, are, was, were
go, goes, went
have, has, had
come, comes, came
get, got 

example "Bad"
She was too tired even to eat when she came home, but she got some dinner anyway and went to the couch to have some time with her sitcoms or TV vampires before going to bed.

example "Better"
She stumbled through her front door too tired even to eat, but she assembled some dinner anyway and ambled to the couch to laugh with her sitcoms or fantasize about her TV vampires. Soon enough, they would sweep her back onto her feet and tuck her into bed.

B.
Reduce the number of verbals used: participles (adjectives ending in –ing or –ed and other past-tense endings,“

The gathering storm...“ “The dried leaves...“);gerunds (nouns ending in –ing: “He was in the act of running”).

example of "Bad"
Rising from an eastern sky,
the illuminating moon fills
the mountainside with pale light,
looming like a giant sand dollar
until the shadows of pine trees
begin arching away
from all its shining.

example of "Better"
The rising moon looms
in an eastern sky, a giant
sand dollar, and illuminates
the mountainside with pale light,
until the shadows of pine trees
arch away from all its shine.

2. Reduce Vague Sensory Words and Linking Verbs

appeared / appearance
aromas
felt / feelings
flavors
heard
listened
saw
seemed
sensed
showed
sights
smelled / smells
sounds
tastes
visions
watched

example "Bad"
I heard his voice and sensed its calm syllables, which seemed to show me he was listening to me, too, and feeling my nervousness.

example "Better"
His calm syllables took hold of my nervous fidgets.

3. Emphasize Active Verbs, De-emphasize Modifiers (Adj. / Adv.)

instead of “began to walk”: “walked”
instead of “starts to wonder”: “wonders”
instead of “moved quickly”: “darted”
instead of “a rainy afternoon”: “the afternoon drizzled with grey sheets of wind”

4. Avoid cliched Transitional Phrases

All at once
All of a sudden
As time went by
Before the night was through
eventually
In a matter of time
In the end
Last but not least
Lest it be forgotten
Little did I know
Needless to say
Out of the blue
The next thing I knew

5. Avoid cliched Similes and Metaphors

hot as all hell
quiet as a church mouse
as plain as the nose on my face
as far as the eye can see
as angry as a hornet
rich as Croesus
cold as ice
pitch black
dark as sin
slick as snot

6. Don't Overuse cliched and Common Vernacular Phrases

freaking out
dealing with
being there for me
know in my heart
breaking my heart
keep you in my heart
my heart knows no limits
these kids
some dude (guy)
this one lady
some old geezer
an innocent babe

7. Avoid Predictable Patterns Of Complex Sentence Construction

Repeatedly beginning with “As” or “While”: “As the sun slowly sank into the west, people drove home from work. And, as their cars crawled along in traffic, the city's nightlife began coming alive. As they began arriving home, . . .”

Repeatedly beginning with a participial phrase: “Looking to his left, he saw a deer grazing on the embankment. Stepping onto the grass, he started prepared to feed them dried corn. Reaching out his hand, . . . ”

Plodding simple sentences (i.e., not compound-complex sentences): "The boy sat down at the table. The mother put a plate before him. The food on the plate looked strange. He picked up a spoon. He put the spoon into the mashed potatoes."

8. Use References to emotions and Abstractions Infrequently

Avoid summarizing or generalizing feelings; instead, use specific experiences that connote these feelings. Furthermore, tone down the grandiose and abstract words; instead, use the language of concrete detail to imply these abstractions

examples of "Really Bad"

In the purity of peace rose
the vicious anger, swelling
in consummation, and powerful
like an avalanche of emotions.

examples of "Okay, better"

Short hairs twitch and pitch
until that single murderous ache
rounds into the grotto of his bowels,
where a body prays...

9. Avoid Hyperbole

Hyperboles are exaggerations; writers often use them unconsciously to "sell" the importance of their imagery and its emotional import, but they almost always sound manipulative and false. Quite often, they're used in combination with cliches, which is just as much a serious failure of creativity.

endlessly waiting
deathly silent sorrow
screaming lies
forever lost
bottomless guilt
to the limits of sanity
excruciatingly painful
earth-shattering
all but a faded memory
utter darkness
the deepest despair
soaring heights of excitement

10. Hyperbolic Diction

No words are off limits in creative writing, since all vocabulary is the primary tool of your trade. However, there are some that are "go to" words for inexperienced writers. In a manner of speaking, they're a class of cliche, because they're words that everyone associates with the poetical diction of high-flown quills—exactly the sort of pretentiousness that makes people decry the entire genre. Of course, camp and bathos (or bathys) rely on language like this, but only if used intentionally for its comic effect. Under ordinary circumstances, though, hyperbolic diction entails exaggeratively pretty, emotive words resulting from the writer's abrogation of his charge to provide substantive detail; he instead resorts to pointing out a "certain jeu ne sais quois" so beautiful, so complex, so deeply appealing or interesting that he allegedly doesn't have the adequate words to describe it.Let's be clear: as a writer, if you don't have the adequate words to describe something, it's not because that "something" is so deep that it defies description. The onus is on you to find the words--perhaps even make up a few--that are up to the task. Otherwise, if you're not up to the task, don't presume to call what you're doing, "creative writing." That may sound like a mean thing to say, but being a creative writer demands a degree of stubborn intrepidity: we don't give up just because something is hard to describe! We search for just the right words, look up their derivations, turn them in our minds to consider their nuances, and plug them into the fuse box of our writing to see if they carry the current. And when they fail or don't fit just right, we don't just substitute whatever nickel we can find in our loose change.

example of "Bad"
The prismatic light gingerly
tickled his face with myriad hues,
a colorful array of lustrous wonder.

example of "Worse"
You smilingly pierced
my aching heart
with your screeching daggers
of vicious words.
aching ("this aching need to touch you")
angelic ("your angelic beauty")
ardently ("his heart ardently desired her affections")
array ("an array of marvelous sights")
beatific ("with beatific grace")
bedecked ("shelves bedecked with all manner of curiosities")
beseech ("she beseeched him for his mercy")
cacophony ("their shrieks rose like a cacophony over the forest canopy")
chipper ("the chipper young lad winked precociously")
colorful ("colorful bottles stood like sentinels before the window")
exquisite ("exquisite pain filled his very soul")
gingerly ("the old man gingerly sprung to his feet")
harmonious ("a harmonious blend of aromas")
heavenly ("with heavenly grace she strode mildly into the room")
hellish ("these thoughts tormented her with hellish visions")
incessant ("the incessant beating of love's butterfly wings")
languorously ("the kudzu hung languorously from the willows")
lavish ("with lavish attention he bathed and fed the beast")
lively ("lively dancers filled the town square")
longingly ("longingly, they gazed upon the lake")
lovely ("the afternoon was lovely")
lugubrious ("bereft, the old woman lugubriously cried out for death's cold
embrace")
lustrous ("her hair, like lustrous silk")
magnificent ("the sun's magnificent light")
mellifluous ("the streams mellifluous burbles")
melodically ("couples melodically swayed on the dance floor")
miraculous ("miraculous laughter filled the hall")
myriad ("a myriad of hues")
orgasmic ("with orgasmic delight and lustful betrayal")
panoply ("the panoply of taste sensations")
passionately ("Passionately, he sang the notes.")
pierces ("Anger pierces the silence")
prismatic ("Color prismatic crystalline visions festooned their sight")
radiant ("A radiant warmth expanded between them.")
redolent ("the air was redolent with fragrance")
rhythmic ("the butterflies rhythmic beating of wings")
screeching ("hatred screeching incessantly")
smilingly ("smilingly, she entered the room")
soaring ("with soaring spirit")
sparkling ("the boy's eyes sparkled with youth")
splendid/splendiferous ("a splendiferous music awakened within")
sublime ("spring's sublime renewal")
tumultuous ("tumultuous thoughts raced through his head")
vibrant ("in the woodwind's vibrant tones")
vicious ("cruel intentions landed vicious insinuations upon him")
winsome ("she was a bashful but winsome young lass")
wonder/wondrous ("wondrous tears swelled within his being")

Last Updated: 08/31/2017

Contact

Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Email: karl.sherlock@gcccd.edu
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Phone: 619-644-7871

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