A Poet’s Manifesto

I must crack my knuckles
and fill my pen with ink,
not just to mark the page
but to help me think.
I must use my pen,
wield it like a sword
and cut through crap
with sharpened words.
I must write a skeleton,
slice truth to the bone,
rebuild it with flesh and hair,
give it a voice to share.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

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My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Meet 2018 with a manifesto

Bjorn says that today, in the last quivering hours of 2017, the time has come to reflect and look ahead. He wants to know what we can do to make 2018 into an Annus Mirabilis? He says that we can make new year’s resolutions but, in his experience, they mostly mean failure; we are alone in our resolutions and we fail to change the world.

He reminds us that changes in society are driven through movements, inspired actions and art, and at the core of change there is often a declaration or a manifesto. Which is why he has asked us to write manifestos, for ourselves, for a group (real or imaginary), for our writing or for any cause we find important. We should:

  • name our manifest to make it clear what we want to achieve;
  • write it in first person singular or plural;
  • state the problem, focusing on what we think is right and what should happen;
  • use strong language: verbs, pronouns and clear, un ambiguous metaphors, even clichés that are easily understandable;
  • focus on rhythm and cadence – manifestos should be spoken;
  • use repetition and rephrase the main points of what you want to change.

15 thoughts on “A Poet’s Manifesto

  1. Sign me up, Kim. “Wield that pen like a sword”. Key in the words, shovel in mind, all must be sieved. Graded for the size, weight, and fit. Rember, two pounds should equal a dozen, Grade A (produce house standard for eggs).

    Liked by 1 person

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