Advice to High School Poets

To write winning poems
when you are young
bombastic adjectives
must roll of your tongue:
“winsome”, “alabaster”, don’t write from the heart
but from a thesaurus, yes, go there to start.
Give but scant attention, to meter or time,
forget about iambs, just fret about rhyme.
The judges are ageing, so woo them with pathos,
and literary types, thus regale them with bathos.
(But don’t overdo it, don’t sound too smart,
don’t be T.S. Eliot, be Gina Rinehart.)
Personification is music to their ears,
and they give bonus points for onomatopoeia.
Yes, success can be yours with diligence and pluck,
and definitely don’t swear, even if it would rhyme.


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