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Additional resources for A Wrinkle in Time (A Lively Learning Guide by Shmoop)
It is, of course, possible to write for one's self, and all of us do it. We jot notes of things to remember, make lists of errands to run, and so on. Your sister, coming upon your scribbled grocery list, understands without a moment's question that what you wrote was not meant for her. Writing that nobody but the author takes interest in—lists of things to pick up at the hardware store, crib sheets for final exams, an address jotted on a napkin—is truly writing for one's self. But poetry is too good a thing to keep to one's self.
For a poem to feel all of a piece, it needs to address a consistent imaginary reader. The more narrowly you define this reader, the more difficult it will be to put your poem someplace where that reader might come upon it. For example, if your imaginary reader has a PhD in Middle English, you'll have to publish your poem in a journal that might be read by PhDs in Middle English. How many such readers are out there, and how many journals fit that description? On the other hand, if your imaginary reader is somebody with a couple of years of college and an everyday job, there are a lot more readers who fit the description 20 »« Writing for Others and who may be waiting to discover your poem.
When it comes to poems, too many extras, too much froufrou and falderal, can cost you a reader. S. Patent Office archives, about quaint and curious inventions that never caught on? I remember a drawing of a system of jacks and levers that would tip a man's hat as he approached a woman on the street. I'd guess the inventor thought he had a pretty cool idea. ) a poem. There are thousands ofwriters among us, and each is an inventor. For each invention that catches on with the public—each electric light bulb poem, each jet turbine poem, each "Love Song of J.