I teach poem wright.

Poem differs from the other genres by its emphasis on the musical  play of language. It is the music genre of language; although you may see some elements of music in essay, play, and novel it is not the emphasis in them..

I give credit to The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco and the Historical Manual of English Prosody by George Saintsbury as two of the primary sources; yet I confess that I discovered most of my knowledge of craft in the stacks, poetry section, of the library at (then) Alabama A.& M. College as a kid. Most of the discoveries were from the practice of the poets that I read, almost all of the British and American poets who got published more than a few times. I developed my canon independently of critics or English teachers. Some of my friends who are scholars in English Literature, especially poetry, consider my personal canon eccentric, if not completely wrong.

I begin with Anglo Saxon prosody and work toward now. I assign tedious, repetitive drills to my apprentices; they are required to say, chant, or sing each element of craft until it is automatic. Sometimes it is several hundred repetitions or more.

It is not intellectual to learn the craft. It is constant practice; it is learn by rote. It is the ancient way.

lucy homer / dear
mammy buried near
bliss in grove street graveyard
new england new haven

© 2006 Thomas Elias Weatherly
short history of the saxophone
The Groundwater Press, Hudson,
New York, p.44.


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  1. Sageview says:

    Dear Mr. Weatherly,
    Figuratively and literally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  For your, "I Teach Poem Wright," I do receive.

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