Post 20160421

So, I’ve had this conversation with a couple of you recently about whether I should use titles for my poems or continue to use only dates.

Pros of Using Dates:

  • I’m lazy.
  • I write a lot, sometimes two or three pieces a day (but usually one).
  • I might obsess about these titles, maybe working longer on them than the actual poems (not even kidding).
  • Dates offer no hint as to what you’re in store for.

Pros of Using Titles:

  • More appealing to readers
  • A title is easier to remember than a date.
  • The title might turn out to be what you enjoy most about my poem.
  • Might (or might not) give you a clue as to what you are in for.

Friends, I cannot decide this on my own. Please take the time to fill in the poll. I know you have opinions. And thank your for sharing them

4 thoughts on “Post 20160421”

  1. I put in “Other: Mix of the two.” By this I mean if no title readily comes to mind just throw in the date, but if a title does pop in there, then by all means, plop on top. Visual artists will commonly put “untitled” next to their work (which is a kind of a title, just as the date is). I’ve read some interviews with artists who consciously refuse to use titles because they don’t want to influence the viewer experience. The same can go with the title of a poem. For me, I see the title as much of the poem as the contents (sometimes it can used as a red herring, so the reader believes they know what to expect and then find themselves going off in another direction, this disorientation facilitating the reader to “see” things in ways that might otherwise not.) Some poets will use the first line (or the beginning if its a long line) as the title.

  2. “Untitled 3” is still a title, and I think it’s valid. There’s something about just numbers that make it seem more anonymous to me. But Doug is right, sometimes I think the title is integral to the work. And you are right, a lot of time can be spent agonizing over it…but then I do that about individual words myself. I don’t always title my visual artwork, but I would say that mostly I do, if only for my own reference. (K)

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