1. Poetry doesn't need rhyme or rhythm

  2. Poetry doesn't need to make sense

  3. Poetry should disturb the reader

  4. Poetry doesn't need to be beautiful

  5. Poetry doesn't need poetic diction

  6. Poetry is an opportunity for the poet to express himself

  7. Virginia Woolf was a great poetic pioneer

  8. Ezra Pound was a great poetic pioneer

  9. Jack Kerouac was a great poetic pioneer

  10. Allen Ginsberg was a great poetic pioneer


  1. Poetry is musical speech. That means it has sound effects like rhyming, alliteration, or rhythm. Unmusical poetry is subtracted poetry.

  2. Poetry is an art form made out of language - just like painting is an art form made out of paint. But language is rational. Meaningless poetry is subtracted poetry.

  3. Only evil disturbs. Poetry was not made for evil, and it doesn't bear the weight of evil well. Poetry that fails to depict goodness is subtracted poetry.

  4. Poetry is art, and art is inherently aesthetic. It needs an aesthetic effect. That may be beauty, or splendour, or humor, or quirkiness, or some other effect; but dull, pedestrian poetry is subtracted poetry.

  5. Poetic diction was invented for poetry. A poem using prosaic diction is a subtracted poem.

  6. Poets, like other human beings, are dull when they speak mainly about themselves. Poetry that fails to present an interesting subject is subtracted poetry.

  7. Virginia Woolf had some talent, but she was famous mainly for being wealthy, privileged, and immoral. Her poetry was remarkable mainly for what she subtracted from it.

  8. Ezra Pound had oodles of talent. Fired with a modern ideology, he tried to make old things new. But in the end, all he could do was subtract things from them.

  9. Jack Kerouac wrote word-things with everything poetic subtracted from them.

  10. Allen Ginsberg wrote a lot of prose chopped into lines. All the poetry was subtracted from his poetry.

What Do I Do With This Information?


The Author's Journal

of Inventive Literature


Editor and Publisher
Alana K. Asby