Composing poetry

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Poetry by and for non-geniuses

I found that the most accessible 16th C poetry was William Shakespeare, and he's a genius and therefore a bad model for the rest of us. No matter how much you try, you cant write stuff as good as he does ...

Therefore, we need to model our work after people who are less good.

Two poets I like are

Walter Raleigh (especially his Reply to Kit Marlowe'w A Passionate Shepherd to his Love), and George Gascoigne (NB Certayne Notes of Instruction is your basic 16th C Poetry for Dummies book. Download it at

Plug their name plus poetry into Google, and examples of their work to read and work off will come up.

Finally, remember to count the syllables ...