A few months ago I mentioned Ann Kroeker’s podcast about writing. In a recent episode she mentioned using copywork as a way to improve your writing. My ears perked up because I had recently come across a poetry copywork book edited by Sally Thomas.
Of course I keep commonplaces–quotes and such that strike me as I read–in my journal. Here’s the latest poem that I’ve copied out: “Poem for a Daughter” by Anne Stevenson. But I was intrigued by Sally’s book because I wanted to read and copy her selections. This resource is meant as a way to study English poetry from 658-1920. But more widely, I wanted to learn from a master poet. I wanted to copy not only what was catching my eye, but what had caught Sally’s eye.
I’ve used personal copywork during our school routines too. When I need to be nearby, but not necessarily teaching, copywork keeps my hands busy. I don’t open the computer or wander off to do chores. I’m available, but I’m not hovering. I think it also helps for the children to see me doing the sort of work I ask of them. This really is a good way to spend your time!
So I’ve got a notebook and new pen and am ready to start copying a few lines a day. I’ve got hopes that the practice will bear fruit in my own poems. But the practice is a good one nonetheless. Might even add it to my morning routine during the summer.
Do you practice copywork? Are there other ways that you are actively trying to improve your writing? More Poetry Friday goodness at Beyond Literacy Link.