MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
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Creating Immersive Poetry

A common reason we reject a poem is that it uses generic language. We receive a poem that says:

A snowflake fell
From a sky
A person spoke
She said, "hi".

The reader has no way to properly interpret these vague instructions. Is it a quiet, tumbling snowflake from a soft cloudy sky? A hard-driven blizzard from a tumultuous sky? Is the person angry and screaming in rage? Is the person quiet, in gentle acceptance? The poet needs to present the scene clearly so we can visualize it. The words need to be specific and drawing in all the senses.

Here are some examples of poems we have published which draw in the readers' senses and help them to feel, smell, taste, and experience the poem as it unfolds:

Soft sunlight
shines a benediction upon
dappled grey wings

Sanctuary

Above the still lake
early morning mist
like a gypsy“s veil
weaves ethereal threads
of pink and violet hues
through the grey.

Gypsy Fog

A full moon floods the landscape
with pristine light.
Stars pockmark an indigo sky.

Spring Breakup

Look for ways to replace generic words with more meaningful, rich ones. Try to avoid -
* old
* said
* sound

Instead, use more meaningful words which help us understand exactly what you mean!

Note: We aren't saying that a poem has to be PRETTY. A poem can be harsh and ruthless. If that's your intent, we still need to be able to fully see what world you are presenting to us.

Her sleeping place
no more than a bare plank;
one small ankle shackled, bolted to the creaking frame -
weeping sores the result of skin rubbed raw,
the cuff long rusted by blood of countless others
forced into irons then bound to the walls of this
wretched, floating Hell.

Enslaved

We would love to fully understand the vision you present to us!

Poetry Basics
Poetry Submission Basics
Poetry Types
Rhyming Poem Guidelines
Poetry Cliches to Avoid
Creating Immersive Poetry
Showing vs Telling Poetry
Proofreading your Submission

Poetry Submission Form

General Mused Submission FAQs
Main Submission Guidelines




By far the best way to get an idea of what our literary review is looking for is to peruse our past issues!

Archive of Past Issues