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How to Write Poetry

Knowing how to write poetry will allow a person to express themselves in entirely new ways. There are many different poem types, forms, and techniques, which can make knowing how to write a poem even harder. Even making the initial choices can be tough. Knowing the different creative writing techniques can help people express themselves fully. Now, you can take the easy way out and use our love poem generator, but that won't help you know how to write a poem. Anyway, below are just some helpful hints, steps, and articles. Be sure to provide your analysis or comments on how to write a poem.

Choosing a Theme for Your Poem

Poetry is ultimately about expressing an emotion, idea, or set of emotions and ideas. People need to decide these in advance. Poems that exist purely for being tissues of linguistic rhymes are usually not going to have a lot of depth for a lot of people. It's also going to be hard to even write a line of poetry without knowing the emotion behind it.

Choosing a Poetic Style

There are lots of different styles of poetry today. Some of them have very specific guidelines or poetry techniques when it comes to establishing rhyme, meter, rhythm, and other artistic choices. Metered poetry will also vary in terms of its rhyming scheme. The greeting card style of rhyming involves an 'ABAB' rhythm of rhymes.

Other poems are more open-ended in terms of what the writers can do, such as prose poems or free verse poems. However, making a prose poem that still has some structure and reflects some actual technique can be paradoxically more difficult. Metered poetry is easier to evaluate in terms of whether or not it is good, since people can just look at the quality of the rhymes and the musical quality of the rhythm. Prose poetry that's good manages to evoke an emotion and it tends to involve an innovative arrangement of words, but the relative quality of prose poetry is still more subjective.

Brainstorm Possible Lines

Poetry is linear and told in a series of statements, even if there are rhymes and meters. People should read the lines out loud before putting them down, since even prose poetry has to be rhythmic in nature. People should not worry about making the lines in question perfect by this point. They can always go back and tweak the poems in order to make them better later. At this point, people just need to get something down that they can work with in the first place.

Edit the Lines

This is the most important step, since the polish for these lines is what is going to create the poems at the end of the day. People who have chosen rhymed poetry should try to find the best rhymes that they can. The more original rhymes are the best, since certain rhymes tend to appear so often they fail to make much of an impact. When it comes to prose poetry, at this point, it is important to look at the word choices for the sake of finding the best words. The best words will subtly convey the meaning that the writer intends. The best words will also work well in an aesthetic sense. This step is one of the most important steps when it comes to writing poetry. Poems are tiny works of art that reflect tremendous effort. 

Articles on How to Write a Poem

More Steps to Writing Poetry

  1. Be a reader of poetry and read poems aloud. Poetry is meant to be read aloud. Use your mouths, ears, and bodies, as well as brains, to process the words of a poem. Using your senses can make poetry more meaningful. Also, jot down any words or phrases from poems you read which are appealing, puzzling, unique, or powerful.
  2. Use fresh imagery. Show the reader something in such a way, as he or she has not considered before. To say, "my heart withered like a dying rose," offers nothing new.
  3. Write for others, not just yourself.
  4. Use nouns and verbs more than adjectives. Which is stronger: "She was as beautiful as a flower..." or "Roses wilted in shame as she passed by..."? "He looked at the depressing clouds..." or "He watched as dark clouds moved in, covering his sky..."?
  5. Ensure the EVERY word in your poem has a purpose. No word should loiter.
  6. Don't tell the reader how to feel. Let the words elicit the emotions directly, without explaining. "The tragedy touched them all," is more touching to the reader as "Men and women, doctor and workman... thirteen people looked upon the scene... with tears in their eyes."
  7. Use dramatic and emotional words. Not all words are equal in their ability to "grab" a reader or elicit emotion. "Fell," "take," and "love," will probably be weaker than "plunged," "siezed," and "worship."

Also see What is Good Poetry, Teaching Students to Write and Read poetry.pdf