How to write a poem

Have you ever tried to write a poem? Most people are under the impression that writing a poem is easy because you simply have to come up with many rhyming words of equal length and then group them into stanzas and just ensure that the thought or message remains intact. However, if you are an aspiring poet, or have written a poem in a fit of passion, they you must think that the words simply need to flow. Both are crucial in writing poetry, at least depending on the type of poem you are writing.

Poetry is one of the most cherished and colorful kinds of literature. A poem is a story in and of itself. Knowing how to write a poem is not at all times a talent, but a skill that can be learned. A good poem, that is. Anyone can write a poem. At some point in their lives, just about everyone has written a poem about something. But it does not mean they were able to write good poetry. That is where we want to help you – in writing a good poem. Even if you haven’t written a poem even once as you read this, these should help you make those first few steps:

How to write a poem

Read a lot of great poetry

Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Whitman, Milton. Charles Simic, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kay Ryan. To know how to write a poem, you must first be acquainted with the masters. Whether it is the masters of the past or the masters of today. Read, enjoy, and understand the works of these great poets (and others) to see whose writing style to pattern your poem after. Do not worry because you will develop your own style as you continue to hone your writing skills.

Purpose

Why do you want to write a poem? Is it about something or someone? Make sure that the subject of the poem is something that is inside your heart and mind, something that you are passionate about. It can be about something you love or hate. The more familiar you are with the subject, the easier for you to come up with words, the better your poem will be.

Meaning over rhyming 

As expressed earlier, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about poems is the many rhyming words. Rhyme can be helpful but it must not compromise the message of the poem. In a way, writing a poem is similar to writing a college paper--the thesis must always be clear. In other words, substance always beats style. Yes, you can write a free verse poem without rhymes but it should have an emotional melody to it. How do you know if you are writing it correctly? With every line that you finish, try to read the poem aloud starting from the first line and see how it all flows.

How to write a poem

Choice of words

Make sure that you use words that can awaken the reader’s senses. Colorful and honest words do not always have to be difficult and unfamiliar. They simply must serve the right purpose. For instance, a correctly placed word can awaken the senses more than a good but vaguely written line can. Honest words and lines have the ability to make your reader fully understand what you want to say. The more honest the poem is, the more powerful it becomes.

Experiment

While the poem is certainly a story by itself, it does not always have to follow a specific format. For example, if your first poem about your first memorable camping trip with friends is written in chronological order, you can write your new poem about your first pet in a reverse chronological order. The same goes kind of experimentation can apply to your other poems.

Do not stop writing

Exercise your skill and keep writing in different formats so you can master the many different ways to write a poem. You can try your hand, for instance, at haikus. Write whenever you feel like it. Write even if you think you are not that good yet. There will be times when you will be frustrated but it is part of the learning process. If you feel like you are not going to improve and are about to give up, the solution is simple – read and learn more good poetry and before you know it, writing a poem will be like walking in the park.

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