How to Write Poetry

The following tips and suggestions are to help you begin to write poetry. These tips may or may not apply to all of you so it is important to get to know yourself and what works best for you.

The first steps to start writing are to begin by reading and learning about poetry. Read a variety of traditional and contemporary poetry written by various poets. Start learning about the various styles of poetry writing, i.e. Rhyme, Ballads, Odes, Freeverse, Pantoum, Haiku…etc. Anthologies are one way to start because you can find different types of poetry by different authors.

This will allow you to get to know not only the art of poetry but you as a poet and slowly discovering your own style. Learn from others but remember to always stay true to yourself without conforming to the norms. You can aim to be different and certainly avoid clichés but then show us in your poetry what we have yet to read.

Alongside the importance of reading is also that of writing. Encourage yourself to write anything, as long as you feel that you must write.

Writing is like a “muscle” that needs to be exercised. Most importantly, write only for yourself. You are your most important audience.

Write in inspired settings. Would that be in a coffee shop surrounded by other patrons? Quietly in your den? Outdoors? With or without music? On paper or a laptop? Definitely try the interaction of pen and paper.

There is no wrong topic to write about. As long as you feel that you must write and it is something you are interested in, write it in your own personal style.

Don’t try to imitate others or write in complex styles. Start by writing in simple ways until you gain experience and confidence.

Whatever you decide to write about, aim to show us, not tell us what your poetry is about. As long as you have passion, write on! Writing without passion is anemic, so don’t be afraid or timid to express your thoughts or emotions. These thoughts and emotions are the words that are expressed through the beauty of poetry.

Get in the habit of carrying a pen and paper with you, as you never know when an idea will strike. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll remember it later. Keep a notebook or electronic file to log your thoughts.

Not all your work will be good. It is alright to be a little hard on yourself at times, as long as you still enjoy writing. Take the beauty of art or poetry seriously. Try to use the least amount of words. Keep only the essential; don’t just write pieces and deem them as poetry. Revise your poem until you get rid of all the unnecessary words. Let the reader’s imagination work as well.

Find a friend who may help with proofreading and always welcome constructive criticism. Join a group of like-minded people to watch and learn how they write and inspire themselves.

Finally, always date your work so that over time, you can take pride in your progress!

Article by: Veronica Lerner & Daniela Oana

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