How to Learn to Write Poems

Writing poetry can help you to express yourself, releasing pent up frustration or joy through words. There are many different forms of poetry, but anyone who can write can learn to write poetry.

Read poems. The best way to learn how to write poems is to read a variety of poems. You can find poems online on sites like or you can read collections of poetry in books. Famous poets include Maya Angelou, Robert Frost and E.E. Cummings.

Learn different styles of poetry. Some styles of poetry include free verse, Haikus, sonnets, ballads, blank verse and lyric poetry.

Learn poetic techniques and vocabulary. Basically, you need to learn about rhythm and how it relates to poetry. You also need to know what “lines” and “stanzas” are in poetry. Understanding the vocabulary associated with poetry will help you to learn to write poetry. Some poems rhyme, other poems do not rhyme. Some syllables in words are stressed with other syllables being unstressed. Learning this information will help you to decide the type of poem that you would like to learn to write. In the resources at the bottom of this page, you will find information about beats and rhythm in poetry.

Brainstorm. Put your thoughts into words. It’s helpful if you think of a theme for your poem, like “love” for example. Then write all of the words that come to mind when you think of love. You may end up with words such as the following: hate, rose, heart, pain, joy, beauty, children, sunsets, etc. Continue to list the words until you can’t think of any others.

Find an example of the type of poem that you would like to write. Find your favorite poem and use the format as an example as the type of poem that you would like to write. We often learn best from examples.

Choose the type of poem that you would like to write. Are you going to write a poem in free verse or a sonnet? Will your poem rhyme? Free verse poems are probably the easiest poems for beginners to write because there are few rules.

Write your poem. Use your example poem to write your poem in your selected format. Use words from your brainstorming session to help you focus your thoughts for your poem. Your poem doesn’t have to be fancy; it simply must portray your thoughts and feelings in poetic form.

  • Poems do not have to be long. Try writing a poem in free verse with three lines for your first poem.