How to Write a Phrase Poem

In the phrase poem, every line consists of a phrase which describes a certain scene. In this particular type of poem the emphasis is put on the words used to describe an impression or emotion, and not so much on the writing of complete sentences. In this way, phrase poetry grabs the reader and takes him on a journey, like for example in the line "The guitars play desert music" or " The Indian soldiers are laughing" (Theo Alexander -- "City Nights").

Decide on a theme for your poem. Think about places and things you know well, remember an unforgettable experience, or use your imagination to create a situation. Then determine the most important parts of your main idea, the central actions or emotions that you would like to describe in this scene.

Gather your words. After you have come up with the main idea, choose the words and phrases that help you express it the best. Make a small list of various verbs, nouns, adjectives and prepositions to have next to you as you write your phrase poem. Chose words that may be appropriate to use and short phrases that capture your impression and emotion most successfully.

Form your line phrases. Put some phrases together, relating to the theme of your poem. Select the right verb and appropriate nouns to pair with prepositional words. Say, for example, you are writing about the seaside, a good phrase might be, "walk along the beach." Add adjectives, adverbs or other descriptive words. Since you do not have to worry about having complete sentences, focus on finding the right words to express your perceptions.

  • Try to think about the senses you associate with the place or thing you are writing about in your poem. For instance, with every object described, give a smell, taste or sight.
About the Author

Angeliki Coconi started writing in 1999 with the theater comedy "Loop," produced in Athens. In 2001 she wrote and produced another comedy, "Modern Cinderella." In 2006 she was awarded a Master of Science in literature from the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 Coconi obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Screenwriting from Napier University of Edinburgh.