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How to Write a Poem for Daughter


Writing a poem for another person is a great way to share your feelings about and for that person. Fortunately, today's society does not expect you to be a second Shakespeare when writing poetry. Simply writing a poem for someone else will show her that you care deeply for her. Writing about a daughter, for a daughter, also makes your job easier. This is because you are writing about someone you likely know well, making her both your muse and your audience.

Decide on the kind of poem you want to write. Terry Clitheroe's List of Poetry Forms is an excellent source for different poem types. Your selection can be as complicated or as simple as you like; you can try your hand at writing a sonnet with perfect iambic stress and pentameter meter, or you can just write an acrostic using your daughter's name. Two things to think about when deciding on what kind of poem to write are what you as a poet are comfortable writing and what your daughter is most likely to enjoy.

Choose some key themes on which to write. Because you will be writing with a specific audience in mind, consider writing about what your daughter likes best, her best character traits, or what she most reminds you of (feelings, ideas, situations, or experiences could all work for this).

Make a list of these key themes.

Consider the kind of poem that you have chosen to write and think about how long you want to make it. This will help you to narrow down your list of themes and traits that you made in the previous step. If you are writing something such as an acrostic poem, select one thing for each letter of her name. Otherwise, the number of things to choose to write about will depend on how much detail you want to include in your poem; one thing could be covered in as little as one line or as much as four lines (but any more might make your poem too long).

Write a rough draft of your poem. This does not have to be in any way perfect. If you have chosen to write a kind of poem that has a strict meter or rhyming pattern, do not worry if what you write in this draft bends the rules a little bit and does not perfectly match those patterns.

Take a daylong break from your poem. This will help you to approach your draft with fresh eyes when you go to rewrite it. If you do not have a day to take this break, an hourlong break will also work; go for a walk, work in the yard, do something that will get you up and on your feet (and away from your draft) for an hour.

Revise your draft so that it better fits the kind of poem you have chosen. Once you are satisfied with the way your draft fits your chosen kind of poem, read your draft aloud to yourself three times. This will help to give you a sense of how the words you have written down sound together. Make a note of any necessary changes.

Make the necessary changes to your poem that you noted after reading it aloud to yourself.

Repeat Steps 5 through to 7 until you are satisfied with the way your poem sounds and looks on the page.

Type or write your poem on a nice piece of stationary or card stock. This will help to give an air of uniqueness to your poem.

Present your poem to your daughter.

Tips
  • If you have chosen to write a specific kind of poem that has very strict rules governing it but cannot seem to get your words to fit those rules, do not worry about doing so. A poem's form is important because it conveys the meaning that you want to get across; but what is more important are the words that you use to make that meaning in the first place. If it sounds good to your ear, it will probably sound good to your daughter's ear as well.
  • To help you avoid writing too much or trying to include too much in a short poem, choose those key traits or feelings that are related to your daughter that are all related to each other. For example, if your daughter likes nature, choose traits and feelings that are all connected to nature. This can help to give your poem a more linear feel and keep it focused.
About the Author

Nicholas Zacharewicz is the holder of a Master of Arts in English and has had poetry, short fiction and articles published in anthologies, journals, newspapers and online. His writing specializes in Medieval literature and culture, genre fiction, and video games.

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