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.

For example, consider the line "The guitars play desert music" or " The Indian soldiers are laughing" (Theo Alexander -- "City Nights"). These are both examples of phrases used in phrase poetry.

How to Write a Phrase Poem

1. Decide on a Theme

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.

2. Gather Your Words

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. Choose words that might be appropriate to use and short phrases that capture your impression and emotion most successfully.

3. Form Your Line Phrases

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.

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