How to Write a Poem

Updated July 12, 2018

Poetry is an interesting form of writing. It is very free, has few restrictions and can be a great way to express feelings. Anyone can do write poetry. Just pick up a pencil and begin practicing.

Begin with an idea or inspiration. Inspiration may come at any time very unexpectedly. It may be a specific person, place or thing that evokes some sort of strong emotion. It may be more of an abstract idea or release of emotion. It may be a tiny thing at the right moment, such as a leaf tossing in the wind a certain way.

Brainstorm. Write down everything that comes to mind. Don't think much; let instinct take over. Be uninhibited in what is written down and let all feelings pour out. Remember everything can be thrown out later.

Think about form and begin to organize thoughts. Poetry comes in many forms, from epic poetry that has a story to dramatic poetry intended to be performed. Try them all out. One will come naturally. Maybe different poems fit different forms. Try freeverse, which has basically no restrictions at all.

Remember rhythm and meter. There is a difference between the two, and both are equally important in poetry. Meter is the established pattern of the poem, while rhythm refers to the sound when it is spoken. Take both into consideration while writing a poem.

Use a lot of descriptive words. Create imagery with words, trying to appeal to all the senses in a literal way. Use symbolism, and metaphors. For auditory interest, try alliteration; the repeating of similar sounds in a sentence or phrase. All of this adds life and interest to a poem.

Get outside opinions. Don't be afraid to share work with others. Learn to accept criticism and grow from it.

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  • Take a class or join a club or group. Meet others that like poetry and learn from them.
  • Read a lot of poetry. It inspires and creates knowledge of poetry.

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