How to write a Poem?

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Hey there! If you’re interested in learning how to write a poem, let’s start with the basics. Poetry can be a bit intimidating, but don’t worry; we’re here to guide you step by step.

First things first, what exactly is poetry? We’ll break it down for you and go over the literary elements of poetry, so you know what to look out for. We’ll also show you some different approaches to the writing process, including our own seven-step process on how to write a poem from start to finish.

So, how do you actually write a poem? It’s easier than you might think. We’ll start by exploring what poetry is and what makes it unique. From there, we’ll dive into the writing process and show you how to bring your own ideas and emotions to life on the page.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started on this creative journey together and see what kind of poetry we can create!

Various definitions of poetry given by different authors

Here are a few famous definitions of poetry by some well-known poets:

William Wordsworth defines poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”

According to Edgar Allan Poe, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” – “Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement.”  Christopher Fry

Carl Sandburg sees poetry as “the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.”  

T.S. Eliot views poetry as “not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality.”  

These are just a few of the many definitions of poetry that have been given throughout history. Each poet has their own unique take on what makes poetry so special and meaningful.

Explanation of poetry

Poetry is a type of writing that is all about feelings and emotions. It’s a way of expressing yourself in a creative and beautiful way. Poetry can be written in many different forms, like sonnets, haikus, or free verse. It can be about anything – love, nature, the human experience, or even just a feeling that you can’t quite put into words.

What makes poetry unique is the way it uses language. Poets use words and phrases in a way that creates a certain rhythm and sound, which adds to the overall feeling of the poem. They also use literary devices like metaphors, similes, and personification to create vivid images and convey their message in a more powerful way.

So, if you want to express yourself in a way that’s creative and heartfelt, poetry might be just the thing for you. It’s a way to connect with others and share your innermost thoughts and emotions. Give it a try and see where your words take you!

What does poetry convey?

Poetry is all about expression – it’s a way to convey ideas, emotions, and experiences in a way that’s creative and artistic. Poets use words to create something that’s much more than just a collection of phrases – they use language to create a certain feeling or atmosphere that really captures the essence of what they’re trying to express.

Sometimes, poetry can convey a sense of beauty or wonder – it might describe a beautiful sunset, or the way the stars look at night. Other times, it can convey a sense of sadness or loss – it might describe a broken heart or a feeling of loneliness. And still other times, it can convey a sense of joy or celebration – it might describe the feeling of falling in love, or the happiness of spending time with friends.

Read more: Lyrical Poetry: How Is It Unique?

But whatever it’s trying to convey, poetry always does so in a unique and special way. It uses language in a way that’s different from everyday speech, creating a rhythm or flow that can really captivate the reader or listener. And because it can be about anything – from love to nature to politics – there’s always a new perspective or idea to be explored through poetry.

Overall, poetry is a way to communicate ideas and emotions in a way that’s creative, powerful, and unforgettable. It’s a form of art that has been around for centuries, and will continue to inspire and move people for many years to come.

How to write a poem in 7 steps?

how to write a poem
Write your poem!

So you wanna write a poem, huh? Well, the first thing you gotta do is figure out what you wanna write about. This might seem easy, but trust me, it can be one of the hardest parts. So, where do you start looking for inspiration?

1) Choose a topic you want to write about

One way is to read other poems and see if they inspire any ideas. It’s all about getting those creative juices flowing! You can even take a line or two from another poem and use it as a starting point for your own work. For instance, “The Golden Shovel” by Terrance Hayes was inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool.”

Another way to get inspired is by real-world events. Sometimes, contemporary poetry can be a powerful way to convey new ideas about the world. For example, check out “A Cigarette” by Ilya Kaminsky, which is about finding community in a warzone.

You can also draw inspiration from your own life. Poetry is like a form of memoir, so write about what you know! Take Sylvia Plath’s poem “Full Fathom Five” as an example – it’s a daring piece for its time because it criticizes family in a bold way.

Read more: A Cry From Peshawar: An Elegy To The Martyrs

Believe it or not, even the everyday and mundane can be great sources of inspiration. “Ode to Shea Butter” by Angel Nafis is a poem that celebrates the beautiful “everydayness” of moisturizing.

Finally, you can always look to nature for inspiration. The Earth has always been a source of inspiration for poets. Take “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver, for example – it finds meaning in nature’s quiet rituals.

And if all else fails, there are plenty of writing exercises and prompts out there to help get you started. The important thing is to get started and let your creativity flow!

2) Journaling

So, you’ve picked a topic for your poem. If the words flow out naturally and you write a beautiful poem, that’s great! But if you’re struggling to find the right words, try journaling.

Take a blank piece of paper with your topic at the top, set a timer for 15-30 minutes, and write down all your thoughts about the topic. Don’t worry about finding the perfect words, just focus on your emotions and thoughts.

After the journaling session, go back and highlight the phrases and words that stand out to you. These will be helpful in your poem.

Journaling is a safe way to explore your topic without worrying about sounding poetic. The key is to write from the heart, and everything you need for your poem is already inside of you. The journaling process just helps you bring it out.

3) Think about the form for your poem

Form is a key part of poetry that affects how it’s written and read. Have you ever thought about trying out different forms like a sestina, contrapuntal, double cinquain, or tanka? There are lots of different forms to choose from, including the more relaxed free verse form. While you can decide on the form later on when you’re editing, it’s a good idea to at least consider it now.

4) Start with the first line

After journaling, you’ll know your heart better and might have a line you want to start with, or you can start fresh and look at your journal for inspiration later. You don’t have to follow any rules for the first line, but poets often start their work by setting the scene, beginning at the conflict, using a contradiction, or starting with the title. There are many other ways to start, so you can try out different literary devices and look to other poets for ideas when you’re stuck.

5) Ideas and devices need to develop

You may not know where your poem is headed until you finish writing it. But in the meantime, use your literary devices! Don’t use too many abstract nouns, create vivid images, and use metaphors and similes to make cool comparisons. But most importantly, speak from the heart!

6) Write the finishing line

In some poems, the beginning and end are linked by using the same images, which is called “full circle.” Gwendolyn Brooks does this in her poem “my dreams, my work, must wait till after hell.”

Read more: The Raven By Poe: Explained In Simple Language

But sometimes poets don’t know what their poem is about until they write the last line. Poetry is about searching for truth, especially the difficult truths that are hard to explain in everyday language. Your poem may not be done until it expresses something necessary, so keep writing until you capture what you feel, and the poem will find its own ending.

7) Editing

Congrats on finishing the first draft of your poem! Editing is important if you want to share or publish your work or make it the best it can be. Here are some tips:

  • Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. Most imagery should be striking on its own.
  • Use concrete line breaks to emphasize important words and make images and ideas clearer.
  • Use stanzas to develop new ideas, contrast existing ones, or signal a change in tone.
  • Avoid mixed metaphors, where two metaphors occupy the same idea, as they can make your poem hard to understand.
  • Don’t use excessively abstract language. Let your imagery express your feelings and ideas, and use abstractions only briefly to connect otherwise concrete writing.

And one last thing, don’t stress yourself out to make something out of your poem. You don’t need to share or improve all your poems. Your poetry doesn’t have to be “perfect,” it can just be your way of expressing your feelings. It’s great to publish your work, but it’s also okay to write poems that are not polished, unclear, or for your eyes only. Write for yourself, and don’t worry too much about editing for others.

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