How to Write a Poem Guide
Definition of a Poem
A poem is a small work of art written in poetic form, organized according to the laws of versification. Almost everyone in life has had such a moment when a sudden feeling can not be expressed in words. However, you want to not only keep the memory of this moment, but also share your experiences with family and friends. And most often the only thing that can help is poetry. Poetry allows you to convey the slightest shades of feelings. In poetry, those subtle and elusive images are revealed that are so difficult to encapsulate in ordinary words. “I want to learn how to make a poem!” You can often hear this from people who can see beauty, and are eager to share what they saw.
But how to learn to write poetry? And can one learn to write poetry without finding a talent in oneself, but only feeling the desire to express emotional experiences in poetry? And if this is possible, then how to start a poem, if the knowledge of this art is limited only to the school curriculum and poetry collection, read at leisure? Perhaps our recommendations will not open the gates of poetry for you, but will show you the way to them.
What Is So Special About Poetry?
There is such a misconception that the main thing is to write from the heart, and observing the rules and canons is not for poetry. And not understanding the error of this statement, it is impossible to master poetic skills. For this it is useful to study how poets write poetry. The famous Charles Baudelaire, whose outrage and rebelliousness infuriated the strongest figures of the state, was strict and disciplined in poetry; every word of his was perfected, and every stanza left a deep trace in the reader’s soul.
How to Be a Poet: Steps of Poetry Writing
You should read through these five easy steps if you want to know how to make a good poem.
- Come up with what you will write about in the verse. You can tell about the experience, or dive into the depths of the imagination and get out an interesting situation, such as about how a cheerful elephant watched a sports program on TV.
- Consider the type of the narrative, which will link separate pictures and images into a harmony of words and syllables. “The elephant watched TV, then went into the kitchen for a new portion of home-made tiramisu, where he met a cat who criticized him as an intolerable glutton and gave a lecture on healthy eating. The giant did not get angry, but explained to the ragamuffin that elephants are just like this; it’s their nature.”
- Determine what kind of rhyme is most organic to your style: contiguous (a-a-b-b), cross (a-b-a-b), or girdle (a-b-b-a).
- Begin to methodically select a suitable rhyme. Do not stop at the first options that come to your mind – your choice should be the best. Beware of simple template rhymes (elephant-elegant), as it becomes melodic when instead rhyming different parts of speech (attack-blackjack; watch-butterscotch). For aides, use smart and thematic dictionaries, as well as surfing the internet.
- Check the finished draft for style and errors. Replace, where possible, words with more suitable synonyms, and remove needless tautology. The ideal verse is not one in which there is nothing to add, but one in which there is nothing to delete.
One of Our Poetry Examples Analyzed
If you want to increase the speed of writing a poem, increase imagination, and gain aesthetic pleasure, then check out one of our poetry examples. It is your chance to write your own poem without difficulties. Keep in mind that poetry examples are necessary to read through if you are writing a poem for the first time.
How to Write a Long Poem: Tips
- Writing from the heart is, of course, an essential condition, but unfortunately, it is not the only one. There are certain rules and regulations. And exceptions to these rules are allowed only under the condition of the author’s skill. Even an indiscriminate reader will feel the difference between a mistake made by accident and an intentional change in generally accepted rules. And how to write poetry for beginners correctly, without studying the laws of rhyme construction and the subtleties of literary techniques? It’s just impossible.
- There is a simple method by which you can practice the knowledge you have gained. To do this, you must choose a simple theme, but one that certainly induces vivid emotions. For example, choose a walk along the seashore. Then, studying each new rule, it is necessary to describe a walk by the sea using the studied material. The same happens when studying the system of versification – it is necessary to describe a walk along the shore in each studied size.
- Studying poetic techniques, you should also fix each technique, using the same theme. And in the end it will be useful to describe a walk by the sea in different genres and styles. The exercise gives an opportunity to try your hand in different directions, to find the most successful and interesting tricks for yourself.
- You can not break the rhythm of the poem. Even one extra syllable can destroy the entire melody of the work.
- Do not sacrifice the meaning and the idea for the sake of intricate phrases.
- Writing poems only in anticipation of the result is unacceptable. Creativity is not a result, but a process, and every moment of it should give pleasure and contribute to the literary development of the author.
- It is also impossible to write poetry without a soul, and if what is written does not cause deep feelings for the author, then the reader will not have any emotions either.
- For the poem to be truly poetic, one should avoid trivial rhyme techniques (tears-spears; day-pray; think-drink). Beginners should also not use inaccurate rhymes.
- One should not imitate anyone, even the most beloved authors.
How to Write a Short Poem: Mistakes to Avoid
Quite often novice authors allow a series of annoying mistakes, as a result of which either they decide to stop engaging in poetry, or they begin to treat their work from a critical point of view. We will look at the most typical misses of young poets, which are fairly easy to avoid.
The first and the main rule for the author who wants to know how to compose a poem is to have patience. When you write a poem, do not immediately show it to the public. It is better to wait a little – perhaps, in a few days the poet will be able to see in the verse something that can be corrected, thus making the entire work better. After reading it several times aloud, the author can hear the rhythm failures, lack of consonances in rhymes, and pick up more suitable words.
Evaluating the verse written by another person is always easier, and therefore, after reading a poem to listeners immediately after writing, the author risks receiving a number of critical remarks, which can easily be avoided by postponing the work. After a certain period, the author himself or herself will perceive the poem as a third party listener, which means that he or she can objectively evaluate it.
A good training method for young poets can be to attempt to put poems to music. Even the most simple construction will help to reveal rhythmic errors. If the poem can be performed without a single malfunction, then its rhythmic pattern is irreproachable.
Novice authors should pay particular attention to their vocabulary. Quite often poets use interjections in order to withstand the rhythm of a verse – you’d better avoid this. In this case, it is preferable to rebuild the whole line or even stanza, and spend extra time to find a more accurate word.
The same applies to words that do not fit into the style of the poem. Slipping a lexeme into a line can destroy the entire picture of the verse, completely ruining the impression from it. Do not overuse very beautiful, but obsolete, words. They will look too pompous and unnatural in the work of a modern author.
A special requirement is literacy. The author should respect the language he or she uses to create poems. Errors in the text also act as a disregard for the reader. If they exist, the realization will nullify all the efforts of the poet.
How to Write a Love Poem
It is difficult to find a person who in his or her youth did not write poetry about love. But only a few know how to write a poem in English about love properly. We have gathered some rules on how to do it right.
- Do not steal texts. He who stole another’s poem can steal a purse as well. It is better to have a text that is clumsy, but is your own, than a perfect one that belongs to someone else. Even if your deception reveals itself many years later, it will still be very unpleasant. If you are inspired by something, remake it so that it won’t be recognized.
- By the way, do not be inspired by popular poems on love. Do not take plots and images from there. It will be seen immediately where got your ideas, and after all, you are claiming originality, aren’t you?
- There is a certain set of rhymes used so often that for their new application requires high skill: words like dove and love, death and breath, heaven and eleven, etc. If you are not sure that you are saying something completely original, avoid them. There is nothing worse than banal content in a trivial form.
- The same concerns comparisons. The idea to compare a girl with a flower, or a rose in particular, is not bad, but it is used too often. Kittens or kitties are cute, but again they are used too often. Do not be lazy – exercise your imagination!
- Do not give poetry to a person who would not like receiving it. It is one of the main rules if you want to know how to do a poem about love. If this is your ex-girlfriend, which you have already sent a lot of your verses and expect to return to her with one more, do not try. Think of something more original.
- A bad idea is to list the person’s shortcomings, in spite of which you love him or her. “You are, of course, lame, ugly, but still you are the best” – it doesn’t matter how perfectly you rhyme this, as the poem is still offensive.
- Do not give a person poems if you have never written poetry before. Train on cats, and your beloved should be shown not only feelings, but also some level of skill.
- Men should more describe the merits of the woman, while women should focus more on describing their own feelings. Thus, both are recommended to write about a woman. Such are the traditions of world poetry. However, if you really have something to say about the representative of men, in addition to that he is untidy, too fond of beer, and snoring like a horse – you are welcome.
- Personalize your poem. It is tempting, of course, to make the text universal, so that you can then “re-gift” it, but, you see, it’s still a show of meanness. So insert the name of the person in the text, work on the proper presentation of his or her name, and let him or her understand that it is written only to him or her and no one else.
- A great idea is an acrostic: the first letters of the lines form the name of a beloved or some appeal to this person. You can just write a sonnet; it’s a nice gift, but if you can read “ILOVEYOUTOM” on all 11 first letters from the lines top down, Tom’s complete delight is assured. There are more sophisticated options – for example, take the first letter for the first line, the second letter for the second line, and so on.
- It would be great to own the basic techniques of versification – they are even sometimes taught in school. It is necessary to feel the rhythm, to be able to express your feelings properly. Clumsiness can also be charming, but you want to achieve respect, not pity, don’t you? If you feel that you can not write well in rhyme, hide behind exquisite oriental forms like haiku: there you just have to be able to count syllables; it’s easier.
How to Write a Poem for Kids
From the very beginning, it is necessary to clarify for yourself the key question: what is poetry for children? Define this phenomenon briefly and as accurately as possible. If you understand what it is for, it immediately becomes clear that this is a way of communicating with the child, and this communication is not boring, like: “Go eat!” “Sit straight!” “Why did you throw the toys?” It is in some sense festive, entertaining, and affectionate – communication of this kind is intended to strengthen the psychological links between the child and the adult.
Enjoy the musicality of the poem together, touch the beautiful, learn something new, look at the world from an unexpected side, laugh or even cry together – and the child will be full of kind feelings and love for you. And the same for you. These moments of traveling together in a fairy tale – because each poem should be a small fairy tale – will never be forgotten by either the adult or the child.
The emotionality that accompanies this kind of communication is also a powerful educational factor through which we can establish effective positive contact with a child. Episodes of such communication can be used later, instead of being boring and grumbling politely – for example, “Do you want to be like that pig that swam in the mud?”
An unobtrusive but bright teaching, rich with association, expressed with a smile from a pleasant memory, is much more effective than everyday grumbling. The child will definitely appreciate it. We can say that the poems have a prolonged educational effect, which can be exploited for a long time by all to the benefit.
In addition, this communication, as a rule, also has cognitive significance: in the verses, the child meets new words denoting things and phenomena unfamiliar to him or her, learns a little bit more of the native language, and is attached to the music of speech, smooth and rhythmic, depending on the poem. The child gets a visual idea of the content of the newly acquired knowledge, through illustrations that usually accompany poems for children in books and magazines.
The symbiosis between artistic speech and the image is very effective – and very important for the child, bringing the “book” way of knowing the world to the familiar, through actually observed phenomena and objects. This helps the child think out the knowledge acquired, forming associative and logical links between new words and designated phenomena or objects, developing the imagination. Before learning how to create a poem for children, it is necessary to understand what it is.
So, children’s poetry is:
- a way of communicating with the child;
- a way of knowing the world;
- a means of developing the child’s cognitive abilities and imagination;
- the means of development of the child’s emotional sphere;
- a means of familiarizing the child with beauty;
- a light, unobtrusive way to instill in the child correct views on the moral
- principles and skills of a civilized person necessary for his/her upbringing;
- a kind of training to understand humor, which is also very important for an
- adequate response to life’s realities and for successful contact with society.
Now let’s ask ourselves: what should children’s poetry be, so that it can successfully serve as an instrument of knowledge, and effectively perform its function of communicating educational tasks? Probably everyone will agree that it should be kind – without this, the entire teaching charge will be wasted, and communication can become unpleasant.
The child is easily shocked by a rude word, a cruel episode, and phonetic and rhythmic “bloopers” can cause the child to disapprove – the child will say “I do not like it,” yet not quite understanding why. But we must understand that poems for children should be easily assimilated – in the emotional, and in the cognitive, and in the “technical” (from the point of view of the poetic form) way.
They should be flawless in terms of grammar, phonetics, rhythm, musicality, and expressiveness. Communication in verse with a small child who is not yet able to read is verbal art. We read poetry aloud, trying to do it as best as possible, including all of our acting, music, and other possibilities.
Poems should have an artistic effect on the child, strengthening the influence of the text in a truly artistic form, and being supplemented by good performance. Such poems, regardless of content, already contain an educational quality – they bring up good feelings and good taste in the child, even if the poem does not have explicit pedagogical plans.
The main orientations in terms of the technique of versification and the characteristics of children’s perception are:
- Graphic. Poems should be graphic, that is, in every stanza, and sometimes in each couplet, must be material for the artist, because the thinking of younger children is characterized by absolute imagery.
- Dynamics of images. The fastest change of images is the second rule for writers of children’s poetry.
- Lyricism. The third rule is that this verbal painting must be at the same time lyrical.
- Dynamic rhythm. The mobility and changeability of the rhythm is the fourth commandment for poets.
- Musicality. This is the increased musicality of poetic speech.
According to our guide, the main things you need to write a poem are creativity and time. Our guide should help you with your writing, as well as the guides and poem ideas that you can find on our blog. You will be able to write your poem in the fastest way if you have such help. You can also find guides that can help you to write other papers; simply check out our blog!