There are various forms of creative writing, but there is one which is the most sophisticated and mysterious - poem writing. Are there many rules to follow in poetry? Are there no rules? Both! It is a kind of expressing yourself and it is free, but there are helpful prompts to use and genres with their particular characteristics.
Writing a poem is extremely challenging, but it is also rewarding! We recommend learning everything possible about this form of art and then dare to compose your own pieces.
It is tricky to learn how to be a poet, but you can excel in this art with proper knowledge.
Stage 1: What is a poem?
You can get down to writing poetry only after you have figured out what a poem is. It is a collection of words arranged to express bright ideas and emotions of the author, and its style is much more concentrated than it is in a prose or everyday speech.
Verses are more typical of poetry than paragraphs. How they are created? They have rhythm and can be made up with either incomplete or complete sentences.
NB: Rhyme is not a mandatory aspect of this type of writing.
Stage 2: What is your purpose of writing?
What would you like to tell about in your creative piece? Why have you started working on it? If you have identified the purpose of your verse, you will know which style or form is needed for it. It also determines the length of the verse and the type of language in it. What is your target audience? Are you writing for some person or for yourself?
Stage 3: What is the subject of your poem?
What is your verse is about? After having answered this question, you will know the subject. You have to choose the focus of your poetry before you have started actual writing. It may make it possible for you to help your mind pay special attention to what you are going to tell about. Use a prompt if you lack idea to start.
Step 4: Start brainstorming
Write down every idea that comes to your mind when you reflect on the subject of your verse. A poet always fancies what another person can think about somebody or something. The poet thinks about a pear and the poem can be about the reasons this pear is there, what will happen to it, how it will look like in a day or a year.
It is helpful for the poet to walk around and get absorbed in the world of physical senses: vision, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Watch the surrounding world and observe what the animals and people are doing. Try to fancy the feelings of people in the street. It is fine to invent some funny stories and care not about the common sense. You can make fun, get relaxed, and just write whatever you want in that particular moment.
Stage 5: Decide on the format of your poem
After you decide on the tone and subject of your verse, you can figure out which format is preferable. Now you are a beginner, so it is not time for you to ensure that the style or format of your poem is perfect. Just choose one format and get to know which fundamental rules apply to it. Try your best to follow the rules. You can be more creative later on when you get more experience.
Stage 6: Start with a single line
So, you are aware what the purpose of your poetry is. You have figured out the subject of your poem and you have selected the most suitable vocabulary for it. Now it is high time for you to compose more than one line. It can be any line - you can start from the middle, end, opening, or the title of the poem. Great! You have started and now you can reflect on the spectrum of your idea.
Stage 7: Write the remaining parts
Have you completed the first line of your poem? Now you can just add more lines to it. Have you started with the final line that completes your poem? Now you can go backwards. Perfect style and formatting are not needed now. You may care about them later on.
Stage 8: Do the editing
You have completed the first draft of your verse. You would like to read it again and again, but we recommend putting it aside for a day. You can improve it after a break and look at your writing from a new perspective. It is fine if you ask your friend to look at it and give some comments. Stop making changes after you are completely satisfied with what you have done.
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Valuable Tips for Poem Writing
Is it ok if your first poem is not ideal? Absolutely! Nevertheless, you can be proud of it! Just keep some things in mind and your skills will improve with every new poem.
- Read a lot. Start with reading poems if you decide to compose them. You will get to the profound layers of the poetry and then your favorite pieces will help you be creative in your own writing.
- Listen to how the poets recite live. It is not an exercise you have to do to gain an insight into using alliteration or any other poetic techniques. You have to listen and hear how nicely the poem can sound. Attend some poetry slams and get into the world of sounds and words. Perceive poems like music. Check on the poetry readings held in the bookstores, they are helpful for all poets: both experienced and new. Discover the beauty in the sounds of poetry and master the rhythm, using assonance and alliteration, combining stressed and unstressed syllables, and being able to amaze the listeners and readers.
- Do not spend too much time on writing the first line. Keep writing and you can get back to the beginning after you have completed the poem. At first, it can be not the beginning you have been dreaming about, but later on you will manage to make it adequate and match with the body of the poem. It is a common mistake of all beginners to pay too much attention to the opening line and waste time.
- Use a wide range of tools. Get a quality thesaurus to be able to find a suitable and original synonym. Make use of a rhyming dictionary as well. Not only the beginners but also professional writers cannot do without such tools.
- Learn how to use various literary devices. You need top-notch devices to enhance your poetry. There are strict guidelines about the rhyme and meter schemes in your poems. Consider that you should do your best to insert such literary devices as allegory, metaphor, imagery, metonymy, synecdoche, and others into your verses.
- Present bright ideas. Precise language of the poem can help you express great ideas and even create a new philosophy. Be careful while choosing words and structures. Try to send a message to your readers with appropriate words and communicate what you believe is important.
- Draw a parallel between poetry and painting. Poets can create bright images with the help of words. You have to learn how you can figuratively draw pictures in the readers' minds. You can create vivid images like a painter, but your medium is the word and not the paint.
- Get acquainted with various forms of poems. It is important as each of them has its own set of requirements concerning the number of lines, scheme of rhyme, subject matter, meter, and other aspects. All of them are unique and you have to learn more about the poetic structures like you do with the grammar rules in prose.
- Get in touch with other poets. It is always valuable to have people with the same ambitions and interests around to discuss the approaches, share ideas, listen to their poems, and learn from their experience. If the community of poets is supportive, you will soon find it easier to brainstorm poetry ideas and different poetry tasks.
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