How do you write an original poem?


Quick Answer

Write an original poem by considering the poem’s goal and avoiding both clichés and sentimentality. While genuine originality in poetry can be difficult to accomplish, writers can improve their poetry by following these tips.

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Full Answer

Before beginning to write, consider the poem’s goals. Writers should think about what they actually want to say in a poem and why they want to say it. Only by determining the message of the poem can poets determine how to make all the elements of the writing work in service of that message.

Once the writing begins, watch out for language and content that can detract from a poem’s originality. Clichés are one of the most important linguistic elements to avoid when writing. A cliché is any phrase that is so overused that it comes to lose its impact and meaning, such as “blind as a bat” or “blood red.” Writers should look for clichés in their work and attempt to find more interesting ways to use language. Consider the meaning behind a cliché and then attempt to find a different way to express that meaning.

It’s also vital for original poetry to avoid unnecessary sentimentality. Sentimentality is any attempt to manipulate readers’ emotions using pity, love or other strong feelings. Poetry can express emotion, but writers don’t need to try to force emotions out of their readers using emotional clichés.

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