What Are Some Helpful Tips When Writing a Poem?


Quick Answer

Helpful tips when writing a poem include learning the basics of the poetic craft by reading a lot of poetry or attending workshops and readings, knowing the purpose of the poem, and choosing a writing pattern such as free verse, rhyming couplets and haiku. To keep a poem focused, pick a specific topic, moment or experience about which to write. Try to describe something or someone using similes and metaphors, but avoid cliches.

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As much as possible, use concrete words to give readers a clear picture of the subject or experience being described. In fact, imagery in writing, which means using vivid and descriptive language to add depth to a literary work, is a primary component of poetry. For example, instead of simply stating that there were daffodils on a hill, William Wordsworth in his poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" meaningfully described them as, "Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

When writing poetry, be sensitive to both language and life. Look around and attempt to see things from a different perspective. Imagine what people, even animals, are feeling and about what they are thinking, and write down your thoughts. Keep a journal and make time to write and rewrite if necessary. By doing so, it becomes easier to generate images and ideas to write an expressive and meaningful poem.

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