Continuous Writing: Free Writing I – Poetry Writing I
- Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses special language features to discuss things, ideas, emotions, etc. It is written in the following way:
- It is divided into verse or stanza with rhymes or can be written in a single line without rhyme.
- Its language is condensed by the use of figurative language such as metaphor, simile, personification, irony, hyperbole, etc.
- The stanza or verse lines have such musical devices as rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, etc
- It contains a subject matter or theme.
- The title usually reflects the subject matter or theme.
10 tips on How to Write a Poem
1. Know Your Goal
You need to know what you are trying to accomplish before you begin any project. Writing a poem is no exception. Before you begin, ask yourself what you want your poem to “do”. Once you know the goal of your poem, you can conform your writing to that goal.
2. Avoid Clichés
In writing poems, clichés include overused literary elements such as overused themes, character types, or plots. A work full of clichés is like a plate of old food: unappetizing.
3. Avoid Sentimentality
Sentimentality is dominated by a blunt appeal to the emotions of pity, love, or anger. When readers have the feeling that emotions like rage or indignation have been pushed artificially for their own sake, they will not take the poem seriously.
4. Use Images
Poetry should stimulate the senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, motion. Your writing can only achieve this when you produce fresh striking images.
5. Use Metaphor and Simile
Use metaphor and simile to bring images and concrete words into your writing.
6. Use Concrete Words Instead of Abstract Words
Concrete words describe things that people experience with their senses.
A person can see orange, feel warm or hear a cat. Poets use concrete words to help the reader get a ‘picture’ of what the poem is talking about.
7. Communicate Theme
Poetry always has a theme. Theme is not just a topic, but an idea with an opinion. The poet strives to show the reader his/her theme during the entire poem, making use of literary techniques.
8. Subvert the Ordinary
A poet’s strength is the ability to see what other people see every day in a new way. This requires taking an ordinary object, place, person, or idea and coming up with a new perception of it. For instance, a poet sees a sixty- year old woman and imagines a grandmother who runs marathons.
9. Rhyme with Extreme Caution
Rhyme and meter (the pattern of stressed and unstressed words) can be dangerous if used the wrong way. If you choose a rhyme scheme that makes your poem sound sing-song, it will detract from the quality of your poem.
10. Revise, Revise, Revise
The first completed draft of your poem is only the beginning. Poets often go through several drafts of a poem before considering the work ‘done’.
Pick up a poem from any anthology and examine the literary techniques the poet has employed.