How to Write a Poem

A poem starts with a thought, an idea, or an emotion felt from the heart. Poems can be happy, or sad, deep-thinking or off the wall, humorous, or even maudlin. The choice is up to you and your imagination as to what you will create.

The only other tools you will need is paper and a pencil. You might keep a rhyming dictionary on hand, along with a thesaurus and a regular dictionary to help you out.

Your first step is to write down that idea or thought that you have and want to turn into a poem. Next, we are going to turn that thought into a free verse poem. There are two different types of poems, and they are structured and free verse. One example of a structured poem is a limerick. Free verse is much easier to write as there are no steadfast rules to writing them. Some free verse doesn’t even have any rhymes or meters to them. Meter is defined as a rhythm in verses, or a pattern of syllables.

So, now, rewrite your thoughts into lines. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation at this point in time, just change your thoughts to lines. Don’t worry about how long or short each line is either. Now is the time to look at your lines and remember that the poem should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, just like a story, a book, and a movie has.

You may need to add more information in order to turn your thoughts into a start, a middle, and a finish. Keep in mind that these parts need not be “written in stone”, so to speak. The words of a poem are pliable while they are in the creation stages. They are to be molded and changed until you find the exactly right words you need to complete a line or stanza.

Reread your poem several times and listen to the words and to the rhythm of each line. Now is the time to shorten or lengthen each line in order to create a smooth-sounding poem. Even though it is a free verse poem, you can choose to make each line rhyme with the next line if you want to. If you do, you can use the rhyming dictionary to aid you in finding the appropriate words.

Now go back and reread your poem again. Check for proper punctuation as well as for the proper spelling of each word. Think up an appropriate title for your poem. It would be a good idea to set your poem aside for awhile and then return to it later. Then, reread it again with a fresh mind and make any necessary changes.

If you decide to continue writing poetry, it would be a good idea to investigate some books about creating poetry, and to attend some local workshops. Check out the available resources on the Internet as well as what is available at your local public library.

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