The Ooh La La La(s) of Poetry

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Poetry follows no official rules. However, as with every piece of creative writing, having some amount of structure can help you perfect your ideas. To take your poetry to the next level, read on. If you haven’t written a single poem since ages, here are the basics to have you writing poetry in no time.

Read! Read poetry, we mean. Robert Frost, Christina Rossetti, Edward Hirsch, Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, Sarojini Naidu, Tagore.

Listen to live poetry recitations. Watch ‘Dead Poet’s Society’, we’ll tell you! Many bookstores and coffeehouses have poetry readings, and these can be both fun and instructive for aspiring poets. By listening to the sounds of good poetry, you discover the beauty of its construction. Use stressed and unstressed syllables, alliteration and assonance, a nicely placed internal rhyme, clever line breaks, and more. You’ll never think of the artform the same way once you hear good poems read aloud. (Make a good poet read out your poem – the best thing to ever happen to your poetry!)

Start with a short poem like a haiku or a free verse. A simple rhyming poem. Don’t mistake quantity for quality; a pristine seven-line free verse poem is more impressive than a sloppily written long narrative epic.

Don’t procrastinate over your first line. If you don’t feel you have exactly the right words to open your poem, don’t give up there. Keep writing and come back to the first line when you’re ready.

Embrace technology. If a thesaurus or a rhyming dictionary will help you complete a poem, use it. You’d be surprised how many professional writers also make use of these tools. Just be sure you understand the true meaning of the words you insert into your poem. Some synonyms listed in a thesaurus will not mean the same as the meaning you wish to convey.

Try telling a story with your poem.

Familiarize yourself with myriad forms of poetry. Each different form of poetry has its own requirements—rhyme scheme, number of lines, meter, subject matter, and more—that make them unique from other types of poems. Think of these structures as the poetic equivalent of the grammar rules that govern prose writing.

We ate WriteFluence created a very apt poetry writing journal for aspiring poets, recently by the name of A Poem A Day – available on Amazon as well. This journal has been designed to motivate you to write poetry in all forms throughout a year. You can start on any day during the year, but be sure to write a poem every day. We have a different poem-form prompt for you that you should follow every month. You can choose to not follow a continuous order and write a different form of poetry every next day. For the first 200 hundred days, we have also given you prompts. The remainder of the year is for you to craft you poetry in your own beautiful way. 

We have an ongoing poetry writing contest on our Instagram account. Do check it out and experiment!

Happy WriteFluencing!