How to Write Poetry

I wrote an interesting article for AC recently about how to write greeting card verses. I mentioned in the article that you don’t have to know how to write poetry to successfully write these type of verses. Most companies aren’t even looking for verses that rhyme. Instead, they want humorous words; or often, words for their greeting cards that come straight from the heart. So, even though I knew how to write poetry, that didn’t help a lot when it came to writing greeting card verses.

Your poetry will probably be inspired from things that tickle your funny bone. You’ll also feel a need to write about things that warm your heart, break your heart, and make you reflect on life. What is poetry written about? Everything a human mind can think of. There is no right or wrong subject to write on. You’ll learn how to write poetry as soon as you can put your thoughts into words. Not just any words, though. Your words have to convey what you’re thinking or feeling to the readers of your poem.

Whether you use a computer or a pen and paper to write poetry with, you’re probably going to be freaked by the blank white page (or screen) in front of you. Most beginning poets are. You know what you want to tell your readers, but how do you put it into words?

Once you learn how to write poetry, the words will come to you. For the most part, you will develop your own writing style. And, just like writers of books, you’ll figure out how to start every poem. That is, you’ll find out what works the best for you.

Some poets learn how to write poetry by writing down bits and phrases that come to their mind. They keep going until they have finished their thought, idea, or message. Then, they go back and reread their rough draft of poetry to put it into attractive, readable verses.

Other poets prefer to plan their entire poem in advance. They decide the subject matter, what each verse will say, and then put it all together.

As you go through each day, you probably have ditties and snippets run your mind that you’d like to turn into poetry. To capture these thoughts and not let them get away, you should carry a small notebook and pen with you at all times. Write down thoughts, ideas, and inspirations so you can turn them into poetry later when you have the time.

Many poets start their own writings because they are inspired by other poets. Some of my favorite poets are Walt Whitman and Robert Frost. Of course, you can’t plagiarize your favorite poets, but you can learn how to write poetry by studying the work of your favorite poets. Notice how they express a thought, how they make words rhyme, (if applicable), how they put sentences and verses together, and how they convey a message to their readers.

Just like a successful story or an article, a poem needs a beginning, a middle, and an end to be complete. Keep that in mind when you write your poetry.

And finally, in order to learn how to write poetry, you must write, write write. Practice does indeed “makes perfect”. The more verses you write, the more you’ll find your work flowing and coming together easier than before.

To find out how your work rates, search the Internet and other venues for poetry contests you can enter your work into. Also, join poetry groups so you can chat about and compare your poetry with others’ work.

Before you know it, when someone asks you, “Do you know how to write poetry?” You’ll reply, “You bet I do!”

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