How to Start Writing Poetry

Poetry is one of my absolute favorite art forms, simply because it's so full of possibilities. Poetry can be so many creative, beautiful things, and I feel like a lot of people don't realize that.
Sadly, if you ask most people what a poem is, they will tell you a poem is a short creative piece that rhymes. And while yes, that's true, it's not the only kind of poem you can write. There are tons of different types of poetry you can experiment with!
But today, let's take a look at some of the benefits of writing poetry, and how you can start writing it yourself.


First, why should you start writing poetry? Well, I have an entire post dedicated to that question that you can read here. But for now, here's a summary:

1. It's more than just lines of rhyming words.
2. It's very therapeutic.
3. It challenges you.
4. It sharpens your skills.

Poetry is a really great art form to explore, but so many people don't feel that they are qualified or talented enough to write poetry. And that's sad, because poetry is something that can be practically anything. A stream of thoughts, a rearrangement of words, a paragraph with different lines crossed out--poetry has endless possibilities!

How to write a poem:

1. Pick your form.
There are hundreds of ways to write a poem. Do you want to rhyme, or not rhyme? Do you want your poetry to follow a beat or flow on it's own? You could write a limerick, a sonnet, a Haiku, a quatrain, free verse--seriously, there are so many options. But don't let that overwhelm you. Start by experimenting with as many (or as few) as you want. 
When I was in college, I had to write a poem in every kind of meter imaginable. Iambic pentameter, trochaic tetrameter, anapestic trimeter, etc. I learned very quickly that metered poems were not for me. I prefer to write free verse, which is basically poetry that doesn't follow the "rules." So don't be afraid to experiment with different poetry forms, and don't be upset if a certain form isn't for you. Every writer has a different style, and you will find your poetry niche faster than you think.

2. Pick your subject.
What are you just dying to write about? Nature? Animals? People? Emotions? You can write about anything you want, but often the best kinds of poetry comes from deep within. Some poets like to write emotional poetry about their deepest feelings. I've often found that times of grief, heartbreak, loneliness, anxiety, and insecurity fuel my best poems--but it's different for everyone. The next time you feel emotional, try writing a poem to release your feelings.
Or, if you prefer other poetry forms, look around you for things that inspire you. Nature is another popular subject that many poets craft beautiful poems around. I personally love writing poems about sunsets and water, simply because there are so many wonderful words I can use to describe them. Find what inspires you, and write about it!

3. Let your heart write.
The beautiful part about poetry is that you practically can't do it wrong. You may not like what you write at first, but just like stories, poetry can be edited as much as you want. Some people like to use literary devices like metaphors in their poems, others like to keep things simple. Some like to use big words, and other don't.
While I can give you ideas about what form to pick or what subject to write about, in reality poetry is something that comes from within. It's an art form that comes in many different shapes and sizes, and it's something that every single person writes differently. So take some time and let your heart write! You may be surprised at what you end up with.

Poetry is an art form that I never thought I would use much at this age, and yet here I am with one poetry book ready for publication and another being compiled. Poetry is such a beautiful form of self-expression, and I highly recommend it to anyone struggling to deal with their emotions.

If you would like to read a few of my own poems, you can check out my ongoing collection, Echoing Thoughts, on Wattpad. You can also check out the "publications" tab above for links to my poems in The Huron River Review and Michigan's Best Emerging Poets.

Make sure to check back on Thursday to learn more about poetry as we dive into some different and interesting poetry forms. And as another reminder, the WSS Writing Contest is still accepting submissions! Make sure to check out that post for more information on how to submit.

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of your day!

Comments

  1. I've always wished I could connect better to poetry. I generally have difficulties because I'm very literal and have trouble understanding why the words are there, if that makes any sense...although the poetry I do connect to tends to be patter poems that aren't supposed to make sense, funnily enough. For example, Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town, which is one of my favorite poems ever. For me, I guess, sound is the most important thing, so I migrate towards poems with complicated meter, rhyme, and phonetic wordplay. (I also like poetry exponentially better when it's performed out loud.) My best friend is really into free verse, though. There really is something for everyone!

    In your opinion, what's the difference between free verse and prose poetry? Is the visual aspect the only difference?

    I think it's really cool that you're taking this blog in a poetry direction along with your writing. I've never followed any poetry-centric blogs before, so I'm excited to see what you have to say!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that makes sense! I absolutely adore slam poetry. There's something so raw and beautiful about the way the poet can add so much meaning to their words just by their tone of voice and facial expression. My absolute favorite is "Explaining Depression to My Mother: A Conversation" by Sebrina Benaim. Her performance is incredibly moving and if you haven't seen it you should definitely look it up on YouTube!

      From what I've seen, the difference between free verse and prose is the form and mostly the visual aspect. While free verse doesn't technically follow rules/have a form, compared to prose, it does. Free verse has intentional line breaks and may repeat words while I've usually seen that prose is more straightforward and doesn't have intentional line breaks. Prose also tends to reflect ordinary speech more, while free verse does not. They're very similar, but I think free verse is a little more poetical than prose.

      Thanks! I'm so glad you like it! Poetry has been a passion of mine since I was nine so I'm really excited to share more about it on the blog :)

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