How To Write Poetry

PoetryQuote4_zpsa4587647

Poetry is one of the most popular forms of art in the world. Almost anyone can do it and you’re definitely not limited to where you can write. I’ve jotted down my own work of prose in coffee shops, libraries, and even when I should be paying attention to a college lecture. I don’t recommend doing that but, sometimes, you can’t help it. (Luckily, I’ve already graduated so if any of my old professors are reading this – please, forgive me.)

Forgive-Me

The muse can hit at anytime, anyplace and on any subject. If you were to write a poem right now, what would it be about?

That’s the beauty of poetry – it can be about literally ANYTHING you can think of!

I would go so far as to say that the common denominator in every poet is the use of their imagination and using words to express those thoughts with the world.

I’ve maintained my own website full of poetry since 2012 and have held a love for poetry for most of my life. I was quite young when Dead Poets Society was released but it made a huge impact on my life. I could be found scribbling all sorts of poems about love, grief, loss, and all sorts of themes.

People in my everyday life ask me how do I that? And they end the conversation with, “I could never write a poem.” I’m going to have to disagree with that. Take this scene for example:

Actually, I think anyone can and I wanted to write this blog to show whoever wants to write their own poem where they can start.

  My Six Key Steps 

1.) Notice everything. Look at everything in a different way. Do you go to school? Observe what people are doing and in your mind’s eye, think about what’s taking place. You see a new puppy – think about how it makes you feel. It’s important to look at everything and learn how to describe it.

2.) Read. Stephen King’s top advice for writers is to read. That is exactly what you should do with poetry and it’s not to copy other people’s work but to gain inspiration. See what they’re doing and what you would do different. When you’re reading a book, take note of how the author is allowing you to explore their world.

3.) Choose A Topic.  Tap into your emotions. What’s in predominate in your thoughts right now? A new love? Are you sad? Happy? Angry? Fearful? Really embrace that and how you feel. Put yourself completely in your chosen topic. Think of what that smells like, or how that feels. Talk about it.

4.) And Control Those emotions. What you’re feeling and experiencing right now is a very human experience. It’s what makes you who you are. To express that to others, you have to harness that energy that you just tapped into. Make it yours and then show it to others. The idea is to give your experience to others with words.

5.) Begin Writing. Let your words flow and don’t think about it. Don’t be afraid. Right now, you’re getting your feelings out on paper. Sometimes, I write on a simple notebook and other times I use a word processor. The main idea is to get it all out on in the open. You can even say your words out loud.  If you’re writing a piece that requires rhymes and it escapes you at the moment, jot it down and don’t worry so much about it. We’ll clean it up in a few moments.

6.) Review. Read aloud what you wrote. If something sounds off, now is the time to edit! Having a hard time finding the correct rhyme? I recommend using rhymezone when you’re stuck. But remember, not every poem has to rhyme. The example that I will be giving you shortly doesn’t always rhyme. Find your flow and you’ll be good to go.

 An Overview:

  • Have a topic in mind.
  • Tap into your emotions.
  • Control your emotions.
  • Never give up!!

tobe


 

Here’s an example from a poem I wrote. I was waiting for hours in a waiting room at the hospital while my husband was having tests run. I watched what everyone was doing and I wrote down the key points in my observations.

The Hospital 

White walls and white floors

The sun’s barely risen

New ones go out

Old ones come in

Her soft voice questions

“How much longer will it be?”

Waiting for hours for a room

They’re running tests on me.

New mother with her baby

The child’s sound asleep

Having no sense of time

Mama knows baby’ll grow fast.

The elderly man, papers in hand

White hair and wrinkled face

Behind his eyes, so many memories

I wonder the stories he could tell.

The phones are ringing, coffee’s brewing

Pagers summoning the next patient

Faces looking weary and sick

Worrying of what will happen next.

Flannel shirt and barely can walk

Many places to choose to sit

He sits beside me and asks how I am

He’s wheeled away, I pray he’ll be fine.

Keeping an eye of every person

I look a bit deeper in awe

Every face has a some story

Either just beginning, middle, or ending..

A young lady reading her book

An old man searching for his place

The young baby going home for the first time

I hope that all of them will be fine.


 

So, why would you want to write poetry? Because it is about love, life, loss, passion, and everything that you can possibly conceive. Now that you have a starting point, the possibilities are endless. You can create your own world, my friend.

I’d love to read what you’ve come up with so don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Don’t be afraid to start on this journey. You got this!

 

There is so much to learn when writing poems and this certainly isn’t the end to your adventure – it’s merely the beginning. Never ever stop learning is my biggest advice. If you want to explore more on how to write haiku, read all that you can of it. With the internet, you can learn nearly any topic you want – you just have to want to do it. You need that desire.

Here are some resources to help you on your journey:

Poetry Tools and Technqiues

Haiku by Jane Hirshfield

 

I’ve also written a few of my own poetry books. They’re my own works on grieving, exploration, and hope. You can find those here if you’re interested. 🙂

My Poetry Collection

Good luck and happy writing!

With all of my love,

SusanSignature

 

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