How To Write Poetry

If you want to​ know how to​ write poetry, the first thing you have to​ do is​ write some. it​ doesn't matter how it​ turns out. Your own mistakes will become your teachers. Your own writing will motivate you to​ greater creativity. Now, once you start the process, how do you improve it? Here are three tips.

1. Use nouns and verbs more than adjectives. Which is​ stronger: "She was as​ beautiful as​ a​ flower..." or​ "Roses wilted in​ shame as​ she passed by..."? "He looked at​ the depressing clouds..." or​ "He watched as​ dark clouds moved in, covering his sky..."?

2. Don't tell the reader how to​ feel. Let the words elicit the emotions directly, without explaining. "The tragedy touched them all," is​ more touching to​ the reader as​ "Men and women, doctor and workman... thirteen people looked upon the scene... with tears in​ their eyes."

3. Use dramatic and emotional words. Not all words are equal in​ their ability to​ "grab" a​ reader or​ elicit emotion. "Fell," "take," and "love," will probably be weaker than "plunged," "siezed," and "worship."

Look at​ the following lines, written two ways. The second way applies the three rules above. (From the poem "Gratitude.")


The mountains and lakes were beautiful

I looked at​ them, heard them and smelled them

And I felt in​ awe


Mountains stand against the sky

My little lake at​ their feet

And in​ the middle of​ this creation

Which I see with my eyes

Hear with my ears

Smell and taste...

Words fail, as​ they should

I hope you agree that the second version is​ better. Again, if​ you want to​ know how to​ write poetry, you have to​ start writing. Use these and other rules to​ help you, but remember that all rules in​ poetry need to​ be broken at​ times. Read your poems aloud to​ yourself and others as​ a​ final "test."

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