Want to know how to go about writing a poem? It requires vivid imagination, along with a good grip on the language, sincerity of emotions, and proper presentation skills.
Writing poetry is quite a daunting task. It sounds easy at the outset, but when one gets down to it, it becomes more and more complicated. Some of us can go ahead and create a magical flow with words quite easily, while it is a long-winded and onerous task for others. Needless to say, when one contemplates writing poetry, one must be up to the challenge. There are several things that one must consider while wondering how to write poetry.
Commonly known as the ‘theme’ of the poem, this is the important starting point and central point of your work. An interesting way to take the jump from this point is writing down the words, phrases or sentences that come to your mind when you are thinking about the subject or the theme of your poem. Don’t worry if nothing sounds or feels right, just write it down for now.
A poem is not to be used to state the obvious. We all know that the grass is green, for example. What you need to express in your poem is what you felt when you saw the green grass. With your words, you have to convey what you feel or felt. A poem is essentially about the emotions of the poet. A way to get past the barrier of writing about emotions is to take ordinary things from your daily life and write down whatever ‘feeling’ words come to your mind when you see the object.
The mood can often help you convey the feelings more effectively. Once you have your feeling words in place, you can choose different moods of the poem and try to write a sentence or two that contains the theme and the feeling in these various moods.
Choose a style of writing the poem from among several – from classical to the modern contemporary styles of writing poetry, there are many to choose from. Pick a style which is easier for you to work with. Most modern poets often use the free verse style of poetry. Although, to the beginner, this style may not have a formal structure and sound easy to write in, look closely at the work of popular free verse poets and you will find a basic form lurking somewhere.
The audience of the poem can help you choose the language, the style and the words to be used in your piece. Experiment with forms and words to find your unique ‘Voice’ as a poet. Read out your poem to a few of your friends, relatives, and neighbors etc., who fit in with your description of your target audience. Ask for their feedback and what they felt about the poem. Don’t take negative feedback or criticism to heart – it is in fact a learning experience all the way.
Other Helpful Tips
✒ It makes sense to study the forms and styles used by poets across the world to become more familiar with structure, format, rhythm, rhyme and meter along with several other elements used in poetry.
✒ A dictionary or a Thesaurus is very handy to have. Often, a search for meanings of words can help you take a jump off to another wonderful dimension within your poetry.
✒ Keep a journal, notebook or a diary where you record your thoughts, feelings and experiences, even dreams. You may never know where they may lead you off to.
✒ Attend as many poet/poetry groups as you can. This helps you get your work read and critiqued by other people and can provide you with valuable insights on your work.
✒ And to conclude, (and this is perhaps the best tip of all), don’t be afraid to edit and re-write. Don’t take all the criticism personally. Keep a good sense of humor while showing your work. Keep working at it till you feel it is just right and every single word is exactly where it should be.
Writing poetry is not as tough a job as it is made to be. It sure requires sincerity and imagination, but if you decide you can do it, is there anything in the world that can stop you? I don’t think so.