How to Compose a Poem

There are many who still believe that poetry is reserved for the talented. I say that poetry is for all. In fact, anyone who knows to use a language to write has the potential of writing a simple poem. After all, we are not asking you to write the way Shakespeare or Wordsworth has written. Each of us have our own style. Furthermore, you have the poetic license to break grammar rules. You love that don’t you? 🙂 Let’s look at some tips on writing a poem.

  1. Step 1

    Be inspired. Inspiration may come at any time very unexpectedly. It may be a specific person, place or situation that invokes your emotion.  You could be sitting alone at the patio and suddenly a colourful little bird flew past, perched on a tree and it made you wonder of the beauty of nature.

  2. Step 2

    You’ve found the inspiration. Now, brainstorm. Write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t think much; let instinct take over. Be uninhibited in what is written down and let all feelings pour out. Remember everything can be thrown out later.

  3. Step 3

    Think about form and begin to organise thoughts. Since you’re mostly likely not write it for performance at a theatre, opt for the free verse where there are no restrictions. You’re free as a bird to write as many lines as you want in a stanza, or merely one stanza.

  4. Step 4

    Remember rhythm and metre. There is a difference between the two, and both are equally important in poetry. Metre is the established pattern of the poem, that is, the arrangement of syllables, while rhythm refers to the sound when it is spoken. Take both into consideration while writing a poem.

  5. Step 5

    Use a lot of descriptive words. These words arouse all the senses. Use symbolism, and metaphors. To add more life and interest into your poem, use alliteration, the repeating of similar sounds in a sentence or phrase.

Compare these two poems, and see which one gives more impact. Why?

Poem 1

Poem 2

Love is blind
It sounds like the thunder before the storm
It feels like the earth after the first rain
It smells like red roses
It tastes like saccharine strawberries
It lives everywhere
Love is blind
Rumbling thunder before the storm
Fresh like the earth after morning rain
Smells like roses
Tastes sweetness of strawberries
Love is blind, surrounds the heart

Need more information? Read up on poetry. There are many books in the library and the bookstore. The more you read, the more ideas you’d get.

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Posted on August 10, 2009, in Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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