Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning. Poetry is a great tool where one can expand on one’s own ideas. It enables the writer to express their thoughts in a unique and attractive way. When looking at poetry, there are many forms which a writer can use to model his poetry around. These forms vary from one form to another in many different ways. Each form has its own set of rules from a rambling sonnet to a short and precise haiku. They each present a different outlook on how one chooses to express his ideas.
Some of what is about to be discussed includes quite a bit of technical terms. To help the beginner navigate this article, here are some quick definitions.
The generally accepted names for some of the most commonly used kinds of feet include:
- iamb – one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
- trochee – one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable
- dactyl – one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables
- anapest – two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable
- spondee – two stressed syllables together
The number of metrical feet in a line are described in Greek terminology as follows:
- dimeter – two feet
- trimeter – three feet
- tetrameter – four feet
- pentameter – five feet
- hexameter – six feet
- heptameter – seven feet
- octameter – eight feet
Assonance- the use of the same vowel sound with different consonants or the same consonant with different vowels in successive words or stressed syllables, as in a line of verse. i.e. mystery- mastery
Alliteration- two or more words in succession beginning with the same sound. i.e. Precariously perched pigeon.
Consonance- the use of the repetition of consonants or consonant patterns as a rhyming device. i.e. came, home, time.
Onomatopoeia- The formation of a word which is also a sound, such as BOOM!
Rhyme- Identical sound in some part of a word, i.e. cat-hat.
Symbolism- The practice of representing things through symbols. The raven in Poe’s The Raven is a symbol.
Another thing to consider is the elements involved with writing poetry. For instance, one should consider the rhythm and meter of the poem they are writing. As well as whether you wish for there to be a rhyming scheme involved. Many different terms are used in the English language which can help a person when they are creating a new work of poetry. If you want to improve the text when you write poetry then you should familiarize yourself with some of the terms. At the very least, you will increase your knowledge and vocabulary of literature. Some of the more often seen and recognized elements are as follows:
Tips For Beginners
When writing poetry, one must first realize it is an art form. Not every poem is going to be like the one before it. The great thing about writing poetry is that it is completely yours- a poet’s success in not deposited in the bank account. It is in the ability to create something that has the ability to speak to the reader. The poet may choose the subject and frame the poem to the content. Poetry is a way of free expression. It allows the author to put his ideas in a form which comes with a sense of order and rhythm. People will remember an image long after they’ve forgotten why it was there. In it, there is a sense of refinement to what may before have just been an idea. It leaves one with a sense of beauty and reason.
• Decide on the subject you wish to write about. Start with a familiar subject and then go on to some obscure subjects to which you have previously never given much thought.
• Think about something special or unique to the subject
• List some descriptive words which may provide some clear information to the reader
• Try to create pictures in the reader`s mind - your aim is to fire the imagination
• Express your feelings
• Convey your feelings by the tone of your poetry
• Bind the words and ideas together. Connect them by the use of rhyme which will provide your poetry with the element of repetition of identical or related sounds
• Get some rhythm into your poetry - the number of lines and your choice of poetry form will help you with this.
• Visual patterns - does your written poetry create a good pattern on the page?
• Patterns of Sound - using alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia can create sound effects.
• Read your poetry to a friend
• If you receive some constructive criticism don`t be afraid to change your poetry accordingly
• Enjoy yourself - Writing poetry should be fun!
If you are sitting at your desk staring at a blank sheet of paper trying to force poetry to be written, stop. Writing poetry as a hobby should not be a mindless task which you do just to say that you have actually written a poem. It should be a process of love which stems from some sort of creativity. If you are having trouble being inspired, get up and experience life. The best poetry is written about something one has true feelings about whether good or bad. Write about what you are feeling at that moment. It does not have to be something which others have written before. Be different. Try writing about something abstract such as hope or the feeling of failure. Describe the things around you in a new and inventive way.
Writing poetry is a wonderful way to share views and opinions with others, but an uninformed poet may not be able to reach his or her audience without some guidance.
It can take a lifetime to create something worthwhile, especially without guidance. There is no law governing who the poet can be, perhaps the mechanic down the street moonlights as a poet or maybe the clerk at the grocery store is really an aspiring poet. The point is that with the proper guidance, anyone can be a successful poet.
It may be frustrating, but sitting down with a pen and paper or in front of a computer does not mean that vibrant verse will automatically pour onto the blank page. That is not how inspiration works. So, be prepared by always carrying a notebook and paper or laptop.
This way if inspiration strikes while stuck in a traffic jam or during a night out on the town, the potential poem doesn`t get forgotten. Inspiration likes to strike during inconvenient times and when the writer is always prepared, the ideas always get recorded. Not every poem will be a winner, but that doesn`t mean it needs to go into the recycle bin. Be sure to keep copies of everything. What seems terrible now may not seem terrible tomorrow. Bad ideas may also wind up priming the pump and helping the poet churn out something truly amazing.
It`s best to tackle a subject that hasn`t already been explored, but since poetry has been around a very long time, this may be difficult. So, instead try looking at a tried and true concept in a new and exciting way.
Not everyone wants to read tired metaphors about love and longing. Instead of “waxing poetic” about your surroundings, make them personal. The story of heartbreak has been told for centuries, but your story hasn’t been told. Make sure to be inventive when writing- keep the reader’s interest- topics that have been written about death still have life in them- it is the poet’s job to find it.
Contrary to what anyone’s third grade teacher said, poetry doesn’t need to rhyme! Actually, only those who have practiced rhyme and have experience in poetry writing, should try to rhyme. If creating a rhyming poem is something that just has to be done, then do some research about rhyming and rhyming words? Do not force it just to make something fit. If it will not work, then try to think of a new way to phrase what it is to be said.
As to using those adjectives and adverbs to create the perfect description- there can be too much of a good thing. The reader wants to be there in the poem with the writer, but they don’t want to get lost in the color of the trees when it is the person walking along the path that they should be paying attention to.
Try to remember that this, like everything, requires practice. E.E. Cummings didn’t succeed in his first try- don’t expect to be successful right out of the gate. Hang in there! Practice your craft and master it. If a mental block comes along, wait it out. Sometimes, it can be weeks before it will lift and the creative juices start to flow again. While this is corny, it is true- if you believe you are going to fail, you are right. Practice to succeed.
Do not try to conform your poetry to the likes of what has been written before you. It has been written previously. It has already been done and been completed. Do things your own way. Poetry is about how you feel, not how others think you should feel. It is a chance to allow you to think about things in a way different from the ordinary. You are allowing yourself the chance to form new opinions and thoughts by constructing your view in a variation from what has always been done. It is a chance to show how you truly feel on a subject.
There are benefits to writing poetry other than just a form of creative expression. It gives the poets a chance to put on paper how they view what is happening in their world. This may allow them to see things in a way they never did previously. The mere conveyance of one`s thoughts to paper often brings new epiphanies and even revision to already formed views. It is also a chance to clarify one’s mind. To take all that has happened in a day and moves it to another source. Some people need this at the end of the day to process what has happened previously, giving them a better outlook on life.
Some Famous Poems
Sometimes, it takes exposure to a form a genre to be able to express it effectively. Here are some famous poems from different genres to help the new poetry writer.
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman
Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson
The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky
Touched By An Angel by Maya Angelou
There Is Another Sky by Emily Dickinson
There is one more bit of poetry to introduce that has become wildly popular, particularly with teenage girls. It is narrative poetry in book form, all of which tell a full story by author Ellen Hopkins. The titles are Crank, Identical, Glass, Tricks, Burned, Fallout and Impulse. They deal with controversial issues such as drug abuse, molestation, and teen pregnancy. They are extremely graphic in nature but they do what good poetry is supposed to do. They take the reader down the road the poet decided to take them. Three of the books, Crank, Glass and Fallout are semi-autobiographical, loosely telling the story of her daughter’s drug abuse.
The benefits of poetry are communication, self expression, differentiation, unification, therapy, and self-assertion. All the rules that apply in waking life are thrown out the window. A writer can capture an entire generation or era in a single line of poetry. Poetry can cover emotion, history, relationships, logic, learning, and myriad other things. Poetry can help one to escape- ask anyone who has been incarcerated for a long period of time. Poetry can become money. Poetry can become a family heirloom. Poetry has no bounds, like the universe or love. Poetry has limitations in traditions, but in theory there are no rules.
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A Beginner's Guide to Writing Poetry
WHAT EXACTLY COUNTS AS POETRY? As Wikipedia puts it, poetry is "a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning." You know the drill – create art with words, express yourself and more. Poetry has been around for ages so it's no surprise that there are over 50 types of poetry categorised by how the lines of the poem are organised, the way they rhyme, what story it tells and so on.
TYPES OF POETRY TO START WITH If you haven't picked some types already, let's talk about some common and easy ones you could start with. Free Verses, Sonnets, Haiku, Limericks and Blank Verses are probably the most heard of.
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A Free Verse is exactly what it sounds like – there is no set number of lines, no rules on rhyming or meters. You're free to write the way you want. While Free Verses have no restrictions, it can be easy to deviate from your topic or come off as boring.
A Haiku is a poem of Japanese origin and the English adaptation consists of three lines, which do not rhyme. The first line must have five syllables, the second line must have seven syllables, and the third and last line must have another five. A Haiku is usually written about a season or nature.
If you're looking to write something that doesn't rhyme, the Blank Verse is a good option. It has lines that do not rhyme but use something called iambic pentameter. A Blank Verse should be relatively easy to write and following the set rules of an iambic pentameter can help the flow of your writing (I'll get into what meters are in a bit).
A fun poetry exercise can be writing a Limerick – a short, often humorous poem of five lines. In a Limerick, the first, second and fifth line rhyme and each has seven to ten syllables, while the third and fourth line rhyme with each other and each has five to seven syllables. Edward Lear is famous for popularising Limericks and here's one he wrote –
WHERE TO GET INSPIRATION? Anywhere, really (yes helpful, I know)! If you're writing about nature, try to be around nature or at least step into your balcony. Create the right mood or atmosphere; if you want poetry to evoke dreary, sad feelings, try listening to similar music while writing. Have a fixed theme or object in mind, even though this doesn't have to be obvious – or explicitly stated in your poem, and readers will have their own interpretations – it will help you write. Pro-tip: acquire a poetry journal. Buy or decorate a notebook strictly for your poetic endeavours. As you go about your daily life, think about the things, people, actions or feelings that you think you can incorporate into your poetry and jot these down in your journal. If you're super blank, cheat a little – ask a friend to send you a random song, listen to it, and convince yourself to write a poem on how it made you feel/what you think the song was about.
CLICHÉS TO AVOID You really want to be writing unique poetry and while it may not be possible to pick topics that no one has ever tried before, you should know that a broken heart, the rain, or a broken heart AND the rain are probably the most overused themes in poetry. We all love a "breasty vega din" that puts us in a poetic mood; however, overused topics are not only boring but more difficult to pull off.
TERMS AND RULES OF POETRY Here are some basics. A foot is a unit of stressed and unstressed syllables – this could be iambic foot or trochaic foot and so on depending on which syllables are stretched. The number of feet per line will tell you about the meter, so if you have two iambic feet in your line you call it 'iambic dimeter'. These can get overwhelming, but you don't have to cram these rules in one night before you actually get to writing poetry (and I can't really take an English lesson here), so learn them as you go. While you can have your own style and you are your own boss, these elements will help refine your work.
IS RHYMING OVERRATED? Not all poems have to rhyme but sometimes it can add a poetic feel or make a greater impact. Don't use random words just because they rhyme though. You can have a lot of fun with rhyming. I'm sure you're familiar with end rhymes (when the last words of the lines rhyme), but internal rhymes can add a nice feel to your poem as well, this is when words within a line rhyme, such as –
So that was pretty bad and I absolutely love chocolate, but the point is: you don't always have to make the first line rhyme with the third; create your own patterns.
HELPFUL RESOURCES The key to master a style of writing is usually to read that type of work, and poetry is no different. Try reading lots of poems of the type you're interested in but it also doesn't hurt to experiment. You don't have to complete an online course on poetry, but if you want to, Coursera and edX are the places to go. I also found a brilliant website that should help you wrap your head around the rules of poetry: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-poetry.html . The YouTube channel Poetry Show should teach you a thing or two. If you're into Haiku, install HaikuJAM where you can write Haiku with poetry enthusiasts from all over the world. There are other apps for closet poets too – Instant Poetry will help you with poet's block while Poet's Corner will help you share your creation and receive feedback.
You could compile a bunch of poems after you're done and write them neatly in a notebook. Remember to enjoy this mode of art while you write, and if you aren't writing only for yourself, feel free to show off your masterpieces! You could even send in your poems to Fable Factory – the section in SHOUT dedicated to fiction and poetry – since we publish reader submissions regularly. Happy poetry writing!
জ্বালানি চাহিদা মেটাতে বাংলাদেশের পাশে থাকার আশ্বাস কাতারের
প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা ক্রমবর্ধমান জ্বালানি সংকট মোকাবিলায় কাতারের কাছ থেকে আরও বেশি জ্বালানি, বিশেষ করে বার্ষিক আরও এক মিলিয়ন মেট্রিক টন (এমটিএ) তরলীকৃত প্রাকৃতিক গ্যাস (এলএনজি) চেয়েছেন।
আইসিইউতে আরও ১ জনের মৃত্যু, নিহত বেড়ে ৭
[Help] I just picked up poetry as a hobby, any tips and/or advice?
So, as the title says, I've just picked up poetry as a hobby. I've dabbled in it before, but now I'm taking it seriously. As my first step of learning, I decided to ask the people who know what they are doing (you) for some guidance. I'll be splitting this post into two sections. The first part has some general questions about how to start, and the second part will be me trying to "get my bearings" so to speak. So, here we go!
Part 1 - general questions:
-First, let me tell you what I have planed on how to start as a poet. Right now my plan is to write a poem every week and then post it to r/OCPoetry to get feedback. I'll also be reading poems, as well as doing research. In fact, here is my plan for this week. Is this a good plan? Or should I do something something different?
-I was thinking about subscribing to some poetry channels on YouTube. Is that a good idea? And if so, which ones do you recommend? (Or perhaps there is a blog or something I should follow?)
-Are there any resources you recommend I check out as a new poet?
-I presume that much of improving as a poet has to do with discovering and developing your style. Are there any tests/quizzes or maybe some resources that could help me along in discovering my style?
-How should I learn from feedback?
Part 2 - "get my bearings:"
As a programmer, art-sy stuff like poetry has always been a bit of a mystery to me. However, I have thought about the "philosophy" (for lack of a better word) of it. What I'm going to do here is write a condensed version of my thoughts on poetry to see if I'm thinking the right way. The summation of my thoughts is as follows: "Poetry seems to be, in the broadest sense, expressing yourself with words. Given that, and the fact that everyone expresses themselves in a unique way, the most important part of poetry is learning you style (i.e. learning how you express yourself). The techniques you learn are a way to improve and refine your style. So really learning to be a good poet is a journey of learning your style and improving & refining it." Am I thinking in the right way? Or am I mistaken?
To close I want to mention two things that might be good to know about me when you make any recommendations. 1) As I said in part 2, I'm a programmer. So my approach to things tends to be straightforward and logical. And 2) I'm going to be writing free verse poems. I can't do rhyme & rhythm, I just can't. Plus, I like the style of free verse anyway.
Having said all of that, what is your advice and/or tips for me?
Thanks for reading and I hope what I said made sense!
I wouldn't get so caught up early on in trying to define your style. I think many writers do have a particular "voice" they develop, but are also constantly seeking to change and refine it so that they don't get stuck writing the same thing.
Definitely read, read, read. I tend to prefer reading modern poetry, and would second the suggestion of lit mags like Poetry Magazine. I also like to listen to the VS podcast though the Poetry Foundation because it broadens my view of others' writing approaches. Follow poets or lit mags on Twitter, Instagram, etc. For youtube, I know Button Poetry can have some good performances. I'm also fond of the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, which gets me in the mood to write.
Some will insist that poetry is meant to be read aloud, and that's something I struggle with as an introvert. While you don't have to force yourself to rhyme, it is a good challenge to read things aloud to yourself and get a sense of how the words sound together. You may not think there's rhythm, but start to notice how it sounds to use consonance and assonance or other techniques.
Play with structure and form. Find a poem you like and try to borrow the model or a starting line as a prompt (ALWAYS be explicit in stating what you borrowed from where because plagiarism is the worst). Work on filling a page without overthinking it and letting yourself free associate. Target the emotional, non-logical parts of you. Write from the perspective of other people. Look up ideas for prompts. Go to different locations and observe.
This comment is the best in the thread and I wish someone gave me this advice when I was starting out.
Style is not something to worry about yet. If you read the works of great poets, their early style is often very different from their mature or late style anyway. Often they exhibit long apprenticeship periods where their style seems less distinctive and more "period" than what they become most known for. W.S. Merwin, Yeats, Berryman, Frost, etc. all show a very clear break.
You need to get your work in. Read to cultivate genuine admiration for great poetry. Find contemporary poetry--stuff published in the last 25 years--that you can relate to and attempt to imitate it. Not slavishly, mind you, but imitate the way the poet uses the shape of line, phrase, sound, image, and argument in a particular novel or successful way. Notice how they choose topic or what used to be called "occasion". How they develop theme. How they bring the reader in and then surprise and reward them.
It's always fun to read the responses to posts like this. No doubt someone at some point is going to say "read Charles Bukowski" or "read Sylvia Plath" (depending on the sex of the advisor). Someone might even say "Read Rupi Kaur". Please don't. By all means, READ, is the most important thing. Read dozens of poems for everyone you write, and most importantly, read good contemporary poetry. I often recommend American Life in Poetry as a starting point, 700+ poems curated from contemporary journals and recent books. The are a number of subscription services too. Besides ALP there is Poetry Magazine, Rattle, and many others that send out a poem a day or week by email. Build a file of poems you encounter that you particularly like. That's much easier to do in the computer age. You may have to lower some expectations. Learning craft or even recognizing it is going to take some time. Be patient with yourself. Remember that underneath every poem there is a STORY. When you're learning to crawl, keep the story simple, keep it about one thing.
I would read. And then read more. Poetry, but also nonfiction essays and whatever other subjects fascinate you.
And then never stop reading and thinking and most importantly responding to what you take in.
Yes, I think the best advice is to read a lot, and if you are not familiar with any poet, start with classics. Imo biographies of authors could really help you understand what poetry and writing mean and how the creative process works.
Id recommend reading works from Robert Frost. Simple words sometime echo the most eternal meanings.
I've been writing poetry for a few years now. I usually write free verse. One of the worst setbacks I have faced is feeling extremely dissatisfied with what I have written. I'm sure many other poets understand that feeling. If you are ever faced with this setback, set aside your poem for a few days, and then go back to it. Perhaps by then you would have gained some idea of what message you want your poem to convey, and then you can edit it. Over time, you will understand your writing style better and be quicker in identifying its flaws. You will also notice it change a little as you write more and more.
I do encourage you to experiment a little with rhyme. It adds bit more colour to your poetry, but if it really isn't for you, then it's alright. Free verse poetry is a beauty of its own.
You can also read the poetry of famous poets, such as Sylvia Plath, Yeats, Edgar Allan Poe, etc. etc. and try to understand how they convey ideas through words using literary devices such as metaphors, diction, symbolism and more. You should never forget that writing poetry is an art form in which you express yourself through your own words, so don't try to restrict yourself while writing.
I wish you the best of luck! :)
Portry is not "a hobby." Do move along.
Not sure if you're a troll or if you're being serious. But in either case you have absolutely 0 chance of discouraging me in any capacity. Also, that's a bit of an odd thing to say. The the definition of a hobby is: "an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure." Therefore the following logic ensures:
One: a hobby is an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
Two: I am doing poetry in my leisure time for pleasure.
Three: Therefore, poetry is a hobby for me.
Should OP quit his job to pursue it full-time?
For what it's worth, your philosophy sounds pretty good to me.
In The Book of Forms , Lewis Turco simply calls poetry "the art of language," and much like any art or craft (including programming, I would think), the more tools in your toolbox, the more you can do -- and, more importantly, you're likelier to have the right tool for the job at hand. I know you've sworn off rhyme and rhythm, but those are two of the most important. You can certainly forgo rhyme, but rhythm (or "meter" in poetry) is pretty much baked into language -- the first four words of my comment make up two iambs, for instance -- and recognizing its effect on the line, on the concept, and on the poem as a whole can only help you both as a reader and a writer. Your meter doesn't need to be obvious, sing-songy, or even something that you think about when you're drafting. Think of it as a diagnostic tool: if you're describing a placid pastoral scene, but the language is gallopy and frenetic, you're probably using anapests or dactyls where iambs or trochees might be more fitting. You can do this intuitively, but why limit yourself?
Plus, it's just fun to learn, and can have unexpected applications. I work in pharma advertising, and I noticed that tons of drug names use the amphibrach foot, or one stressed syllable between two unstressed syllables: opDIvo, steLAra, coSENtyx, etc.
Hmm...didn't know about meter. Thanks for the input! Although to be fair, what I meant by rhythm is the more traditional sing-songy style, which I can't do for the life of me! :P
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Hobby Hole: Writing poetry
Writing poetry is a great way to let go of stress, and it's easy to get started.
Be it a life-changing dilemma or viewing a lovely sunset, writing poetry has the power to set you free.
In today’s time, we find ourselves surrounded with a lot of stimulation, especially as students who are aspiring to be the future generation. From catching up on notes from the last economics lecture to contemplating whether or not partying on Friday is a good idea, it can be a little overwhelming for our minds to get rid of such incessant thoughts. While it’s not always possible to talk to someone, writing down a few meaningless words is never a bad choice!
The idea is not to publish an excerpt worthy of challenging “ The Daffodils ” by William Wordsworth but to let go of a thought that has been on your mind for a considerable amount of time. Write it down, set yourself free, and be happy!
Here are three steps anyone can take to start putting their thoughts down in the form of short poems and poetry:
1. Calm down
Try not to think about anything for a second and take a deep breath. It’s alright! In moments of extreme stimulation or fear, our minds turn to fight or flight mode. We either tend to run away from the problem or fight it without any second thoughts. Try to figure out what it is that is making you overwhelmed. Maybe it is working two jobs while taking a full course load. Maybe it is hitting the gym twice a day without helping yourself with healthy, nutritious meals, or perhaps it is about a person you cannot stop thinking about. Whatever it is, find a place where you can give yourself a moment of silence and calm down.
2. Find something to write on
Once you have given yourself the chance to slow down, try to find somewhere to put your thoughts down. It can be a blank sheet of paper, maybe a notebook, the Notes app on your phone, or even your laptop ( Word is perfect!).
3. Let it all go!
Finally, start writing. You have now lightened your mood and it is the best time to let it all go. The end result of your work might be a sad poem or it can also be a cheerful rhyme. Whatever you write, translate your thoughts into a poem and make a few meaningless lines. Write freely and without any obligations. Play with words. Try and rhyme the lines. Make it fun. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be as silly as:
“She is simple and sweet / A little shy without any greed / Dances on her own beats and worries incessantly”
This is an excerpt from one of my poems. I wrote this in a text reply to a close friend who was worrying about her assignments. I wanted to help her and was thinking about ways to support her.
In a student’s life full of assignments, work, and lots of drama, poetry can act as a medium to slow things down and take a moment to reflect before worrying about whether the next economics final will be curved or not.
Hildur Jónasson’s exhibition ‘synthesis’ delves into the ecopsychology of the Anthropocene
Dean Drever’s solo exhibition ‘In Black and White’ dismantles the dichotomies of violence
Photostory: New Works Festival 2023
Movie Review: Babylon
The Personal Benefits of Writing Poetry
by Melissa Donovan | Mar 10, 2022 | Poetry Writing | 22 comments
What are the benefits of writing poetry?
Poetry writing is an excellent practice for strengthening one’s writing skills. Through poetry writing, we gain command of language, cultivate a robust vocabulary, master literary devices, and learn to work in imagery. And that’s just a small sampling of how poetry improves basic writing skills.
However, poetry has other benefits that are meaningful on a more personal level.
Writing has long been hailed as a deeply therapeutic practice. In fact, all the arts have therapeutic benefits. But poetry imparts a broad range of emotional and intellectual benefits that are useful to personal growth, whether we’re working on self-improvement, emotional or psychological coping and healing, developing relationships, and even furthering our careers — including careers outside of the writing field.
Emotional and Intellectual Benefits of Writing Poetry
Whether you want to stimulate your intellect or foster emotional health and well-being, poetry writing has many benefits to offer:
- Therapeutic: Poetry fosters emotional expression and healing through self-expression and exploration of one’s feelings. It provides a safe way to vent, examine, and understand our feelings.
- Self-awareness: Through raw expression of our thoughts and feelings, poetry can help us become more attuned to what’s going on in our hearts and minds.
- Creative thinking: With its emphasis on symbolism, metaphor, and imagery, poetry writing fosters and promotes creative thinking.
- Connections: Many people write poetry privately, but when poems are shared, they can inspire, move, and honor other people, forging deeper interpersonal connections.
- Catharsis: The act of creation — of making something out of nothing — is a cathartic experience.
- Critical thinking: Through the expression of our thoughts and ideas, poetry pushes us to challenge ourselves intellectually.
- Language and speaking: The practice of poetry strengthens language, writing, and speaking skills.
- Developing perspective, empathy, and world views: Writing poetry often prompts us to look at the world from a variety of perspectives, which fosters empathy and expands one’s world view.
- Cognitive function: Whether we’re searching for the perfect word, working out how to articulate a thought, or fine-tuning the rhythm and meter of a poem, the steps involved in crafting poetry strengthen our cognitive processes.
This is just a sampling of the benefits of writing poetry. Can you think of any other ways that poetry writing is beneficial to your emotional or intellectual well-being? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing poetry!
A very interesting perspective of looking into the idea of writing poetry. I myself write poetry so I can understand Melissa ideas.
Good luck with your poetry, Colin!
While I agree with the points you make, I think poetry is valuable in and of itself. One can not, ultimately analyse the value of poetry in purely utilitarian terms. It is valuable in and of itself. Kevin
Kevin, as the post mentions, poetry is valuable in many ways. It would take an entire book to cover them all. This post focused on the benefits of poetry in terms of personal growth and development. You’ll find other articles on this site about the other benefits of poetry.
Poetry writing is more than just tossing a few lines on a page. If you want to write poetry, read poetry: TS Eliot, Anne Sexton, Rodney Merwin, Emily Dickenson, Robert Lowell.
I cut my teeth on Yeats: “One had a lovely face and two or three had charm, but charm and face were in vain because the mountain grass cannot but keep the form where the mountain hair has lain.”
Mastering the poetic line is essential to mastering the prose line. And I agree with Kevin, poetry is valuable in and of itself.
I recommend finding a poety group online or in your town as well.
Hi Phillip. I appreciate your feedback. Many writers I’ve encountered like to write poetry for personal reasons, often for self-expression or personal growth. They may not want to be published or refine their poetry to the level of some of the master poets you’ve mentioned. Everyone has a right to express themselves and write poetry in any way they want. Having said that, I personally enjoy the journey of improving my skills, studying the masters, etc.
I love poetry a lot and I really think that poetry influences people a lot. I always feel myself calm and even better. Romantic poetry always make my mood better. I wrote a lot of poems and I can surely say a lot of theme were quite well. I stopped writing poetry cause less of time. I’m now working as a writer and I write article I have too. So , there is no time left for writing poetry.
I know what you mean, Julie. When writing becomes a job, we have less time to write the fun stuff!
Excellent article. Poetry is the highest creation of the literary mind. Writing poetry has helped my prose to be condense, wittier and elegant. Writing poetry is using imagination. Writing prose is using logic. I write both poems and prose because I want to live in the world of both logic and imagination.
Poetry is close to my heart as well. Thanks, Simon.
Very true. I’ve written poetry for much of my adult life, although only ever had one published in a University magazine. It definitely helps in personal ways.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Vivienne. Mine are similar 🙂
I love reading poetry, so I am developing the hobby of writing it on my own. I find very rewarding doing so. The more I write, the more I can want to write with all of my limitations. However, I am pressing on.
I feel the same way about writing poetry–it’s so rewarding. I don’t get to write it as often as I’d like but it’s always been one of my favorite forms.
This is great!
I write poetry personally and I run a business where I write poetry/prose for special life events and I would love to share this with my mailing list.
Would you be okay with me sharing this? I will of course credit you and the article.
Of course! You’re welcome to share a link to this article. I’d appreciate that. Thanks so much! I’m glad you liked this post.
Thanks so much! I will certainly share a link.
That’s awesome. Thanks, Biancca.
Really great explanation and very helpful
Glad you found it helpful! Thanks for your comment.
What you said about poetry as therapeutic and used to release emotions and exercise creativity hits me the most since I am also a writing fan. Still, I don’t know so much about poetry. I’m a caregiver here in Puerto Rico, and the kind of work that we have is stressful. All thanks to a friend, I have learned about this Puerto Rican poet, Giannnina Braschi, with good books to read. I wanted to get one to have more glimpses and ideas of the poetry and story she offers. Maybe it will help me improve my writing skill and learn poetry someday.
When I started writing poetry, I knew almost nothing about it. I just put my thoughts and feelings into lyrical language. Over time, I read some poetry and studied it and took workshops. It’s truly an amazing tool for creative self-expression.
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Writing Poetry as a hobby
1. On what topics do you write? 2. Why do you write? 3. Narrate a poem written by you 4. Can you write a 2 line poem on XYZ(Covid etc.) topic? 5. Who is you, Favourite poet? 6. Which is your favorite poem? 7. In which style do you write? 8. From where do you derive inspiration for writing? 9. Name 4 poets from different parts of the country (North, South, East, West)
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How to Write Poetry for Beginners
Last Updated: January 12, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 90% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 203,114 times.
Writing poetry is a way to convey emotions, memories, and nostalgia without directly stating what you are describing. Writing poetry for the first time can be challenging, since there are so many ways to start and finish a poem. If you are a beginner and want to write poetry for the first time, use a journal to keep track of your inspiration and expand your language by using metaphors and similes to create beautiful and relatable poetry.
Finding Time and Inspiration for Poetry
- Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Sylvia Plath are also famous poets that have varying styles.
- You can also see some examples of different styles and tones in poetry by comparing and contrasting authors.
- Understanding your own emotions can be difficult. Try to dissect how you feel on a daily basis, and what situations disrupt your mood often.
- Emotions are a great tool to use in poetry because people feel them universally.
- If you think you will forget to write, try setting an alarm on your phone or using a post-it note to remind you.
Tip: Use a journal that is small enough to keep in your bag, or even your pocket.
- For example, answer a prompt like, “Write about your first birthday party,” or, “Convey an emotion using only colors.”
- You can often find poetry writing prompts on sites that accept poetry submissions.
Beginning Your Poem
- A poem doesn't have to make sense grammatically. What matters is that your audience gets the message you want to communicate using your own formation of the words.
For example: Do you like the sunflower? Does it invoke any emotions in you? Does the sunflower represent or remind you of something?
- How does the sea look? Use descriptive terms relating to colors, motion, depth, temperature, and other standard features. The sea might be foaming, producing whirlpools, looking glassy, or turning grey at the advent or a storm; describe whatever comes to mind for you.
- What are some of its aspects that are noticeable in your sea? The froth of the waves, the fish under the surface, the height of waves during a storm, the lull when the wind dies down, the mounting garbage greys, a school of dolphins passing through, sea level rise along coastlines, the mournful cries of the Pacific gulls––these are all things you might notice in relation to the sea of your poem.
Writing the Rest
- Try to think of these words yourself rather than looking them up in a dictionary or online so that your poem flows better.
- Stressed and unstressed syllables also create rhythm in a poem. In the sentence “He’d like some pumpkin pie,” “like,” “pump-,” and “pie” are all emphasized based on how you say them.
- Remember that not all poems rhyme! It's okay if you don't want your poem to rhyme.
For example, you could say, “The sea was a night sky, expanding like an inkblot in the water.”
- Your first poem can be short. You can work your way up to longer poetry over time.
- Remember that you are the poet, expressing your feelings through your poems so intuition, above anything else, is key.
- If you will be submitting your poem anywhere, it is very important to make sure your final copy looks exactly how you want it to.
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- ↑ https://earlybirdbooks.com/most-famous-poems
- ↑ https://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/402
- ↑ https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/article-write-poetry-every-day
- ↑ https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/007.html
- ↑ https://poetrysociety.org.uk/competitions/national-poetry-competition/resources/poetry-writing-prompts/
- ↑ https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/other/
- ↑ Alicia Cook. Professional Poet. Expert Interview. 11 December 2020.
- ↑ https://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/poetry-writing-tips-how-to-write-a-poem/comment-page-4/
- ↑ https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/70212/learning-image-and-description
- ↑ https://literaryterms.net/rhyme/
- ↑ https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69588/the-start-writing-your-own-poem
- ↑ https://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/poetry-writing-tips-how-to-write-a-poem/#10
- ↑ https://abegailmorley.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/drafting-a-poem/
About This Article
If you’re a beginner trying to write poetry, start by deciding what your poem will be about, like love or a meaningful experience. Then, choose a structure that you're comfortable with, like rhyming or free-form. Next, come up with an interesting or mysterious first line that entices your reader to keep reading. Once you have a good opening line, use as many strong, descriptive words as you can in the rest of the poem to express your thoughts and feelings to the reader. To learn how reciting your poem out loud as you write can make your poem even better, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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