How do I write a good poem?

How do I write a good poem?

So, let’s talk about poetry and how to write a good poem? This isn’t very difficult, is it? Let’s talk about the pros and cons of writing poetry.

Is there such a thing as a tutorial for writing poetry? Is this the same as manufacturing products? Well, it isn’t. Writing poetry is a complex process, that is the result of thoughts and creativity. This leads to a different outcome.

Starting point

One does not start just by writing. A good poem is the result of some thinking. Remember, don’t over-think; the creative process will be disturbed by a complex thinking process. To set some ground-rules, make sure that you agree on the following:

  • What do I write about?
    Make sure your subject is clear enough to write about.

  • Do I need to rhyme?
    Some poems rhyme, others don’t. Make sure that your poems don’t end up as short stories, with too long sentences.

  • Don’t copy others
    A golden rule when writing poetry: don’t copy the work of others. This is not only immoral, it can be considered illegal (copyright).

  • Can you relate, but can others?
    If you are writing on a certain subject, make sure that others can relate too. Using metaphors is no problem, but people should be able to make sense of these.

Start with practicing

Essential to writing poetry is practicing. You will therefore start with practicing. The most easy way to do this, is to take the old-fashioned pen and paper and start writing. You can even transform sentences, so they will fit your rhyme scheme, if there is any at all.

Read!

The work of others can form a great source of inspiration. Without copying the work of others, you can read what others “have to say.” This helps you to improve your writing skills.

It doesn’t rhyme!

When you choose to use rhyme (or meter) in your poem, there will come a moment that you will get stuck. Don’t freak out, when this happens. This happens to everyone and it’s not a writers-block. There are possibilities to consider.

If you are stuck, when it comes to rhyming, you might want to consider help of others. Let someone else read your poem. This might get tricky, because the poem can transform based on the way the other writes. A better way is to ask another poet to collaborate. Together you can transform the poem.

If you want to do it on your own, this is also possible. When you are stuck, stop! No, don’t stop forever. Just step away from the writing. Do something else. After a few days, take another look at this poem and decide if you might want to start over or not.

There is another possibility. Some might consider this blasphemy as it comes to writing poetry. The days of turning to the book version of a dictionary are long gone. Nowadays, you can rely on websites or apps to find the perfect rhyme. No, this doesn’t mean that you let “the internet” do your writing. It’s simply looking up words, that you might have not noticed earlier. This is actually natural, because you are not able to remember every word you have ever heard or you are not familiar with all the words. Even when English is your native language.

The website Rhymezone.com is a good starting point. Android users can also rely on the app Poet Assistant. We found those very helpful.

You think it’s good, but how about others?

Poetry is like composing music. During this process of creation, you might get into a creative trance. This can cause a kind of cloudy look on things. You might really like it, while others don’t. This is another tricky part. What will others say or think? Ask someone you know an can really rely on, to proofread your work. If you have any difficulty finding that someone, we can also offer our assistance. The condition is that you indicate what causes you doubt. Of course the poems you send us, they will not be published without consent.

Is it good?

A good poem doesn’t exist. Sorry for that. Every poem, no matter how beautifully written, is always a result of creativity of the poet. This means that some consider the poem(s) to be good, while others don’t agree. Again, this is just like painting. Some people consider the work of Rembrandt van Rijn to be fine art, while others prefer the work of Vincent van Gogh. Beauty still lies in the eyes of the beholder. Therefore, good poetry doesn’t exist. Or does it? Food for thought!

At The Ministry of Poetic Affairs we do our best, to share as much poems as we can. On daily basis, we are overwhelmed with the amount of good written poetry. If you haven’t yet submitted your poem, what is stopping you? Submit your work today!

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