Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Having a hard time writing poems? Here are five tips to get started

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once said this about poets: “What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’.”

True enough, writing poetry is not something to be trifled with. Poets are magicians: they can transform the deepest forms of sorrow into words that soothe the ears, calm the souls. Yet, trying one’s hand at writing poetry can often lead to struggles, especially for novice writers. Here are five tips to help you get going:

Play with rhymes

Rhymes have become the elementary method with which children are introduced to poetry. And as small kids, rhyming poems played to our ears like honey to taste buds. Of course, there are various forms of poetry beyond rhymes, and experimenting with its different structures can help you become a flexible writer of poems.

Write your daily journal

Poetry is often about expressing your thoughts in words using lyrical language or vivid words that conjure images of what you’re really trying to say. To help you build a catalog of images and thoughts you may encounter at some point in your daily routine, keep a journal with which you can jot down fleeting moments as they happen. These are part of our stream of consciousness, and sometimes the images they evoke are striking that we couldn’t help but be in awe. Your poetry journal can serve as your first draft of your poems.

Use simple words

Young and budding writers can oftentimes be tempted to use flowery words to try to impress readers with complex verses in hopes of conveying deep meanings. The truth is, good poems always come in the simplest form of language sprinkled with clear and vivid images. So try to put aside your thesaurus and write using simple, everyday words.

Read the poetry of seasoned authors

Here’s one of the effective ways to acquire a skill in poetry: read other poets. Their work can sometimes inspire you to start from their foundation until you find your own voice. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are among the greatest poets whose works can definitely enrich your writing skills. Read from classic poetry to contemporary ones in order to explore a vast array of voices.

Ignore the rules

Well, the fact is there are really no rules in poetry. Don’t confine yourself within a set of rules if you want to grow in this type of creative writing. Explore the world of poetry freely and your best work may come in the most unexpected moment.

Jay Hogarth

Jay Hogarth is ARPress' resident content manager, responsible for all public-facing information posted on this blog and on the main site.

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