How do I write better poetry?
There is no sure path to it, but here are few things that have helped me over the years.
Don’t try to imitate anybody or any style or set benchmarks.
It can be improved at any stage, the important thing is to get in the mood and get the gist of that in your work.
The more experiences you collect, more mature your writing will become, and better you’ll get.
The more you write, the more you’ll understand yourself and your style.
I hope my answer helps!
You've received some really good advice.
I just want to add to it.
First, while poetry doesnt, necessarily, have rules it does have certain guidelines.
You need meter, rhyme, and rhythm.
Without those three a poem doesn't flow.
You can get from beginning to end without stumbling, in other words.
All three, in my opinion, developes your style.
It finds your voice.
The reader needs to “hear” that voice so I can get lost in the picture you are trying to create.
Don't be afraid of sounding childish.
Oh my gosh! I can't tell you how many poems I've written where I have felt a two year-old could've done better.
That being said, always remember you are your own worst critic.
Don't just depend on your own opinion.
Have at least three people read it after you think you're done.
Three because one will be bias, one will want to criticize, and the other will tell the truth.
No matter what it is always listen for the truth.
Metaphors, analogies, and descriptive words will be your best friends.
Bookmark a dictionary, thesaurus, and a rhyming site.
Don't always go for the “easy” word to rhyme with.
Some thing there are words you can't rhyme with but you can.
Take it by the last syllable, the vowel sound, or how the word sounds.
If you feel like it's a forced rhyme restructure the sentence.
Even if the word you are trying to rhyme with falls in the middle.
Like this: Every time, with you, I lose myself.
” “You” is the easy rhyme.
But, in my opinion, it's easier to force a rhyme to match the meter if you only use the easy words.
“Myself” has fewer rhyming words, so you have to really think about what you want to say.
Hence a harder chance of forcing the rhyme.
Don't only read poetry.
Choose a site that has audio too.
Clear your mind, time out all the surrounding sounds, and actually listen to the words the artist wrote, feel the emotion, taste the stresses words, see the picture in your mind, smell the sounds in each syllable.
Be careful not to cut out the heart when editing.
You really don't know how easy that is to do lol.
Find the message you are writing about and keep true to it.
Also, join writing site.
Find a local, or online, writing group.
See if someone will mentor you.
Soak up all the advice they give you.
Find a prompt site.
Sign up for daily emails.
You never know where your next inspiration will come from.
So expose yourself to as much as you can.
The first thing you need to realize is poems are not about rhyming them.
Poems are sometimes rhythmic but mostly create impact with choice of words and thoughts.
For me chain of thoughts is very important.
The thought can be anything, your frustrations, what you think about this world, any loved one or even an object.
The purpose is to express what you feel about it at that particular moment.
Honestly, a poem is as good as the environment and stimuli of the poet.
It is something which comes when you see how life works, how people deceive, how everything is messed up and yet there lies beauty in nature and most importantly in words.
Sharing a poem which made me win a poetry slam in Bangalore.
I stand with a white grubby vest and an unused bullet shell on my neck
I kneel, not before the lord, not before the clumsy leader on the wooden deck.
For I have seen fondness in eyes that told me that hatred is a lie
And now searching them in my prison, I ponder where did you truth die?
My nails have dust in them which are almost a decade old
My thoughts are all stale and stumpy and rich men buy it for gold
I do not know what they see in what I write or what I feel about this life
Yet they seduce me into the chains of flattery, alas I know it’s a blunt knife
Leave aside the thought of walking in my shoes, think of wearing my sock
The layer of twinge that follows me and the heart which is now a rock
Every step I place on this uncured earth, I can feel the insult riveting through my core
Every eye that has met me, every soul that has been cleansed, every demon who has showed me the door
Tampered, torn and twirled is my flow when I speak and fight
Nor do they comprehend or feel the ecstasy nor can I throw some light.
I do not blame for you have forsaken me, nor for the guilt you hold
As is said you are the reason the rich buy my thoughts for gold.
Hope you have got my point.
Here are a few things I've tried….
The idea is really, to feel.
You can always look up words to describe how you feel, but there is no dictionary for emotions.
Thank you for reading!
I hate myself for saying this, but mindfulness.
Try to see if you’re missing any POV’S/different perceptions during everyday life.
Like when you walk down the street, instead of looking at your phone, maybe look at a tree.
Maybe it’s noon and the sun hits it in a particular way that makes it look like it’s the only tree on the block.
I don’t know.
Random stuff like that, can be spun into a beautiful poem.
However, stuff like mindfulness and seeing the world through some made up lens, comes second to having an emotion you want to get across.
At first, I was going to tell you to just ruin your life.
Then you’d have plenty to write about.
Then I tried to explain it, and I am right back where I started.
What makes good poetry is the emotion behind it.
Sylvia Plath is so beautiful to read because her soul was tortured and she had much to say about the extremes of human emotion.
So there’s mindfulness of the outside world, but also mindfulness of what you are feeling on the inside, so that you can amplify it into some sort of story that can be told through poetry.
Reading poetry can give you some ideas as well.
Here are a few things that have made me a better poet:
Whether I’m reading classical poetry, modern, or my own, I always read it out loud.
This always helps to hear the meter and/or the rhymes and assonance of a poem.
This will help you hear your own use of grammar.
You can break all the rules of grammar in a poem, but you still need to be able to show the reader how you might want them to hear your poem.
Speaking a poem out loud helps this immensely.
Plus, poetry is also performance – Good practice for the day you finally read your masterpiece to a crowd.
Always carry a notebook+pen/or your tablet.
Be ready and write down every simple idea that you like.
This will train you to be unconsciously ready for when the muse strikes.
It always happens when you least expect it, so be prepared.
Sometimes I will write twenty one-liners in a day, and nothing else.
On other days, I can whip out three complete 20+ line poems in an hour.
Being ready and practising makes it much easier over time.
Write out poems of other poets that you like.
This is similar to close reading.
You get a really good appreciation for the structure of the poems.
Get good books on poetry writing.
I recommend “The Making of a Poem” – Mark Strand and Eaven Boland, and Steven Fry’s “The Ode Less Travelled.
Always be ready to play with different styles.
I don’t tend to use much rhyme, but sometimes a great idea pounces with all the classic couplets laid on thick.
Just go with it.
Lastly, have fun! Don’t get too bogged down in dark ideas.
They’re interesting and can be cathartic, but the best poetry dances lightly and pierces deeply.
First, I’m assuming you read poetry.
Broaden your range.
Dive deeply into the length and breadth of the collection of the worlds’ poetry throughout All Time, All Places.
Particularly, read Childrens’ works.
they are unexamined, pure soul writings free of ego or purpose, written purely for the emotion they free.
Find your own path through this journey… listen not to others who say “read THIS, NOT THAT… because you should read everything.
This awakens your Muse Within.
Poetry comes from your Soul, only the soul.
This is why it has had the capacity to move the mountains of human emotions for generations.
Not everyone can write poetry, it requires much of the author: to step aside and allow oneself to be subsumed by the Muse; to be subject to whims, wild feelings, hopeless longing, and the long pull of existential as well as real TIME.
If you will give yourself up to it: take the wild ride, the slow descents into the marrow of All That Is… you may never become famous but you will gift the world with thought and emotion.
We must never lose those.
100 years from now may someone read your offerings and be moved.
There's only one way- reading.
You will have to read more and more and a lot more.
Read the books written by the legendary writers.
Reading will not only give you and idea of how to structure your poems and writing but will also help you get better acquainted with new words.
You will learn to put phrases together to create the poetic effect and you will be able to know how to develop each little part of your poem.
One more thing that helped me was observation.
I observe a lot of people, their behavior and their habits and general nature.
That helps you develop characters for writing.
And after all your poem is inspired from what you see around you, so go ahead read, observe and when your lines hit you dont forget to pen them down.
I used to read so many poems for William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, Sylvia Plath, Lord Byron, and all the great poets of that age.
I used to be addicted to poetry, and I would find it so much fun to read all these poems.
Good luck! Poetry is amazing.
By writing poetry!
You can read all the books you want to.
You can observe everything around you.
You can study all the styles of poetry.
But unless you start writing you won’t get better at writing poetry.
Besides, poetry is very subjective.
There is no good poetry or bad poetry.
When you say better at writing poetry, I assume you mean discovering your writing style.
Once you discover your style you feel comfortable writing poetry, and that ease and comfort level can be seen in your poems.
That’s what makes them ‘good’.
When I started writing poetry I used to write rhyming couplets (horrible ones!) Now I have transitioned to unstructured poetry.
That’s what I feel comfortable writing, and so my poems turn out ‘better’ (than before).
Sweet serene solitude,
swaying to the tune of silence.
A date with my thoughts.
Hope this helped.
Here’s what I do:
find a topic, feeling, picture, etc that you care about.
Don’t write about things you don’t care about but “think you should” write about.
Write about it, in whatever form is most convenient or comfortable for you.
Go back through what you’ve written and underline words or phrases that particularly strike you in some way
Read only those words or phrases you’ve underlined
that’s your first draft
Go back over your draft.
Read it out loud, and add a few words, do a small amount of editting to clarify the feelings and pictures the poem creates for you.
Savor what the poem does for you.
A good one for me lets me re-experience that picture or topic or feeling.
It doesn’t encourage me to analyze the poem, but to re-live it.
The do it again.
By doing so you’ll be more knowledgable about the tools you have at your disposal, and more familiar with what the greats have written before you.
Best of luck!
See, poetry is a kind of thing which comes from your heart.
The more you write the better it gets.
But if you want your poem to look a bit professional then try putting some rhyming scheme in your poem.
That makes it interesting for the reader to read and understand as well.
Try to put alliteration and some personification in your poems and it will make your poem look more professional and classy.
But according to me, the best kind of poems are the ones in which you write your heart out.
Write more, read some classic poems and for sure your writing skills will improve.
Wish you all the luck.
keep writing, you will eventually get better.
It is a gradual process and you can’t force it.
But keep doing what you do and you will get what you asked for.
Go for the things that inspire you, it can be music, nature, the way sun feels on your face, the bright glow of the breaking dawn….
Keep looking, and you’ll see what you always wanted to
check out some of my work,
It depends by what you mean by better.
Do you mean happy and upbeat, or controversial and dead serious? Do you mean longer poems, or verses that don’t rhyme at all? Do you mean better phrasing or better content?
Please consider this new poem… is it better or is it just different?
THE PROPHET AND THE POET
The dream began as darkness fell.
and I perceived a change,
When prophecy bade me foretell the years ahead so strange…
The coming battles, then a war, like Man has never seen,
The Earth was shaken to the core, more than it’s ever been…
Catastrophe! Great loss of life! A stricken worldly age,
Beyond Man’s thoughts of pain and strife, true horror centre stage…
The punishments were so severe, I screamed in agony,
At everything that Man should fear that I was forced to see…
Such that I forced myself to wake, still trembling in my bed,
My burdened heart so close to break, yet I must live instead…
To write truths down fresh from my mind, to state these one by one,
The weapons that Mankind designed brought death by moon and sun…
From secret places came such things, set loose like poisoned darts,
They soared like eagles without wings, then scattered to all parts…
And then they fell from yonder skies, to swoop, attack and kill,
Condemning Man as most unwise, defiant of God’s will…
The slaughter demons gathered all, like locusts on the land,
They snatched away both great and small, just as the Devil planned…
And I saw God observing death, the angels silent there,
Then Jesus Christ of Nazareth screamed out in earnest prayer…
’ said God.
‘But soon, My Son…’ That’s when the angels cheered…
They knew God’s countdown had begun… and thus their tensions cleared…
And then arose their songs of praise, despite the world in pain,
Because they knew what must take place… when Jesus comes again…
Denis Martindale February 2018.
GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU BLESS GOD!
DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR HIM.
End Time prophecies explain the future.
Find out more by watching Revelation TV,
the Christian channel on UK Sky TV 581
and Vision TV on Freeview channel 264.