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How To Write Poetry
 by: Steve Gillman

If you want to know how to write poetry, the first thing you have to do is write some. It doesn't matter how it turns out. Your own mistakes will become your teachers. Your own writing will motivate you to greater creativity. Now, once you start the process, how do you improve it? Here are three tips.

1. Use nouns and verbs more than adjectives. Which is stronger: "She was as beautiful as a flower..." or "Roses wilted in shame as she passed by..."? "He looked at the depressing clouds..." or "He watched as dark clouds moved in, covering his sky..."?

2. Don't tell the reader how to feel. Let the words elicit the emotions directly, without explaining. "The tragedy touched them all," is more touching to the reader as "Men and women, doctor and workman... thirteen people looked upon the scene... with tears in their eyes."

3. Use dramatic and emotional words. Not all words are equal in their ability to "grab" a reader or elicit emotion. "Fell," "take," and "love," will probably be weaker than "plunged," "seized," and "worship."

Look at the following lines, written two ways. The second way applies the three rules above. (From the poem "Gratitude.")

1.

The mountains and lakes were beautiful

I looked at them, heard them and smelled them

And I felt in awe

2.

Mountains stand against the sky

My little lake at their feet

And in the middle of this creation

Which I see with my eyes

Hear with my ears

Smell and taste...

Words fail, as they should

I hope you agree that the second version is better. Again, if you want to know how to write poetry, you have to start writing. Use these and other rules to help you, but remember that all rules in poetry need to be broken at times. Read your poems aloud to yourself and others as a final "test."
About The Author

Steve Gillman has been playing with poetry for thirty years. He and his wife Ana created the game "Deal-A-Poem," which can be accessed for free at: http://www.dealapoem.com


 

A Guide To Poetry Styles & Terms
 by: Rose DesRochers

Poetry is made up of so many specific patters and language. There are as many forms of poetry as there are writers who pen it. Here I have gathered some resources to specific patterns of poetry and I have attempted to describe for you the figurative language found in poetry.

Specific Patterns of Poetry

• What is Traditional Poetry? “Traditional" poetry is the kind of poetry we hear most often. Traditional poetry has a certain form.

ex: Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall…

• What is Free Verse Poetry? Free verse is poetry that is written without proper rules about form, rhyme, rhythm, meter, etc.

The greatest American writer of free verse is probably Walt Whitman.

With free verse the poem can tell a story, describe a person, animal, feeling or object. They can serious, sad, funny or educational. There are no limits.

• What is a tongue twister? An expression that is difficult to articulate clearly; "`Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. ' is a tongue twister"

•What is ode poetry? An ode is a poem praising and glorifying a person, place or thing.

• What is Monorhyme poetry? A poem in which all the lines have the same end rhyme.

Ex: Late for school I'm looking like a big fool My brother thinks he rules While I'm loosing my cool

• What is monody poetry? A monody is a poem in which one person laments another's death, as in Tennyson's Break, Break, Break, or Wordsworth's She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways.

• What is Concrete Poetry? Poetry in which the poet's intent is conveyed by the shape formed by the letters, words, or symbols that make up the poem rather than by the conventional arrangement of words.

Here is a good example of a concrete poem:

http://webbschool.com/rhood/creativewriting/concrete_poem.htm

• What is Quatrain Poetry? A Quatrain is a poem consisting of four lines of verse with a specific rhyming scheme.

A few examples of a quatrain rhyming scheme's are as follows:

#1) abab #2) abba -- envelope rhyme #3) aabb #4) aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd -- chain rhyme

http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/quatrain.htm

• How to write Pantoum poetry:

http://anitraweb.org/kalliope/pantoum.html

•What is Palindrome Poetry?

http://www.fun-with-words.com/palin_explain.html

• Forms of Poetry for Children:

http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/poeform.htm

• Diamonte Poetry

http://www.chasesc.com/CHASEDiamontePoetry.htm

• What is an acrostic poem?

http://www.teachnet-lab.org/miami/2003/sampedro/what_is_an_acrostic_poem.htm

• Acrostic Poetry

http://www.teachnet-lab.org/miami/2003/sampedro/what_is_an_acrostic_poem.htm

• How to Write a Clerihew Poem http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poetryclass/clerihew.htm

• The Art of Haiku Poetry

http://www.lsi.usp.br/usp/rod/poet/haiku.html

• How to Write Limerick Poetry

http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poetryclass/limerickcontesthelp.html

• How to Write Cinquain Poetry http://www.edu.pe.ca/stjean/playing%20with%20poetry/Hickey/coleres.htm

What is a metaphor? A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

Understanding metaphors:

http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/gallery/rhetoric/terms/metaphor.html

What is a simile? A figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')

• The Simile Satellite Activities: this site explores the function, form and effect of simile in poetry

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/listenandwrite/teachers/simact.htm

What is alliteration? The repetition of consonant sounds - usually at the beginning of words

What is onomatopoeia? A word that sounds like the thing it describes.

Example: splash, wow, gush, kerplunk

What is a trope?

The intentional use of a word or expression figuratively, i.e., used in a different sense from its original significance in order to give vividness or emphasis to an idea. Some important types of trope are: antonomasia, irony, metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche. Sidelight: Strictly speaking, a trope is the figurative use of a word or expression, while figure of speech refers to a phrase or sentence used in a figurative sense. The two terms, however, are often confused and used interchangeably

Examples: Metaphor, simile, oxymoron, and hyperbole are all kinds of figurative language.

What is personification? A person who represents an abstract quality; "she is the personification of optimism."

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/personification.html

What is synonyms? Words or phrases which have similar meaning.

http://www.manatee.k12.fl.us/sites/elementary/palmasola/synonyms.htm

What is a stanza? A fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem

What is imagery? Image is language that evokes one or all of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching.

What is a muse? Muse: the source of an artist's inspiration; "Euterpe was his muse."

To get a list of other Poetic Glossary terms please see Today’s-Woman list

http://www.todays-woman.net/dll.php?name=Dictionary or Robert Shubinski has assembled an excellent on-line resource

http://www.poeticbyway.com/glossary.html

This link also gives the term, definition and example of literary terms.

http://www.kidskonnect.com/FigurativeLanguage/FigurativeLanguageHome.html
About The Author

Rose is a published author from Canada Ontario and is also the founder of http://www.todays-woman.net a community for men and women over 18, where writers/poets/columnists meet and exchange ideas, contest, rate and review and help each other succeed in the writing industry. Check out Rose's first poetry book "She is like the wind" and purchase poetry that is sure to be a world of emotion on a canvas that is her soul.

admin@todays-woman.net