A poem is not just a series of verses and words. Like any art, poetry should be seen as a field with its own rules. Before you start writing, you need to know what poetry is.
- - Use the books and online resources to familiarize yourself with the different forms of poetry.
- - Learn about how a poem should be read, perceived and analyzed.
- - Ask yourself about poetry as a form of expression.
Know that writing a poem is within everyone's reach, as long as you show both rigor and imagination. Remember that beyond words, a poem is a medium of communication and expression which, as such, must convey a message and emotions.
Part 1 of 2: Outline your poem
There are many documentary resources that will help you understand the generalities of poetry. Do not hesitate to also read the commented works of famous poets in order to better understand the peculiarities of the genre. When you feel ready, start writing your first poem.
Step 1. Decide on your theme
Your only limit is your imagination. You can write about anything that interests you, whether it is a seemingly insignificant detail, a worrying social issue, a feeling or a memory. Start with a simple theme. There are many poems inspired by nature, time, a person's physical features or even the feeling of love. In this article, we will take the theme of the sea.
Step 2. Choose the type of poem
Like all art, poetry is often subject to academic constraints. Fixed forms have emerged, but it is still possible to write according to your inspiration. However, if you choose a specific shape, it is best to stick to its structure as long as you are just starting out. Once the basics have been mastered, you can detach yourself from it. To get started, write a rhyming verse poem.
Poetry is the art of choosing and combining words to evoke a feeling or convey emotions. Through rhymes, sounds or images provoked by reading or listening to it, your poem must above all provide sensations. From this perspective, grammatical rules are often secondary. They can even be diverted to make your poem more touching
Step 3. Describe your topic
Isolate one element of your theme that will be the subject of your poem. It can be a physical object, a landscape, an emotion or even a memory. Your poem will then be built in whole or in part around the description of this element. Give it a first draft using simple questions.
- If you write about the sea, first define what this theme means to you. It could be a geographically demarcated sea, the sea in general, marine life, or even an ocean.
- Describe the sea. Whether it is a real or fictional place, describe it based on your senses. Evoke the movement of the waves, the smell of iodine, the sound of waves against the hull of a boat, the nuances, the depth or even the temperature of the water. Also describe your impressions. For example, the changing color of water, its cloudy appearance, the presence of foam, the increasing power of waves or the formation of a whirlpool can herald a storm.
- Select the most evocative elements according to your subject. For example, when describing a seascape, you can include references to wildlife such as the presence of a school of fish, a pod of dolphins, or noisy gulls. If you want to talk about a past storm, you can talk about the lingering scum, the calm after the wind has died down, the sea level rise along the coasts, or the broken boats on the rocks. A poem focused on ecology can talk about the waste that destroys marine life, the whale hunters hunted down by the Sea Shepherd, or even the dumping of toxic products in the water.
Part 2 of 2: Write your poem
Step 1. Outline the first line
She introduces your poem and gives it rhythm. In addition, it conditions your reader's first impression. This opening line can even be crucial if you are reciting your poem in front of an audience, as the audience may lose interest if the opening words are not captivating enough. To attract and maintain the attention of your audience, write a line that makes them want to keep learning about your poem. Get creative without losing your reader. Indeed, if it is confused or overwhelmed, it will turn away from your work.
For example, you can start your poem on the sea with:
The sea, like an expanse of diamonds
Step 2. Create rhymes
The most famous form is the poem in verse with rhymes. Two words rhyme when at least their last syllable sounds the same. In our case, the last word of the second line must end with the sound “an” to rhyme with the word “diamonds”.
Note that rhymes are not always at the end of verses. They can also appear in the middle of worms
Step 3. Try to find your own words
Ideally, it's best to avoid looking for your rhymes in dictionaries or online. Indeed, you risk losing authenticity. Looking for words in your own vocabulary allows you to better express your feelings and point of view. Your poem will only be more effective and understandable. If you cannot find the correct word, you can use a dictionary as a last resort.
For our poem, the second line can end with an adverb ending with "-ment", a present participle or with a word such as "moment", "appaisant" or "torrent". All of your verses may or may not end with the same sound
Step 4. Write each verse
Use your previous research to continue writing. When you have determined the subject of your verse, choose the words whose sounds correspond to your ideas. For example, a repeat of the sound "ch" can evoke the sound of wind or waves. In our poem, the lines can be as follows:
To my running feet, to my fleeing hands
Dazzling and overwhelming me, Forcefully reminded me
How immense was my weakness.
Step 5. Recite your verses out loud as you write them down
Tones are essential in a poem. Therefore, reading it aloud will allow you to detect any problems with the rhythm, sounds or balance between the worms. Strictly speaking, all the lines in a poem have the same number of feet. You can opt for this very balanced structure or choose a version mixing worms of different sizes. In our example, we have only chosen decasyllables, which is ten foot worms.
Step 6. Write as many stanzas as you want
Your poem can be as long as your imagination allows. A stanza is a group of verses and is similar to a paragraph. You can settle for a single stanza or write dozens of them!
Step 7. Neatly rewrite your poem
Your draft is complete when you are satisfied with each line, the overall structure of your poem, and the emotions that emerge from it. If you don't like your first draft, feel free to arrange the lines differently, change the words, change the grammatical structure, or even start your work over. You are the master of your work and if you are not fully satisfied with it, you can rearrange it until it looks perfect.
- When finished, you can write your poem on a blank piece of paper. To give it elegance and a shape related to the waves, you can write it by hand, opting for cursive writing.
- If you prefer, use word processing software to write your poem and insert decorative elements. You can then print your work.
- If you are performing in front of an audience, it is also possible to prepare a presentation using slides. For example, provide one per stanza.
- Enrich your vocabulary, your knowledge of the language and figures of speech through various readings.
- Keep all your poems in a filing cabinet or save them on computer media. You can also write them down in a notebook. You can read them again at any time to see your progress.
- Collect impressions from those around you or from people you don't know. Read or have someone read your poem to get their thoughts.
- Watch movies, especially those famous for their dialogue. Indeed, through the words and the play of the actors, you will be able to learn more about the choice of the words. In particular, you can benefit from these views if you use poetry as a medium of communication rather than expression.
- Read the works of the great poets and study their style. You will be able to be inspired by it to realize your own compositions.
- Consult dictionaries and thesauri to expand your vocabulary and develop your writing style.
- Also think about word games such as charades, rebuses and other riddles. Indeed, they are often based on the relationship between words and sounds, which can be interesting for writing your poems.