Skip to main content

How to Write a Poem: Simple Advice for Novices

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches communication and education courses in a HEI. She enjoys reading and travelling.

How to Write a Poem

For the first time writer, writing a poem may be both liberating and scary. It's liberating in a sense that you're free what to think about. But it can be scary at times because, for students in class while others are already busy writing, you're still stuck on how to write and what to write about.

I remember in grade school when our teacher required us to write a poem as a seat work in class. As soon as she said, "Start!" My classmates began to run their pens on their papers smoothly. But me, oh my! I started staring at the white ceiling. I looked at my blank paper. I didn't know what to write and what write about. Then, I gazed at my my teacher's face searching for words. As I did that, words began to flow in my mind and into my paper. Before the class ended, I came up with a poem entitled, My Teacher, My Muse.

So, poetry writing is just like that. You may learn how to compose a poem that reflects your ideas, emotions, or thoughts. Inspiration may come from anywhere, anytime. And by adhering to a few basic guidelines, you may grab your preferred writing supplies, and start composing your poetry!

Step 1: Find out what a poem is.

You must first understand what makes a poem a poem in order to compose a straightforward poetry. Any grouping or arrangement of words that communicates an emotion or concept in a way that is more focused than ordinary speech or text is considered to be a poetry.
Verse-length writing is more common for poetry than paragraph-length writing. They often have a rhythm and may include entire or unfinished phrases. Remember that rhyme is not required in poetry.

Step 2: Recognize Your Goal

What are you trying to communicate with your poetry and why are you writing it? What format or language your poetry should use, how long or short it should be, and what kinds of words you should use may all be determined by the poem's intended audience. Are you writing for someone else, yourself, or an assignment?

Step 3: Select a Topic

Your poem's topic, or what it is about, serves as its main theme. Prior to writing, picking a topic might assist you concentrate on that subject. A poetry prompt might be useful if you need inspiration to begin going.
Typical poetry topics include:
a feeling, as love or dread
an inspiration a person, either actual or imagined
an area, either actual or imagined a creature a sentiment, such as approval or disapproval a thing a time an outburst of a strong emotion as disappoint and hatred

Step 4: Generate ideas

Write down every word that comes to mind when you think about your topic to begin. Poets and writers often conjure up the views and sensations of other people or things. A poet could be intrigued by an apple and wonder why it is there, who planted it, what it is thinking, or what it will become, such as applesauce or apple pie.
Try to use each of your five senses when out on a stroll: touch, hearing, taste, and vision. Consider the emotions and viewpoints of those you are seeing, including humans and animals. Get foolish and invent absurd tales. Just let go, have fun, and begin to write anything comes to mind.

Step 5. Choose a poem format

The topic and tone of your poem will affect its structure. You shouldn't worry too much about style or get caught up in attempting to master a structure when you're just starting out. Pick one, get familiar with the fundamental guidelines, and do your best to follow them.
Poem categories and poetry forms
Poems come in a wide variety of forms. Rhymes and meter are not required in poems, although they may be included if you like. Once you've decided on a format, reading several examples of that kind of poetry can help you understand more about it.
For beginners, some of the simpler kinds of poetry and poetic forms are:
Acrostic: Each line's initial word on each line spells a different word using the first letter.
Free verse: There are no guidelines in free verse. Just jot down whatever thoughts you have.
Haiku: The lines of a haiku are a certain number of syllables long.

Scroll to Continue

I Am: Write a poem that is entirely about you and has no other restrictions.
Ballads and epic poems that narrate a tale are examples of narrative poetry.

Two-line rhymes: Two lines following each other have a rhyme in the last word.

List Poem: a poem that lists about something.

how-to-write-a-poem-advice-for-novices

Step 6. Start with just one line

You have a format, a topic, a purpose, and associated terms. The moment has come to write. Write only one line to begin. This can turn out to be your title, your first sentence, or your final sentence. Look at the line to see where you believe it to be on the continuum of your notion.

Step 7: Finish Your Writing

Simply begin adding lines following the first line if it serves as your introductory line. Work either backwards or in the direction of your finishing line if that is the case. Don't stress too much about using precise formatting while you write. Later, you can correct it.

Step 8: Revise your poem

Putting the initial draft of your poem aside for a day or two, is one of the finest things you can do. If you have time later, go back to it and see if you can make any changes. Improve it. Polish it. Edit it "without mercy" they say. You may even want to have some of your friends read it and consider their opinions. But this is up to you really. When you have done your editing and you are happy and satisfied with it, then you are ready to share it or publish it.

how-to-write-a-poem-advice-for-novices

Writing Your First Poem: Some Advice

Your first poem may not be excellent or even good enough. That's all right. It doesn't have to be perfect at the start. Your poetry is more likely to be something you're pleased of if you keep a few things in mind while you compose.
Write emotively: The emotion a poem evokes in the reader is what makes it wonderful.
Don't use cliches: The phrase "busy as a bee" is an example of a cliché.
Apply imagery: Make use of sensory-stimulating, tangible language.
Make use of metaphors and similes: Similes compare two objects and often start with the word "like" or "as." Metaphors accomplish the same thing without the use of "like" or "as."

Launch Your Poem: Learning to compose poetry may be simple, whether you're doing it for school or for yourself. You just need to begin writing. What will the tone of your first poetry be?

© 2022 Ruby Campos

Related Articles