Monday, April 7, 2014

How to write poems

First off, I want to say that poetry is not simply about rhyming that last word at the end of the sentence. Poems don't even have to rhyme!

I have never written poetry that doesn't rhyme so I won't talk about it, I just wanted you to know that it was out there.

The first thing you want to do when writing a poem is to pick a topic. A good topic is something that will invoke strong emotions in readers, something you care to write about and something personal. Once you've found a good topic just start writing lines. They don't have to be in order or make sense, the last word should just follow your rhyme scheme.

Didn't I just say not to do that earlier? Well yes, but now I'm telling you to do it. Poems, like every other form of writing need to be edited, don't try to constrain yourself and just create freely. I'll give you some constraints later.

When you right a poem, use as much purple prose as you can and don't shy away from near rhymes. They're just as good as full rhymes.

Here's a word of caution: Don't rhyme short words with long words and if at all possible rhyme the entire word or as much of it as possible (a perfect rhyme). If you need to use a short word with a longer word, pay attention to the words that preceded it.

Here are some examples.

Won't you say you love me?
Our love is pure serendipity.

Besides that being a horrible line for a poem, doesn't the flow just sound awful? Try this one instead.

Oh won't you come near me?
Our love is pure serendipity.

Doesn't it sound a little bit better? That's because near me is a closer rhyme to serendipity than love me is.

Rhyming the entire word is rare, but if you find the opportunity to do it, go for it. It will make for nicer flow.

Stuff like fear and rare; dying and crying. National and rational.

Don't just rely on perfect rhymes though, unless you plan on being Dr. Seuss, go for more ambitious rhymes.

So there goes the basic of rhyming, now I will give you the key to writing good poetry, something I figured out while writing parody songs. Syllables.

It's all in the syllables. Give each of your lines roughly the same amount of syllables, or if possible give them all the same amount of syllables. A good range seems to be from 8-12 and you should keep the syllables in the same stanza within one syllable of each other.

One final lesson  before I end this post. A rhyme scheme doesn't after to be 1-2, 1-2, 1-2.

It could be.

The possibilites are endless really, and nothing has to even rhyme.

That's all for today, if you have any questions please leave a comment below! Or email me at

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