We all enjoy a bit of poetry every now and then. The way a single stanza can be so beautiful, rhythmic, and meaningful all at once. So, it’s no wonder that many pursue writing poems. It is such a personal undertaking that excites any poet, even readers. Many find poems truly amazing to read as most find them resonating, making them feel a certain way and giving them a different perspective. Writing poetry is a fulfilling creative venue as you can express yourself in a poem. It might seem that writing poems is as easy as writing what comes to mind. However, this has been found by many as the hardest form of creative writing to master. There are so many rules and, at the same time, no rules all in a single stanza.
Poetry is more than just a form of literature that uses aesthetics and rhythm. It is one thing to connect with readers on a deeper level, provoking thoughts and emotions they never knew lies within them. It is about getting creative and exploratory on topics from the heart and mind. How poetry operates on multiple, complex levels yet speaks in a fresh, brave, and honest voice is what makes it a difficult undertaking.
Despite the challenges poetry has in store, if you are still interested in learning how to nail this art form, then there are certain things you must not do when it comes to poetry writing.
Obsessing over Making It a Good Poem
What makes a good poem? This has been a question that poets keep asking and will continue asking for years to come. Honestly, there is no way to identify if the poem is good or bad. As long as someone reads your poem, feels something stir inside, then you’ve written a good poem. If you obsess on this question, you’ll be stuck on the first line. You might not have exactly the right words to start your poem, but don’t give up. Just keep on writing because you might not know it, but you’ve already written a good one. Go away from this poem for a few days and focus on different things. Then go back, and you might find it the best one you’ve written.
Using Abstract Words
Poems tend to narrate ideas through abstract conceptions. While it is not a bad thing, using abstract words can mix up the point you want to share with readers. Readers can have their own definition of the abstract words. For example, you want to convey the emotion of love. Love is something that one cannot feel or touch. That is why you must use concrete words to show abstract concepts. Concrete words describe ideas with readers’ senses in a thought-provoking way. These words help readers get a “picture” of what the poem is talking about.
Using the ABAB Rhyme Scheme Repeatedly
Rhyme is an important aspect in writing poems. As a newbie in writing poems, you might find yourself rhyming every ending word of the verse—this the ABAB rhyme scheme, the most common pattern, and an overused one. There is no problem following this scheme, but repeatedly using it on every poem you write will make it clichéd. Many poets use this scheme which resulted in poems that sound forced. There are plenty of rhyming schemes you can explore, all of which can be searched up on the internet. Mastering the varying types of rhyme beyond the ABAB scheme will improve your poetry writing techniques. You will also create a more sophisticated style of poem that can be smoothly read and understood by readers.
If you don’t know your destination, how can you get there? This goes the same as writing poetry. How can you write a good poem when you don’t know what message you want to share. Wandering thoughts can confuse readers, therefore not getting the idea, emotion, or feeling you want to evoke. So, before you begin, ask yourself what you want your poem to do. Does it explore a personal experience? How does summer make you feel? Or, how does this person give you hope? Gather your thoughts, arrange them, and form a path that your reader will follow.
Take Poet Jaime Fidler’s poem Present Memories from Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart and Mind as an example of a poem with a clear goal.
It hurts me as I blink
Look at myself in the mirror
It smacks me in the face
The past and the future
To the loneliness I feel
Which prison do I see
As I walk slowly
Through my memories
Walking down the aisle
To nothing at all
It hurts me inside
No one else sees it at all
To the feelings I feel
When you look upon my face
The love that I lost
The love I defaced
Reading through her words will immediately evoke the emotion of sadness or regret. You can identify how she explores the feeling towards someone from the past.
There are plenty more things you must not do when writing poetry and this is only half of it. But, regardless, this is a good start to your writing career.
Poetry is powerful. It can bring out the best and worst in you. In writing poems, you can discover a part of yourself that you never thought existed. The mere act of creating impactful poems enables you to release the ugly and beautiful aspects of your life that you want to share with others. It never goes out of style. Readers in this day and age are still drawn into poetry more than ever.
What could be the main reasons why poems still manage to thrive in this progressive day? Healing and inspiration — these are the answers. Every person had experienced feeling different strong emotions in both their highest of highs and lowest of lows. Published poet Jaime P. Fidler, for example, wrote a heartwarming poetry book titled Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart and Mind. She magnificently turned her feelings and thoughts into an anthology of poems that are uplifting and influential.
That said, how could poetry do its magic of mending and encouraging its readers? It can bring healing and inspiration by:
Allowing you to free your mind from bothering thoughts
Your mind has the ability to keep bothering you with ideas and memories that you’ve tried so hard to suppress. There are times that it suddenly hit you hard enough to awaken the demons that you already put to sleep and open the wounds that you thought have healed. But with poetry, you are allowed to write about those ugly and beautiful thoughts that are running around your mind for the longest time. The more you let them free by turning them into poetry, the more you will be healed and grow into a better version of yourself.
Offering you a safe place to mend your pain
Pain can make you do crazy things. If you left your wounds untreated, they could create a more dangerous effect on your life. Many avenues promote healing, and poetry is one of them. If you feel disappointed and burnt out due to the bunch of downfalls that you’ve been experiencing, poetry is there to offer you a safe place to heal. All you have to do is choose between reading and writing. If you pick the former, many poetry books speak and relate to your pain. Hence, they are already conveying the pain that you’ve been feeling. If you choose the latter, you can specify the experiences you want to share and inspire others to conquer them. So, you are allowed to treat your wounds your way.
Letting you speak your truth
Every person has their truths. What you believe in might not be what others have faith in. So, if you felt the urge to express your truth, poetry is the best platform for you. All you need are the materials for writing and the will to create beautiful poems. Afterward, you are already given the freedom to speak your truth by writing poetry. You can be honest and sincere in writing your thoughts and ideas. You’ll never know how much of an impact your works can bring to the readers' lives. They will surely see your genuineness and relate to your story.
Helping you to teach others
Literature is a great teacher. Using your meaningful experiences to create impactful writings, you can inspire others to use their skills to tell their story. The rawness and sincerity that you have showcased in each of your poems have the power to inspire and teach others. Every person has different stories to tell, and behind those tales are lessons that can be applied in real life. The more you write, the more lives you can touch. Hence, the sole purpose of expression becomes greater because your works became inanimate teachers you never thought possible.
Making you live without fear and worries
Living with a lot of things to fear and worry about is a hassle. You cannot truly live in the moment and enjoy the little things in life because there are so many aspects that bother you. But with poetry, you can release these anxieties and fears by turning them into impactful poems. The readers will surely relate to your works and live by your words at some time in their lives. What is important is that you are healing through writing, and you are inspiring people with your story.