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.