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Poetry Writing Tips:
The Lore of the Laureate

by John Francis

Feeling the call to write something beautiful and full of passion is not an uncommon occurrence, but everyone starts at the beginning when it comes to learning the how of creating art in textual format. To help those beginning on their journey, a few simple poetry writing tips listed below are ones that every hopeful poet should keep in mind.

1. The Basics

The first step in increasing your arsenal of poetic knowledge is to learn the basics. Just as with learning how to write essays, you begin with the smallest building blocks, or the "sentences," of poetry. These are things like rhyming, meter, and intonation. Sentences can be expanded upon and may come in different varieties, and these are equivalent to the figures of speech and intentional repetition often seen in poetry.

After you get the barest essentials, you advance to the "paragraphs": poetic forms. Art is often concerned with structure, and the forms are the structure of the poem. Every poem has a form, but some forms are somewhat standardized and reused frequently. Some of the forms should be familiar to the average person by name, such as the haiku and the sonnet.

Finally, understanding the more subtle aspects of poetry becomes necessary. This refers to the use of themes, the application of poetic ideas, telling a story with your words, and presenting them in a way that is artistic to the core.

2. Reading

Nothing will help you more with poetry than reading extensively. It does not have to exclusively be a poetic work, but reading poetry can give you an idea on how to use different forms and styles, as well as expand on your vocabulary. Attempting to analyze poetry of others can also point you to how to make others see what you want them to see with your words. Reading specific masterpieces done in certain poetic forms may show you new ways in which to utilize them. Most importantly, reading invariably increases your index of idioms, which is indescribably important in this instance.

3. Practice

The old adage of "practice makes perfect" holds as true in the literary arts as it does in athletic activities. Not every poem needs to be a masterpiece, possess a deep meaning, or even be seen by anyone other than you. The important thing is that you get your mind accustomed to thinking in a poetic manner. Even spending 15 minutes to half an hour of every day by writing poetry can have this impact on your mind.

4. Outside Help

If you are truly dedicated to adopting these poetry writing tips, you may want to consider enrolling in classes at a local college or find a community with which to merge your creative mind. The occasional skilled poet may exist in a hermitic fashion, but the majority of them maintain at least some social interaction with the world. An alliance of like-minded enthusiasts or a teacher with strict homework schedules can both serve to keep you focused on continuing to expand your knowledge and practice writing.

5. Enjoy the Freedom of Words

More than anything, it is important you remember that no rules constrain you. Even if you spend years studying "traditional" poetry, your own style may demand something new and fresh. Learn the art and science of poetry to better understand what you are creating and gain the tools to shape it, and not to mimic or take as impervious fact.

About the Author of Poetry Writing Tips

John Francis is a freelance writer and programmer who enjoys a writing poetry in his free time, as well as frequently contributing to online education resource DegreeJungle.com. When he's not writing or working, John loves spending time traveling and sharing his life with his beautiful wife Laura.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.

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