Writing Your First Poem
The best way to write your first poem is to just do it. There are no magic formulas, secret incantations, or special recipes to help you out. Writing your first poem is about putting pen to the paper and getting it done, the old-fashioned way, writing it down. It doesn’t have to be written in stanzas the way poems were done in the distant past. It doesn’t have to follow strict styles or rigid patterns of rhyme or rhythm, or in any particular order;it just has to be written.
For many years poems were written in very strict order. This order had to be carefully adhered to or it was not considered acceptable by the poetic powers that be. Today, however, poems can be a little more cavalier and do not have to be written in stuffy traditional styles.
Writing a poem in this day and age is more about images and ideas mixed in with feelings, thoughts, and experiences. You see something, you think about it, and you get ideas based on your own personal associations with that something. These connections bring certain words to mind and you write those words down. When filtered through your imagination, these words will be expressed in a new and different way. Different from anyone else.
These words become your poem.
The key to writing a really good poem is in choosing the best words and images to describe what you’re trying to say. Every word is important and must create clear mental pictures for your audience. A truly good poem is all about the arrangement of words in a rhythmical pattern on the paper. It is also about the images and objects that you select. If you choose the right ones, words won’t even matter, the images will speak for themselves. Images are like pictures. In order to make strong images you must be very observant of what goes all around you. When a good reader absorbs these images he re-enacts the experiences the poem contains. The poem doesn’t always have to make total sense in what the words and images portray, but it must make immediate rhythmic sense to the reader when read aloud.
A good poem depends on all of these things in order to work, but it also depends on emotion. When your poem shows strong feelings and honesty it makes your readers feel it deep within their heart when they read it. That is the essence of a good poem.
In writing your first poem you must make good use of your writing tools. These tools are your five senses. If you are to capture the views of the world around you, you must look,listen,smell, taste and touch it.
First choose a topic. Next brainstorm (think) of all the words you can that describe this topic. As you continue to think, add your personal feelings and experiences into the mix. Then add more lines and write away. As you continue to write, decide which words and phrases make the best sense together. You can use the same words over and over if you like. If the words don’t flow easily, don’t worry. Most of us were not born with a pen in our hands, so the words may take their time. Writing is something you have to work at, so keep these 4 rules in mind:
1- Don’t worry about spelling-JUST WRITE!
2- Don’t worry about being neat-JUST WRITE!
3- You can always fix it later-JUST WRITE!
4- JUST WRITE!
As with all activities practice makes perfect. You learn by doing. So after you’ve written that first poem, don’t stop. Keep your writing tools sharp. Remember that besides verse, poetry can also include jokes, riddles, jingles, chants, puns, and songs. The more you write, the more you will begin to see yourself as a poet. So after you’ve written that first poem, don’t stop. Write on!
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