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Techniques Used | Poems


Let’s take a look at the techniques used when writing poems; skills built up over time and devices that you can research that will help you with the content of your writing.

Your Devices

When I write poetry, I always find myself stuck initially because there’s one obstacle we all have to face: the main idea. I often separate my ideas into three parts – image, experience and meaning. I typically find my images in my past, my dreams or during my walks as I contemplate the events I’ve seen, heard of or read about. My experiences are often events that I wish I could have changed in some way and those wishes manifest themselves in my poetry. As for meaning, my recommendation is to always chase what moves you; develop the ability to process the world in your own unique way by writing often and writing about what interests you.

To get into my devices, specifically imagery, I’d pick whatever stimulates your mind and reminds you of a personal event. There’s something about forging your own experience when you can’t find one after finding an image that you find beautiful or moving – sometimes, making up a story can cause writers block for me. It can be difficult to keep up a relevant story in a poem if it isn’t from your own life. Here’s my tip for that – make the event tragic or emotional for you in some way while keeping it relevant with the first few lines of your poem. I’ll be exploring all of this more detail in the form of a bulleted list.

There is another factor that I’ve been exploring and that’s the “shock factor” that makes the reader feel more engaged or pulls the reader in by introducing what would be called the climax of a story.

God’s Denial

Her blood turns to honey on my tongue; 

Seeps from her sad eyes as she sleeps; 

Dreams she never loved a man like me;  

Climax/Tragic Point

Sweeter still that, for this lie, she hung  

Herself along the seaside edge from a

Cloud that pledged no God would see

Her corpse to send her above gracefully.

I told her this – beauty’s the sin that would

Have Him deny her Heaven.

I start the first stanza with an image, blood falling onto the tongue of our character, who finds it to taste sweet. The second line continues the imagery and the third is more of an experience, where the female character feels regret that she ever loved in the first place. Finally, we have the climax, which draws from a tragic event that could happen to anyone. Yet our narrator feels that her death is sweet, the blood seeping form her eyes as she sleeps tastes like honey, and that, because she dreams she never loved a man like him, he just shrugs off the love they had for each other.

  • Your Experiences Should  Have Value To You

The more value your experiences have to you, the more content you can create from them. By value, I mean whatever images, emotions and ideas are conjured up by your experiences. From them, you can use your literary devices to manipulate those ideas and emotions to write amazing poetry.

  • My Literary Devices

At the moment, my devices are compare and contrast, cause and effect, enjambment, run on sentences and a few others. Some of these aren’t categorized as literary devices, but anything in literature can be used to add to your poems. Be creative in the way you use these and you’ll write amazing poetry, but remember – brevity is key. Say as much as you can in as little words as possible. Here’s a few more tips on writing poetry – https://readyourselfpoetry.com/how-do-you-start-writing-poetry/


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2 thoughts on “Techniques Used | Poems

  1. I always find poems to be fascinating and thanks for sharing the 3 tips on how to write it successfully. You are absolutely right, it is just all about practice, the more you write, the better you get and that is just that. Writing poem is very similar to writing a story, there is an opening, climax and ending. I am going to use your image trick a try and try to come up with I want to write. 

    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah, practice and reading are great ways to improve as a poet. Reading isn’t much if you don’t apply what you learn from other writers. So yeah, practicing is great. 🙂

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