Here, we’ll be discussing some ideas and tips for those who are just starting out with poetry. I may also be recycling and referring to other posts to keep you up to date with my ideas on how to get better as a writer. First, I want you to have an idea of what “good poetry” is. For a poem to deliver its message, and to do so beautifully, the poet must have their standards; so must the reader. An education in these standards must be fostered in both the writer and the audience to have proper communication between them. The art of writing isn’t as subjective as most people seem to think; which is why you don’t see everyone out there winning the Pulitzer prize. There’s definitely several ways that poetry shouldn’t be written; but I’ll yield and say that the amateur may remain an amateur if they’re writing for therapy. Poetry is a splendid way to better yourself as a person, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be used as a form of catharsis as well.
One of the best things you could do for yourself as a poet is show off. Whenever you see a major improvement in your poetry, show whoever you can. Even those who aren’t avid readers should be able to see your improvement. Just be careful of a few pitfalls – a compliment from someone who doesn’t study poetry should be met with skepticism. Comments such as “I love the imagery.” might mean that you’re using too much of it and “The rhythm is impressive.” may show that there’s no meaningful content in your writing. Still, it’s useful to show these people your writing as they may notice what is most prominent when you might have desired to be impactful in some other way. If you’re showing someone with experience, ask the question “What does the poem mean?”. It’s a good gauge of skill when someone correctly interprets the meaning of your writing.
- YOUR FIRST FEW POEMS
There are forms of poetry that I deem fit for the beginner: the haiku and limerick. The haiku teaches brevity and the limerick instills a sense of rhythm. While I recommend these to the beginner, I do not mean to say that these should be easy. Always strive to write something great and do so by mimicking the greats. I do encourage you to challenge yourself, but start with forms that you think would help you as a writer. Transition to villanelles and sonnets when you have these basics down: rhythm, repetition, rhyming and communication.
- REITERATIONS OF PAST POSTS
Your poem doesn’t become yours until you’ve read enough.
By this I mean that, as a beginner, you have yet to grow into yourself. You’re in your larva stages. The beginner poet has a lot of potential as there are many great writers in the world and so you have as much “nutrients” as you need to blossom; yes, the best way to get better as a poet is to feed off the poetry of others. Steal, as I like to say; what’s theirs is yours to *learn* from and *build* upon, in your own unique style.
It’s great to write for one’s own good, but don’t cheat yourself of the learning process.
Some writers may start out writing for themselves and stop there; but I found it most fulfilling when I wrote with a purpose. That purpose was to express my view of the highest forms of beauty and to learn about the world that I drew inspiration from, and, by doing that, to better myself. I encourage you to find your own purpose as a poet and reap the rewards of achieving that purpose.
- TEACH YOURSELF SOME “WORD ECONOMY”
Let’s learn from Google and define word economy as “careful management of available resources.” I want you to take note of the basics of writing; the nouns, adjectives and verbs that we all use to describe this world and sprinkle them lightly upon your poetry. Limit your use to three per line, and limit your syllables to 2 per word (there are exceptions, read https://readyourselfpoetry.com/how-to-write-a-good-sonnet/).
That’s it for this article!
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to post them down below! 🙂
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