Poetry Tips

  1. How to start?
    • Know your goal:
      • Are you capturing a moment? Responding to someone? Protesting an idea? Describing someone or thing?
    • Answering these questions can help you get started in your new venture of poetry writing. You must know the purpose i.e., have a goal, before you can begin to write anything including poetry.
  2.  Avoid clichés
    • Clichés can be defined as overused literary elements such as metaphors and similes that are commonly used or overused themes, plots and character types. These make your work boring and common showing no uniqueness or creativity.
      • Examples: busy as a bee
      • Blind like a bat
      • Beet red
    • Instead you can take that same overused cliché and create a new way to describe the same concept. Busy as a bee –> I feel like a bow fiddling an Irish reel conveys the same idea of busyness or frenzy.
  3. Avoid sentimentality:
    • Meaning resist the use of “exaggerated and self-indulgent tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia,” when writing such as star-crossed lovers, grandparents and puppies.
  4. Use images:
    • Use your words to paint an image in your reader’s mind. Stimulate their sense of sight, touch, taste, sound, smell and motion so that they feel like they are right there experiencing your words.
  5. Utilise metaphors and similes:
    • Metaphors are statements that pretend one thing is really something else. They take an abstract concept associated with one thing and link it to another. The woman is a thunderous storm, to convey her anger.
    • Similes are statements saying one object is similar to another with the use of  “like” or “as. She is as skittish as a mouse.
  6. Use concrete words instead of abstract words:
    • That is using words that describe things you can experience, like a blue – I see, cold – I can feel,  dog – I can hear, instead of  concepts or feelings like love, sadness or freedom.
    • Abstract concepts wouldn’t trigger your senses like concrete words, nor can you be sure of the readers interpretation.
      • She is happy –> Her smile stretched from one check to the other, face glowing like the sun on a summer day.
  7. Communicate theme:
    • Your poem should have a an idea and opinion = theme.
  8. Subvert the ordinary:
    • Look from a new perceptive everyday things. See more than there is. Don’t just see people sitting at the diner. Image their lives.
  9. Rhyme with extreme caution:
    • Use of stressed and unstressed words. For beginners use free verse until you feel reading to use rhymed verses. See link for details: Poetry Is For The Ear
  10. Revise:  see post for more information  The Revision Process

Thank you for reading.



Ziehl, K. (2000, May 26). Poetry Writing: 10 Tips on How to Write a Poem (J., Ed.). Retrieved May 23, 2018, from https://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/poetry-writing-tips-how-to-write-a-poem/

2 Replies to “Poetry Tips”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s