Poetry Problems? Here Are 5 Tips to Help Improve Your Work

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien


Poetry

There are so many different types of poetry and I claim to be an expert in none! However, I do enjoy poetry and I love to write poetry.

I’ve always cared about improving my own poetry and I’ve picked up on a few lessons along my journey. I thought that I would share some of those lessons with you, my readers, in case you have an inkling towards writing for yourselves.

Like everything in life, all developed skills follow a learning process. So, let’s keep an open mind and try to humbly improve from wherever we are right now. The moment we stop trying to learn is the moment that we start rolling backwards, so it pays to keep an open mind even if we think we’re pretty damn good.

The best thing about poetry is that it allows us flexibility in making our poems completely unique to ourselves! So make it your own. These are only some tips and guidelines but feel free to experiment. You do you!


Good Poetry Appeals To The Senses

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When you’re writing a poem you can be expressing a Universe through your words in a myriad of ways. You can be giving others a new perspective that they’ve never experienced before. You can literally take them on a walk through the eyes of another. The same goes for all writing in general, but it counts in poetry doubly. You’re creating a piece of art that plays on the senses and emotions in a short period of time.

Speaking of senses, all senses matter in poetry. Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch and Smell. The more you can bring to life these senses through your reader, the more power your poem will have. You’re creating a piece of art which messes with the senses of another human being and that’s incredibly powerful.  Add a healthy dose of descriptive writing, interesting stories and metaphors, and you’ve now created an experience. Just keep writing away and you’ll improve.

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Anais Nin – “Risk”

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to blossom.


Write From The Heart – Edit After

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One thing that I’ve learned in the past 6 months of writing poetry, more regularly, is the value of expressing yourself and your ideas first. Afterwards, you can go over it again to make it sound really pretty. Once you’ve completely expressed yourself, you can read through the poem again adjusting little bits and pieces along the way to make it roll off the tongue smoothly. Adding and chopping words as you go.

P.s. Don’t be afraid to leave your thoughts unfiltered. The more raw and honest a piece is to the reality you’re attempting to portray, the more enticing it is.


Focus on the Idea First, Rhyming Second

So, there have been times where I’ve written my poetry, trying to perfect my rhymes as I went, and on some occasions that worked, but at other times, chasing the rhymes rather than the content just muddied up what I was trying to say. It didn’t make as much sense and it lost some of it’s wonder. Since then, I’ve realized that the message comes first, and then you can clean it all up after with your perfectionist tendencies. If you have those.

 I definitely don’t.

i don’t know about that get me out of here GIF by JMatt


You Can Make It Your Own

You can follow rules in poetry, if you enjoy that sort of thing. I’ve dabbled in Limericks and Sonnets and rhyming patterns. They’re all fun in their own way. Sometimes they’re even challenging because they’re so specific. However, if you’re looking to poetry as an outlet to simply express yourself, then you don’t have to micromanage your poem so much.

Feel free create your own style. Whatever works for you. Just bring your words and worlds to life.


Some Useful Tools

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No, not those tools… *Sigh*

I’ve also stumbled across some useful websites and tools, that have helped me in the past, while developing my poetry skills.

All Types of Poems – Here’s a great website that explains the different types of poems and their rhyme schemes along with great examples. The website is called Family Friendly Poems and you can access it here.

Rhyming Help – I believe that I’ve been using this website, for rhyming help, since I was in high-school. There are going to be times where you get stuck on a line, and coming up with the perfect phrase is going to be mind-boggling. This website can aid your efforts in finding that perfect word. It’s called Rhyme Zone and it can be accessed here.


So, what do you think? Did I miss anything? Anything you’d like to add?

Let me know in the comments below.

I hope it helps!

17 thoughts on “Poetry Problems? Here Are 5 Tips to Help Improve Your Work

  1. I love this, thank you so much for sharing.
    I am a poet, a dark soul….and I write from my heart and soul… always.. I don’t follow rules, but sometimes I try. In Norway it is so important to place a poet in a genre, but I don’t want to, I’m me and go my own way…most important to me is genuine emotions and my readers can feel it, be touched and cry… and be speechless…and make a movie in their mind and maybe feel a tear in hearts…
    Oh my.. I must stop myself now.. I can talk and talk about it forever…
    Enjoy your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great points! Writing poetry is daunting. I feel that many don’t do it well, but love to see others trying and improving regardless.

    I wrote an article awhile ago about how to write poetry; yours is far less snarky. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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