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Learn to Write Poetry in 6 (easy) Steps

Posted on the 25 February 2021 by Cendrinemedia @cendrinemedia

I studied poetry at university for six years. The way professors taught it was awful. So, I found myself unable to enjoy poetry until I started putting pen to paper.

How did it happen?

One night in January 2005, I felt the urge to write a poem. My first piece was born in half an hour - and I was hooked. I still am, 16 years later.

Ever since publishing my first book, I have been asked if I had special powers or skills. Sorry to disappoint, folks, but if I did, you would know about it!

Joke aside, I believe that anyone can write poetry. Yes, anyone.

"Ok, that's fine and dandy, Cendrine. But how I actually do that?"

I am glad you asked. Here is my answer in 6 steps.

Step 1: Use prose

Prose is used in novels, short stories, letters, e-mails, etc. As an example, let me share a passage from my introduction to one of my old books, Project: Heartbeats and Elevation:

The way each individual interprets words and phrases, rhythm and sounds does not matter. It is all about firm belief; belief in the beauty of nature, life, love, and possibilities. Of course, one will always find pain, misunderstanding, as well as anger along the way. However, if one can see beyond those hurdles, the rewards will be bountiful!

Step 2: Start a new line with each occurrence of a normal pause

Below is my rendition of the aforementioned passage.

The way each individual interprets words and phrases,
Rhythm and sounds does not matter.
It is all about firm belief;
Belief in the beauty of nature, life, love, and possibilities.
Of course, one will always find pain, misunderstanding,
As well as anger along the way.
However, if one can see beyond those hurdles,
The rewards will be bountiful!

(Capitalization is optional.)

Step 3: Experiment!

The way
Each individual interprets
Words and phrases,
Rhythms and sounds
Does not matter.

It is all about firm belief;
Belief in the beauty of
Nature,
Life,
Love, and
Possibilities.

Of course,
One will always find pain,
Misunderstanding,
As well as anger...

Along the way.

However, if one can see
Beyond those hurdles,
The rewards will be bountiful!

Have fun!

Step 4: Perfect your piece

Leave the poem aside for a while and let your mind wander freely. Fresh ideas should arise, including punctuation, synonyms, and (maybe) rhymes ( RhymeZone may help!).

The way
Each individual re-creates
Words and phrases-
Rhythms and sounds
Matters not.
It is all about firm belief;
Belief in the beauty of
Nature,
Life,
Love, and
Possibilities.

Indeed,
One will always encounter pain...
Misunderstanding...
And anger...

Along the way.

Yet, if the eye can see
Beyond those hurdles,
The rewards will be bountiful!

(Don't forget to add a title! :))

Step 5: Edit

Editing your poem is a very important step. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked.

Not sure how to go about it? Here are some tools to help you:

Step 6a: Practice, practice, practice...

...and practice some more. Read a lot to expand your vocabulary. Use yourDictionary.com, Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster Online, Wikipedia, or Wikitionary to look up the definitions of unfamiliar words.

Share your poetry with others and ask for constructive feedback. However, do not let anyone tell you what will work for you. Always be true to who you are and NEVER compare yourself with other poets, unless you want to understand your own style.

Have fun, and do not be too harsh on yourself!

Step 6b: Submit your poetry to Auroras & Blossoms

Happy with what you wrote? Time to submit to magazines and journals! Start with Auroras & Blossoms. 🙂

I co-founded A&B with David Ellis in 2019 to:

  • Promote positive, uplifting and inspirational written and visual art, no matter the topic; and
  • Give artists (ages 13 and over) of all levels a platform where they can showcase their work and build their publishing credits.

We run a magazine, regular submission calls for anthologies, a monthly show, an artistic movement (PoArtMo), an artist collective (PoArtMo Collective), and a series of guides for authors and artists. We have also created several poetry forms. Finally, we pay ongoing royalties to artists whose work has been selected to appear in our magazine and anthologies.

We would love to read you! For more information on how to submit, visit https://abpoetryjournal.com/submit/.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 🙂


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