How to Write Poetry
I can show you how to write amazing poetry.
Choose which type of poem you would like to write. This is how to do it:
How to Write a Cinquain
This is really easy and very effective.
A Cinquain has five lines which go like this:
Line 1: one word title
Line 2: two descriptive words
Line 3: three action words
Line 4: four feeling words
Line 5: one word which answers the question: 'When I think of the title, I think of ...'
So an example would be:
waddling, swimming, frolicking
a tuxedo in the icy water
Waiting, grinning, winking
Icy weather keeps him smiling
How to Write a Haiku
First of all - what is a Haiku?
Well it's a poem made of 17 un-rhymed syllables,
organised into 3 lines.
So it will look something like this:
The ravenous frog (5 syllables in the first line)
Squatting on a lily pad (7 syllables in the second)
Dreams of careless flies (5 syllables in the third)
Start with the thought. Most Haiku reflect some elements of nature. They express a moment of beauty, which prompts you to think about our wonderful world.
A good starting point is to have three questions to ask yourself:
1. Where it happens eg., On the branch above
2. What is happening eg., Song-thrush sings his lonely song
3. When it happens eg., To the cool morning
So your haiku is:
On the branch above
Song-thrush sings his lonely song
To the cool morning
When you've got your idea, it's easy to adjust the syllable count to make it fit the
5 - 7 - 5 structure.
Just begin with the thought and adjust the syllables later. The strict structure ensures that you cut out all unnecessary words and you end up with a really rich poem, full of expression.
How to Write a Limerick
The origin of the actual word 'Limerick' is not clear, thought it's generally taken to be a reference to the city of Limerick, in Ireland.
The limerick's rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-a. In other words, the first, second and fifth lines all rhyme with one another; the third and fourth lines have their own rhyme.
The meter is also very strict. You will know it well!
Da DA da - da DA da - da DAA
Da DA da - da DA da - da DAA
Da DA da da DAA
Da DA da da DAA
Da DA da, da DA da, da DAA
There was an old man of the coast
Who gingerly sat on a post
But when it got cold
He relinquished his hold
And called for some hot, buttered toast.
Limericks are often a bit naughty and sometimes quite rude. That's what makes them good fun.
How to Write a Sonnet
The theme of a sonnet is often love, but modern sonnets can be about almost anything.
Divide the sonnet into two parts so that the second part comes to some sort of a conclusion.
A sonnet has 14 lines, with a formal rhyming pattern.
ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
The stresses of the lines should be in iambic pentameter. This means that every other syllable is stressed and each line ends with a strong rhyme.
There are 10 syllables in each line.
The ninth line of the sonnet usually changes tone or direction in the poem.
Hint: If you take your time and think of all possible words or feelings about a specific topic, and then change the words and thoughts into iambic pentameter, then you can write a better
sonnet. Once you have come up with the topic of the sonnet, make a list of words that you feel best fit the mood of the poem, then make a list of words that rhyme with those words. A thesaurus is a handy tool when writing sonnets.
I can't leave this one out can I?
William Shakespeare - Sonnet #18
Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
How to Write a Ballad
For Rebecca, who wanted to know ...
Ballads are very easy to write.
They are verses which can (but don't have to be) sung to music.
Originally ballads were not written down and were passed down from generation to generation orally; the music helped people to remember the story.
They have a specific rhyming structure, which is usually four lines long (either abab, or aabb, or abac, where the last line is a chorus line).
They have a set number of syllables. Decide upon your own and make sure that you stick to it.
There is often a chorus which is repeated throughout the ballad and which sums up the story of the ballad.
If you do want to make sure your lines rhyme, try www.rhymezone.com. Try typing the sound of the part of the word that rhymes, rather than the whole word. You'll get more options that way. Secondly, do not get so caught up in rhyming you can't make it make sense.
To start your ballad, find one phrase, a line or two, that you like, and build your song from there.
Start by writing the chorus - you can repeat that over and over throughout the song leaving it unchanged or changing it only slightly each time.
Then add the verses.
If you know the story you want to tell, but you're having trouble putting it into a poetic structure, write out the story first. Don't worry about putting the story into verse yet--just get the key words down. You may find it easier to organize once the story is written.
How to Write an Acrostic Poem
Example: SLUG by Andrew Jessop, aged 7
Write the letters of the title in a column and find the best descriptive words you can to complete the poem.
Big Hint: Use a dictionary to help you to find original words and a thesaurus to make them even better!
For example, I want to write an acrostic poem about my dog Tiger. So I need to write down:
Now I need to find some really good words to describe him. I know that he is determined, cheeky, energetic, intelligent, naughty, kind, friendly.
'Energetic' and Intelligent' already fit in, so I am going to use my thesaurus to find my other words.
Instead of 'determined', I am going to use 'tenacious'.
Instead of 'friendly', I am going to use 'gregarious'.
Instead of 'naughty', I am going to use 'rogue'.
(I got these words from the thesaurus.)
So, my Acrostic poem is:
A very good idea is to do an acrostic poem all about yourself - use your own name and find words which describe you!