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The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Writing Poetry
Poetry is an artistic form of expression which anyone can write, but to write great poetry requires an understanding of basic. There are many misconceptions that people have about poetry, and because of these misconceptions, people writing poetry for the first time make some common mistakes. In the beginning these mistakes are harmless and it's better to write poetry with mistakes than to not write poetry at all, but if you want to be taken seriously as a poet you must learn what these mistakes are. The examples below are some of the most common mistakes people make when writing poetry.
Confusing Poetry With Prose
There are two basic ways people communicate with one another, poetry or prose. Poetry by definition is considered metered verse which encompasses certain elements such as simile, metaphor, rhyming, repetition, etc.... Prose is any other form of communication that isn't poetry. While both forms of communication can be beautiful in their own way it's important to not confuse the two. Many people use the argument that they write their poetry in free verse, but even if you don't use meter in your verse there should be some of the other poetic elements within it.
Rhyming Without Reason
Many people think they can write a bunch of lines down and rhyme when they feel like it, but this common mistake really detracts from a poem. The reason for rhyming is to give poetry a sing song quality, and when a specific rhyme scheme isn't used the flow of the words sounds garbled and ugly. Look at the example below to understand this error completely.
The woman wore black
When death was knocking at her door,
She had a bad heart
And it caused an attack
Death tore her apart.
She hit the floor
As death opened the door.
The woman wore black
As death came knocking at her door
Her heart was weak from attack
So she fell and hit the floor.
As you can see, the example above has rhyming words, but without a specific order there is no flow to the words. The example below shows the words in a specific rhyme scheme and it gives the words a better sound.
Using Clichéd Rhyming Couplets
With millions of words in any language there are infinite combinations of rhyming couplets that can be used, but people for some reason used the same rhyming couplets over and over again. This isn't really a mistake. It's just frowned upon in the poetic community, and therefore should be avoided when possible. Below is a list of the most over used rhyming couplets in poetry:
- Love + Above
- Life + Strife
- Poet + Know it
- Day + Way
- Never + Ever
- Time + Crime
There are many more overly used rhyming couplets. The best thing a poet can do to avoid this problem is to expand his vocabulary and experiment with new words.
Too Many Random Thoughts
A great poem connects ideas so when a person reads it, he can make the connection without a lot of explanation. Beginners tend to write a bunch of random thoughts that really don't connect to each other, so the message in the poem is completely lost. If you want to write an amazing poem, pick a single message and express it with each line of the poem. Paint the picture so vividly that a reader can't help but understand.
After seeing these examples you will come to understand that while anyone can write a poem, it takes a lot of work to write a great poem. Poetry isn't about slapping together some words that rhyme just to say something in a unique way. There are a lot of elements that go into writing great poetry, and a true poet will study his craft and expand his knowledge of these elements. If you love poetry then give it the respect it is due, and try hard not to commit these most common mistakes in writing poetry.