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The best way to write poetry that rhymes

Updated on July 1, 2012

I've been writing poetry for years. I can't say that I have written a lot of poems, although every poem I have written somehow improved upon the one before it. The poems I write almost always rhyme. I enjoy all kinds of poetry, but for me, poetry makes the most sense when it rhymes. I'm not saying I don't enjoy other kinds of poetry, because there are some fantastic poems that don't rhyme at all, however, I consider myself fairly good at writing poetry which have rhymes to each line. I have perfected how I write poetry when I want to write it. If you enjoy writing poetry and want to learn more about how to write poetry that rhymes, then I'm going to explain my methods to you which hopefully helps you write the kind of poems that you wish to write.

Subject matter

The most important thing about writing poetry is the subject matter. Some of the best poems come from personal experience. Find something that you are passionate about, and let that become your subject matter. For instance, most of the poems that I write are about relationships, love, moments of despair, and so forth. Find something in your life that you feel strongly about, and you'll be able to write for hours about it.

Hand written or computer written?

Now that you've found something you're passionate about, you'll now need to choose how you like to write your poetry.

I personally prefer a computer when I write poetry. I used to enjoy hand writing my poems and certain settings can help bring more emotion to your writing. If you know you need a relaxing setting, then that's what you should stick with. I listen to really mellow music or music where you can reminisce about the past, which tends to relax me while writing. Over the course of my years of writing poetry, I have found that I write lines and sentences that don't make sense. Most people who write on paper cross out a sentence that they don't like, but the key to writing poetry is to save everything you write, even if it makes no sense! The reason behind this is that while those sentences may not make sense with where you are currently at in your poem; bits and pieces of those sentences may fit in another line somewhere else later on.

If you write a nice line and it sounds really good, but doesn't fit into your poem, save it for later. You can always come back to lines you've already written and perhaps use it somewhere else in the poem. Sometimes you may even need to rephrase it, but you'll realize that it's easy to change some words around in a line, than it is coming up with an entirely new line.

Below is an example of why saving what you write makes total sense and helps you piece together what you are really trying to say.

Two lines I wrote down and saved:
You are the power of this prison that holds me,
And I am the weakness you cannot let free.

What I used in my poem:
You are the power of this prison that holds me,

And I am the monster that wishes to be free.

So whether you prefer paper or a computer to write your poetry, save everything you write! You'll thank yourself in the long run, trust me!

Write down what you know about the subject

Lets say I'm writing a poem about a woman. The first thing I will do is write down everything I know about that person. This is important because it will help you build your lines for the poem and give you a basis to start from.

Some examples:

  • She enjoys walks on the beach
  • Her favorite color is blue
  • She likes icecream
  • She is [insert heritage] and family is important
  • We both enjoy movies
  • She is mysterious

Continue to list off as many things that you can, and refer back to these things when you are writing your poem. If you are writing a more romantic poem, you'll want to include some of this material, because it is personal to the subject. It also tells them that you know more about them than they may originally have thought.

Finding words that rhyme

By now, you should know the subject that you want to write about, and you've chosen whether you want to write by hand or use the computer. Now it's time to start writing your poem.

When I write poetry, I open any word editing program on the computer, and then open a website called "RhymeZone". RhymeZone is the coolest website ever for writing poetry. You type in a word and select what you want. You can find related words, rhymes, antonyms, synonyms, similar sounding words, etc. It makes it really easy to know what kind of words rhyme with each other. If you are writing on paper, you'll need to resort to a rhyming book. There's too many words out there for us to know them all by memory so using RhymeZone or a rhyming book will help tremendously.

Let's say the first line in your poem reads:

"I wish with every breath I take that you could see the real me"

If you type the last word of your line, which is "me", and change RhymeZone to search for rhymes, you'll notice that it finds a large number of words that rhyme with "me". At this point you can try to build a new line based on the rhyme results which could go like this:

I wish with every breath you take that you could see the real me,
I am a ghost who continues to remain lost at sea.

I spent some time trying to find a rhyme for "me", however the above two lines don't make much sense. At this point, what I would do is eliminate the second line then go back to the first line, and reword the entire line or change the last word so that I can use a different set of rhymes.

For instance:

I wish upon every star in the sky for a sign to see,
If our future will remain cloudy, there is no guarantee.

In the above example, I reworded the entire first line, and also used a different word on the end. This allowed me to do a search on a new word and pull up different words that rhyme with it. This helped me build the second line easier because I had more of a selection of words that rhyme with the word "see".

Putting it all together

You may notice that when you are piecing together your poem, some lines that you write may not fit at that current part in your poem. If you write two lines that fit well together, save them for later. You may be able to incorporate them into your poem once you get further into it. Remember to save everything that you write. Even if you write two lines five different ways, save them. I hope some of these examples help you write poetry that rhymes. This works well for me and I'm sure it will work well for you too.


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    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

      Ian D Hetri 

      6 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Well done work...Never knew the site you mentioned. Will check it out. thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      kristen pulido 

      6 years ago

      Nice article!


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