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Have you ever tips for people trying to write poetry?

  1. profile image0
    Phoebe Pikeposted 6 years ago

    I have some real issues writing poetry. I love reading it and I would love to write it beyond a second grade level, but I keep getting stuck and it never conveys what I originally had planned. What do you find helpful? Is it just some people don't have a poetic bone in their body?

    1. Martin Murtagh profile image60
      Martin Murtaghposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I always try to ensure my rhyming is not corny or forced and that the flow is correct
      When writing blank verse I avoid pretentious or enigmatic words and influences
      I write about what interests me and never write solely for financial gain
      I can go months without writing. The pieces I have posted go right back to 1976.
      Most of what I write happens when I cannot sleep, which explains some of my darker work

    2. Martin Murtagh profile image60
      Martin Murtaghposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I always try to ensure my rhyming is not corny or forced and that the flow is correct
      When writing blank verse I avoid pretentious or enigmatic words and influences
      I write about what interests me and never write solely for financial gain
      I can go months without writing. The pieces I have posted go right back to 1976.
      Most of what I write happens when I cannot sleep, which explains some of my darker work

    3. Drax profile image74
      Draxposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      the thing with poetry is you have to read it and read it and read.... Neruda, Bukowski, Rilke, Akhmatova, Heaney, Montague... this will always be a humbling experience and makes one try harder, focus on a word or a line yet get it all out and on paper... and then polish polish but only a week or a month after... let it mature like a wine or cheese... poetry is a muscle ... you have to work it make it stronger... if you are starting it always helps to find the right conditions should it be in the Mall or on a windswept shore or in the bottom of the night in the alone... bottom line if is in you it must come out..  you could read what Bukowski wrote about it..
      http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16549

      Good Luck
      Drax

      1. recommend1 profile image72
        recommend1posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I would agree with this completely.  The reading of good poets is essential to get a handle on what poetry IS.

        A modicum of education is necessary to get to grips with how it is made.

        Then finding the words to express yourself - when you have the beginnings of an ability to do so.

        1. profile image0
          Phoebe Pikeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I read a lot of poetry, but while I enjoy it and will continue to do so, my own poetry remains a little less than... good. Lolz

          1. recommend1 profile image72
            recommend1posted 6 years agoin reply to this

            LOL  which sends us back to my first answer on one way to distill the stuff that poetry is made of - so that you can at least be in the ballpark to write when you start big_smile

  2. rebekahELLE profile image89
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    I think everyone has a poetic muse within. It helps to simply start writing about anything. If you take a walk, observe what you see and write it down. It doesn't have to be in poetic form, just start recording what you see and feel. The bird sitting on the fence, the sound of the breeze.. etc. If you listen to people talk or hear something on the news, think about how those affected may feel. What would it feel like to hear bombs everyday?

    The best poetry is felt.


    One of my favorite books is Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. He is writing letters mentoring a young poet. One of his quotes says it well; "I know of no other advice than this:  go within and scale the depths of your being from which your very life springs forth."

    1. profile image0
      Phoebe Pikeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That's the trouble. I write everything, kind of like word vomit (sorry for the imagery). It all just pops out and when I am done, I reread it and there is nothing poetic about it. It normally turns out into another book or a rant of some sort.

      1. recommend1 profile image72
        recommend1posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        If you word vomit then I suggest that you write it all down as it comes - then briefly analyse it, summarise it if you like.

        Stay with it and keep doing it until you understand what you are saying at a few differnet levels like :
        level 1 -  Romeo & Juliet  -   Boy  finds girl, they fall in love, parents dissaprove, they kill themselves.

        Level 2 -  Romeo & Juliet  -   Families at war, the boy's family kills one of the girls family,  then the boy and girl fall in  love, but obviously there are 'family' problems, clever girl has a plan and pretends to be dead, boy is an emotional moron and kills himself, girl wakes up, is heartbroken and kills herself.

        the reading of anything is your own business, including your own word vomit.  The more quirky it is (or different) the better possibly.  Then try writing your 'poem' from the different persepctive, like above, you could try "Romeo is a moron" - it is useful with your own stuff to distance yourself from the events to be able to write about them from both from close up and personal but also from how it all looks from a distance.  Like making love with a ceiling mirror, if you don't find the earth-shattering emotional experience totally absurd and funny when viewed in the mirror you should not try to write poetry smile

        When you write the poem keep it in a simple form like a few (no more than 5) 3 line verses.  This gives a few different points about what you want to say and is a doddle to find a few end ryhmes.  So now you are going to say that whole word vomit in under 15 short lines, and keep them around 8 or 10 syllables - "I wan d'red lo nly as a cloud"  is 8 syllables.

        Only end-ryhme lines that need connecting, like those that say the same thing but in different ways or whatever.  When you are finished in about six months of making it smaller and smaller more and more condensed, you will have the beginning of a poem going on, and you will have analysed yourself and changed your life.

        1. profile image0
          Phoebe Pikeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I'll have to try that. Thanks for the advice.

  3. dutchman1951 profile image60
    dutchman1951posted 6 years ago

    use power words strong verbs, nouns, make it feel.

    people should be able to taste it, feel it, smell it, hurt with it, laugh with it. Write what you know and make the reader feel it. and "DO NOT" lead a reader by the nose. They are smart, let them experience it and live in it, they will make their own conclusions and visions.

    use character, tenshion, short mind pulling descriptions, make it vivid to the reader.

    I am passing along what I was told. It works.

  4. rebekahELLE profile image89
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    poetry is born, let it take time. play with words, move them around. the poem will let you know how it should sound.
    a poet's notebook should be full of marked out words and little pointy triangles between words. editing is part of the process.
    read it out loud.
    let it speak to you, you may go back and change it again and again.
    and finally it will stand alone. some are better than others.

    a key is to write every day.

    1. dutchman1951 profile image60
      dutchman1951posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      so very true rebekah, I have several notebooks and I use them daily, write down things I see, different ways of seeing them, sometimes just words in a row one below the other, all kinds of thoughts, pages etc..

      it really works, and helps

  5. Pearldiver profile image81
    Pearldiverposted 6 years ago

    I write poetry.. it comes from no formal training... as I write from the heart.. an uncaged place.  I don't keep note books, I don't care to about rhyme.
    But I do agree that your must read your work aloud. Find the beat, the pulse in the words and in the lines.
    Yes, you MUST feel what you write, stop trying to be Structured within your writing, stop trying to force rhyme. Look inside your heart and listen.. write for your heart, as if you are your heart's eyes and voice, having to describe a scene, or having to speak on your heart's behalf.
    You will know that you have written a good poem when you can feel the words and the emotion of them. But a great poem you will know when it carries you along, makes you catch your breath, or feel as though you could cry.
    This is ALL I know; But I know that many can not do these few simple steps.. I hope they help... follow your heart

  6. HattieMattieMae profile image70
    HattieMattieMaeposted 6 years ago

    I argree with Pearldiver! Always from your heart and you have to feel it! smile

  7. ahorseback profile image81
    ahorsebackposted 6 years ago

    Turn off everything around you except perhaps some relaxing music. I like peaceful , simple music , quiet , solitude.  And slow you're thoughts down to a crawl. And then write about the softest thought that you can experience. Pick one cool line of words or thoughts and write on......good luck.

  8. recommend1 profile image72
    recommend1posted 6 years ago

    I didn't realise that the advice asked for meant such ethereal 'methods' of the business of writing a poem.  I hardly think that poetry gets onto a page through putting oneself into some transcendental state and just pulling it out of your @$$  !

    It is hard work and requires some degree of skill and a rudimentary 'education' in poetry to get started - the rest, well we covered word-vomit at the beginning of this.

  9. ddsurfsca profile image73
    ddsurfscaposted 6 years ago

    Find a subject matter that you feel passionately about.  Write it out, and as you do so, try to get it into a timing pattern.  For example and I am not using words but I hope you can catch on to the timing.

    blah- blah- blah- blah- blah- blah
    blah- blah- blah- blah- blah- blah- blah-
    blah- blah- blah- blah
    blah- blah- blah- blah
    blah- blah- blah- blah- blah- blah-blah

    or

    blah- blah-blah-blah-
    blah- blah- blah-blah
    blah- blah- blah- blah- blah- blah
    blah- blah- blah- blah- blah- blah-blah blah- blah blah
    blah- blah-blah- blah- blah

    Read what you have written out loud a couple of times and add or eliminate words until the timing is correct and when it is you will know it.  It will just roll our smoothly
    It is not as hard as you might think---good luck with it.

    1. profile image0
      Phoebe Pikeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I've tried that, then I re-read it and even I couldn't understand what I originally wanted to say. I think I might be an impossible case.

      1. recommend1 profile image72
        recommend1posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        The same thing - BUT easier to do - is to use a simple tune in your head and fit your words to the tune.  I use a combination of many methods and this is one of them.  Make a couple of lines of what you want to say and then fit them to whatever tune comes into your head as a best fit, like

        Near, far, wherever you are
        I believe that the heart does go on
        Once more you open the door
        And you're here in my heart
        And my heart will go on and on

        then start in on the other lines, either following your first two lines, or just any two lines that fit and then make up the bit in the middle.  Sometimes a line with an end rhyme can lead you to another rhymed line that does not follow , just make one to stick in between.

  10. Steele Fields profile image74
    Steele Fieldsposted 6 years ago

    I am a firm believer in merciless editing.  Whittling things down to the least common denominator.  Quality over quantity.  Economy over verbosity. 
    I think that writing decent poetry takes an enormous amount of dedication and self discipline, as well as a harsh inner critic and a sensitive soul. 
    Striving to be a true poet  is a lifelong endeavor, ill suited to those who are easily satisfied with mediocrity and predisposed to predictable rhyme and cliched sentiment.  I applaud your courageous spirit and wish you much success in the noble search for a universal connection to your own self expression.

    Steele Fields

  11. aslanlight profile image74
    aslanlightposted 6 years ago

    Don't try too hard, be yourself and let it flow.

    1. profile image0
      Phoebe Pikeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      When I just let it flow, it becomes books and short stories, with no sense of poetry in it. I wish I could just let it flow, but poetry seems to want to avoid me. Lolz

      1. Ben Evans profile image74
        Ben Evansposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Write a story:

        I used to go by the old rail to sit on the bridge.  I would drop rocks in the water while my feet hung lazily feeling the air cool as it pick up the moisture from the river below.  I daydreamed of a life and sat happy and content in a moment.

        Rearrange it a little bit:

        I used to go by the old rail
        to sit on bridge. 
        I would drop rocks in the water
        while my feet hung lazily
        feeling the air cool
        as it pick up the moisture
        from the river below. 
        I daydreamed of a life
        and sat happy and content in a moment.

        Turn the words into metaphor and a little tempo (it doesn't have to rhyme)

        I used to go by the old rail
        to sit on the bridge tanned in oil.
        The searing heat of the sun
        bathed my intend in a relaxed posture.
         
        I would drop rocks in the water
        while my feet hung lazily
        feeling the cool flow
        pick up moisture from the rivers intent.
         
        I daydreamed and tried to imagine
        life in peace and happiness
        as the mood strikes me
        and carries life long memories forward.

        Now you are a good writer and what I did here was start with a base (the story) of my painting and then finnesed it (by painting with words) into a poem.  Now my style is not necessarily going to be yours but I have found that it helps me if I start from something like the story and try to work the words a little.  If you do this several times, you will start writing poems that you like.

  12. CJ Andrews profile image90
    CJ Andrewsposted 6 years ago

    The most important thing is to write.  After that focus on what you want, this is editing.  Each poem is different, decide the voice you want.  Everything in a poem has a purpose - the rhythm, the wording, the line breaks (Abraham Lincoln was amazing with line breaks), etc.
    I love the jumps between thoughts - that is what hooks me on poetry.  One line with how it transitions can mean several different things and not just be a distraction but suppose to mean 3 or 4 things to get points across.
    The biggest thing is to write and read your work.  Once you have something you can edit it to what you want.

  13. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 6 years ago

    Read all different kind of poetry from a variety of authors.  Feel and experience all of the different kinds of emotions the writer is conveying.  And write, write, write.  It doesn't matter if it is elementary or complex--your style will change with your experience.

  14. aware profile image70
    awareposted 6 years ago

    well   rhyming isn't a must i think .   if that's any help

  15. The Suburban Poet profile image82
    The Suburban Poetposted 6 years ago

    For me it's a mindset that has to be developed:

    Offer your true feelings without regard to criticism... You are the poet; you are unaffected by any other opinion but the truth... How do YOU feel about life around you... Make them see what you see; make them feel what you feel... with words...I just live and it seems that an experience occurs to me that "fills the pen" and it flows... you have to be open to life and allow your nerve endings to feel things... inspiration happens on its own time... just be ready to write down what comes to mind when it happens... even if it's just a title or one line...

  16. profile image0
    ExoticHippieQueenposted 6 years ago

    You don't have to be a poet to write poetry! And....it doesn't have to rhyme...........that's what free verse is for.  I am a poetry coach for a mentoring organization. I work with teenagers. We just tell them to carry around a notebook all the time, and then every time a phrase flashes through their mind, an idea, even just a word...............write it down.  Eventually, you will have bits and pieces of inspirational creativity.  From there, you can piece things together, or single out one phrase to build an entire poem on. Other options are to sit quietly in a beautiful place and concentrate on your feelings. Write from your heart. My best work has been written at the times in my life when I have been the most hurt, most moved, most stressed out...........any time of deep emotion or change is a foundation or touchstone for creativity! Go with the flow!

    1. sassyk73 profile image74
      sassyk73posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      When I write poetry, I write about my emotions. I try to use good descriptions about what I am feeling at the time. You don't have to rhyme. Just be sincere. Whatever comes from your heart.  However, I need to try to work on some happier poetry but for now my poetry is dark. Just like ExoticHippieQueen said just go with the flow. You will find your way. Everyone's style is unique and you will find it smile Good Luck and God bless you smile

  17. Astra Nomik profile image41
    Astra Nomikposted 6 years ago

    I write both rhyming and non-rhyming poetry. And both are ease. I plan what I am going to write about. I "write" it out in my head, find what I am going to say rather than just join a bunch of words together and drag them to some meaningless end. Poetry can arrive at times of great upheaval or emotional height on a person's life, and inspiration can often surprise us by making an appearance. We can say what we feel but may not have uttered aloud to someone. If the emotion and passion is there, then poetry will be there. Every poet is different, and there are many styles and ways to write poetry. It begins in the heart...

  18. mcrawford76 profile image85
    mcrawford76posted 6 years ago

    For me it starts as simple as a couple phrases, a thought, and then when I start writing it just start's flowing out.

    I guess that isn't really much advice for someone who's struggling, but that's how it works for me.

  19. Joy56 profile image60
    Joy56posted 6 years ago

    don't compare yourself to anyone else.   Write as the words come, keep what you write, and look back on it, then edit if you need to.  If you try to hard you wont succeed.  I just spew stuff out, and i am surprised when people say they like it.... Maybe they are making feel good, and it works.  If you want to do it, you can......

  20. imatellmuva profile image82
    imatellmuvaposted 6 years ago

    When I write poetry, I write from the heart, it's raw emotion. I have a preference for free verse poetry, it doesn't rhyme (not usually) but the words, and the play on words compliment the feeling of what I'm expressing. Poetry to me is not forced. Perhaps...and just perhaps if your writing style is not poetic, by your definition, then what you always end up with, is your writiing style...why not run with that? There are so many different styles of writing, that maybe you are forcing one style of writing, when it should actually be another...which could still be a winner for you.

  21. flightofdestiny profile image60
    flightofdestinyposted 6 years ago

    I found an amazing hub about this today and I really hope it helps. It is definitely entry level assistance, but it is an incredible approach that would be helpful to any beginner or intermediate.
    http://hubpages.com/hub/15minutepoetry

  22. schoolgirlforreal profile image85
    schoolgirlforrealposted 6 years ago

    I find it helps to wait until you feel very emotional like angry sad , lost love, etc

    then write down your thoughts

  23. Alexander Props profile image67
    Alexander Propsposted 6 years ago

    You should definetly listen/read Bukowski poem So you want to be a writer?

    Here is an excerpt:

    when it is truly time,
    and if you have been chosen
    it will do it by
    itself and it will keep on doing it
    until you die or it dies in you.

  24. justanie profile image60
    justanieposted 6 years ago

    I have tied writing poetry but i get stuck as well,I rehearse it in my head but when it's time to write i get lost.hope i find my balance on it someday.

  25. raciniwa profile image76
    raciniwaposted 6 years ago

    According to Robert Burns, poetry is an outburst of emotion...it must come from a very deep feeling you want to let go...just close your eyes and let the words flow...just like water and blood going through your body...or letting air in and out of your body...

  26. asmaiftikhar profile image77
    asmaiftikharposted 6 years ago

    poetry is the spontenous overflow of the feelings.so the composing poetry is not in your hand but the poets are blessed creatures that God is in their favour.but to compose a poem one really needs to get the knowledge of the past poets as well as there is need of understanding of types,terms and techniques of the poetry.

  27. Terishere profile image59
    Terishereposted 6 years ago

    When I write poetry, especially the darker stuff, it comes from deep inside. I go to this place in my mind, which isn't accessed, except for writing poetry.

    Just let your emotions flow, let them be raw and sincere.

    Poetry is painting a picture with words.

 
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