Wanting to write a poem

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  1. Cara.R profile image65
    Cara.Rposted 11 years ago

    I have wanted to write a poem, however, are there any rules? Do the rules of grammar still apply? Or is it a 'free for all' with words?

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      What does your heart say?

      Take the time to listen to it and write down her words. Don't force rhyme or reason.. read it out loud to yourself and find its pulse.. it is the pulse that gives life to your poem..

      Don't make it too personal... always consider that you are the reader, rather than the author.. therefore it must hold your reading interest and allow you to flow with the pulse of the poem.

      I write this way... I don't clutter my heart with things that could restrict its natural pulse.. it is your heart that is the thing that should make your poetry and your life.. Unique.

      Failing all I have said here...

      You can of course learn to write in a more formal manner and pursue the kilos of the specific genre that you choose to follow and write in smile

      Hope that I have given you advice that will stay with you.. each time you question your ability to write - ANYTHING.  Bon Chance.

      I look forward to meeting your heart smile

    2. echoe0021 profile image61
      echoe0021posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It all really depends on which style you choose to write.  Mostly in modern day people tend to write in free verse, in which case anything really goes.  If it's your first poem, I would suggest that.  Initially, you'll need a topic.  I tend to just think of one line at some random time of day and if I have the means then I'll write it down or try to remember it.  Then once I have paper and pen I'll just run with it.  The main thing, aside from content, is scheme.  Even in free verse there is usually a rhythm or beat you set up to, but most of the time it sets itself up inadvertently.  Also, a big part of writing poetry is imagery and metaphors.  Try to paint a picture with your words as vividly as possible, but not overbearingly.  Hopefully I helped and didn't confuse you.  Just write.

    3. WriteAngled profile image76
      WriteAngledposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Rules of grammar might not apply, but poetry, in my opinion is not a free for all. The greatest poems of all time follow rules, even if these are only rules defined internally by the poet.

      Breaking up long ungrammatical sentences into separate chunks per line is not poetry as far as I am concerned. The views of others may differ.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 11 years ago

    As my good deed for the day, I will not break out my Boston Mass limerick... big_smile

  3. Cara.R profile image65
    Cara.Rposted 11 years ago

    Aww  come on smile)) I need some inspiration or pointers. You can save your good deed for tomorrow smile)

    1. paradigmsearch profile image60
      paradigmsearchposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There was a young lady from Boston, Mass
      Who stood in the ocean up to her...


      It doesn't rhyme.
      But in 12 hours...
      It will.

  4. profile image0
    kimberlyslyricsposted 11 years ago

    You define it, no one else can.  Write.

    1. manlypoetryman profile image80
      manlypoetrymanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Totally agree with KL !

      Or...In my own way of thinkin': Go out and make your own writings...and write your own thang!

      "Writer's Write!"


      (image and "Writer's Write" quote from the movie: "Throw Momma From the Train")

  5. profile image55
    gendis kurniaposted 11 years ago

    Maybe rules is active
    I have poem to but maybe break the rule

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Generally Spamming or preparing the ground 'to plant your links' does break the rules of far more than poetry mate!  There's absolutely nothing poetic about Spamming our Forums.. Believe me! sad

  6. Shadesbreath profile image77
    Shadesbreathposted 11 years ago

    There are no "rules" for poetry. There are simply gradations of artistic aptitude. If you want to write a poem, just do it. You will get better with practice, like anything else in life. You certainly won't learn how to swim if you don't jump in the pond.

    The more you think about "rules" the more confined you become by the awareness of the opinions of others. Do not write to please others or satisfy some set of expectations set down by whoever happens to be the "establishment" of a community, large or small, in some tiny window of time. Just write.

    However, when you are done drafting your piece, you will want to go back over it and consider some poetic fundamentals that include, heavily, a focus on diction, and a focus on meter. Verbs and nouns are the heart of it. Choose adjectives reluctantly and with an extremely critical eye, always asking, "If I have to modify this noun (or verb) with this adjective, what word should I have chosen instead?"

    Beyond that, show something, don't tell it. If you find yourself naming emotions "He felt sad" or "she was lonely," etc., you are still probably getting at your idea in draft form. Which is fine. But once you have figured out that someone is sad, take that line out, and SHOW sadness by the imagery you observe and carefully describe with the perfect selection of nouns and verbs. I am not much of a poet, in fact I suck at it, but I will try to illustrate what I do know, despite being incapable of carrying it off:

    Her leaving him made him sad
    He saw her empty parking space and cried
    It was a failed attempt at love
    He wished he'd never tried.

    Now I suppose some might think that's not that bad for amateur stuff. But, rather than do that, consider something like:

    Her vacant parking space gaped
    As a wound bleeding emptiness
    In tears of salt
    To season his mistake.

    I realize that's awful, but, hopefully it makes the point. Rather than saying what anyone feels, you give solid images and active concepts to wrap around the emotions and create the setting of the feeling rather than just naming it. If it doesn't make the point, well, I tried. LOL.

    1. capricornrising profile image60
      capricornrisingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Shadesbreath, one of HP's best writers, is too modest. But I do love his example of metaphor used in place of a more mundane expression of a thought (also an excellent suggestion for new writers of prose). The other mode—the direct, literal expression of a thought—often works as well, but generally only if the poet has then "shaken up" some other aspect of the poem - its meter, its rhyme scheme, its voice.

      I agree with everyone who has encouraged you to just write, write, write. You'll be surprised at how easily the poem forms itself.

  7. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 11 years ago

    A lot of really nice and very good advice showed up here. smile

  8. mistyhorizon2003 profile image92
    mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years ago

    Well I know not everyone will agree, but to me a poem is only a poem if it rhymes, otherwise it is 'prose', so my advice is that if you simply write a series of thoughts in artistically spaced out lines, this is not poetry, merely words. To be poetry it needs to flow in a 'verse' form, with rhyme (I am no poet, but I can write artistic sounding lines that don't rhyme, the artistic ability comes in when you can make the words mean something and they rhyme in way way that flows naturally and artistically). The Oxford dictionary seems to indicate non-rhyming words in this form are not poetry, but 'prose', (my Step Dad and I checked this out a couple of weeks back after a conversation on this subject).

    1. Shadesbreath profile image77
      Shadesbreathposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      What do you say to "Song of Myself" as a poem?

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image92
        mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Shades, never heard of 'Song of Myself' so will have to try and find it online. can't do it now though as on my way out for lunch with the parents smile

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image92
        mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I just tracked that down (I think) Shades. Golly, it takes ten minutes just to read it, and then it doesn't seem to make much sense. I wouldn't call it a poem personally, more like a 'rambling' of words. Not my cup of tea at all! (Sorry if you like it,no offence intended) hmm

    2. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Misty..

      I believe that the 'Rhyming' thing should not be the basis of an interpretation by a 'Word Collection/Collector' (or Dictionary.. if you wish!) smile

      If indeed rhyme is the foundation of classic 'poetry' then I feel the ancient Art of Haiku is certainly Lucky to have survived the horrific 1940s onslaught from allied dictionaries! big_smile 
      Perhaps arrogantly, those word collectors don't consider that genre to be or represent poetry either! yikes

      To certain creative and artistic 'poets' - the rhyme may well be so subtle, that it lies within the body of the poems pulse (beat) as opposed to the words! Have you considered that point? yikes

      I'm sure that Dictionaries (who are actually completely useless at rhyming realistically!) haven't considered that either, in casting such a judgment as to what constitutes the 'heart' of poetry!

      Don't mind me.. I'm a Kiwi.. we see things vastly differently from DownUnder and often must view life and dictionaries from under their respective frilly dresses! sad  big_smile

      I'm sure though that we can agree that a Great Poem leaves the issue of Interpretation squarely with the reader - rather than the dictionary! big_smile

      1. capricornrising profile image60
        capricornrisingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm a little surprised that the Oxford Dictionary would "dis" classical poets like Wordsworth, Milton, Tennyson, who often didn't rhyme, as well as the Greco-Roman poets who apparently never rhymed.

        1. Pearldiver profile image68
          Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Well of course at this point it still remains: Hearsay.

          1. capricornrising profile image60
            capricornrisingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            What does, Pearldiver? The rhyming habits of the Greco-Roman poets?

            1. Pearldiver profile image68
              Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              No..no.. I agree with you... I meant Misty's references to the dictionary.

              1. capricornrising profile image60
                capricornrisingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Just busting your chops, anyhow...(is that too American colloquial?)

                1. Pearldiver profile image68
                  Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  big_smile  No.. of course not... not at all... Enjoy your Snow! smile

                  We're BBQing Lamb Chops at the beach at the moment.... smile

                  1. capricornrising profile image60
                    capricornrisingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    No snow here in the SE corner of North Carolina I'm afraid. It will be in the mid-70's today. Have a lovely Holidays!

                    (Sorry to hijack the thread, Cara...!)

              2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image92
                mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Next time I am my parent's house I will copy out the exact definition from the Oxford Dictionary. It was because my Step Dad and I were discussing whether a poem needed to rhyme or not, and that if it didn't it would surely be 'prose' not 'poetry' that we looked up the definition in his dictionary. This was only a couple of weeks ago, but I can't quote it in detail now because I am at home and I don't have a copy here. Leave it with me.

    3. capricornrising profile image60
      capricornrisingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      And I'm one of those who'll respectfully disagree. Some of the world's most notable poets made rhyming their last priority, choosing instead to focus on other poetic elements - cadence, image, wordplay. Probably the most notable of these was William Shakespeare, the master of blank verse.

  9. Moon Daisy profile image82
    Moon Daisyposted 11 years ago

    Well I just noticed this thread, and it's very appropriate as I just wrote my first poem here.  It doesn't rhyme, but I think that's ok..  I've been wanting to try one for a while, and this one kind of flowed as I am living it!  (Drank too much caffeine, couldn't sleep, and was inspired).

    Not sure it's any good, but I'm glad I did it.  And it was fun. smile  Go for it, you'll be glad you did, and it might be the first of many!

  10. lighthouse15 profile image40
    lighthouse15posted 11 years ago

    I started writing poems with careful thoughts on rhymes and I counted the syllables as I wanted it to have exact measure each line, lol...After a while I learned to write freely without much rhymes (and I stopped counting!) on it as long as it is artistically expressed. I still suck though, but Im trying hard cause I love writing poems...Im learning from what I have just read here...

  11. Cara.R profile image65
    Cara.Rposted 11 years ago

    I'm reading all your comments as if I were listening to Yoda.  I want to comment to each of you but my eyes are closing as well as my gray cells.

  12. sweetzara profile image77
    sweetzaraposted 11 years ago

    Just pour ur heart out!

  13. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 11 years ago

    Cara  , Its really quite easy ! Take two cups of emotion mix with  one cup of thought , two tablespoons of yearning , a dash of pain and let rise , then sit down  at the keyboard and let your pretty little fingers  strum softly as if  you were playing a guitar . And somewhere in the quiet of  the late night ......someone was listening intently . I know you can do this.....

  14. asmaiftikhar profile image73
    asmaiftikharposted 11 years ago

    Helo dear to compose a poem there are really rules and regulations which applied and to learn that art learn practical criticism.More over poetry is the spontenous overflow of thought just express your feelings on the piece of a paper and after expression give them sham like a goldsmith shapes the raw gold.

  15. Cara.R profile image65
    Cara.Rposted 11 years ago

    Thank you everyone for helping me. I think I'm on my way. smile

  16. Cara.R profile image65
    Cara.Rposted 11 years ago

    With my first attempt I did rhyme but it came to me better.  Eventually I would like to try other ways to write poetry.  I'm playing around with ideas, thanks to all your helpful comments.

  17. rebekahELLE profile image87
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    A poem doesn't have to rhyme in order to be classified as a poem, but generally there is a flow and natural rhythm when read. Some of the finest poets did not/do not use rhyme. Some of the oldest and most classical poems did not end rhyme. They would sound much different if they did. I think of the Odyssey, Milton's Paradise Lost.  These were some of the poems I first studied in English literature.

    Here is an interesting article about non-rhyme poems and why they sound pleasing to the ear. http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/poem … ounds.html

    Poems require skill and a lyrical sense. Oxford's definition of a poem reads:

    a piece of writing in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by particular attention to diction (sometimes involving rhyme), rhythm, and imagery:

  18. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 11 years ago

    Try this ......pick a picture or an image , or even one word that means anything. Close your  eyes , soft music in the background  , no interuptions , forget rhyming, and write what your heart tells you! Great poets have said don't use certain words and don't write about "me". dont use certain words too much , soul, emotion ,loss , blah blah blah , but I say let the words follow your heart.


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