In the previous article, “How to Write Poems That Capture the Heart and Imagination of Your Readers”, we said that poems express ideas, experiences or emotions in a more concentrated form than ordinary articles, prose or speech. They can rhyme or be in a rhythmical composition of words. They are one of language’s most powerful forms of expression. So how can you write a poem that truly expounds what you want to say? Here are some key elements in composing and developing the poetic form. Follow these key steps to write a poem that will captures your emotions, ideas and experiences as heart-stirring word imagery.
Capture Imagery Ideas in Writing
Poems are about creating images in the mind of the reader. Use a variety of imagery ideas to like the following, to help you to accomplish this.
o Allusion – a form of indirect reference usually done in different phrases, lines or sentences
o Simile – is used to compare two or more things which are not alike by using the word “like” ((her hair is like a sparkling flow of coffee in the mountain sunlight)
o Symbolism or Metaphor – is used to compare two or more things which are dissimilar using “as” or “is” such as “all the world’s a stage”, “red as a rose”, “black as midnight down in a Cypress swamp”, etc.
Establish a Logical Progression of Thought to be used in the Poem
The lines, thoughts, and ideas expressed in your poem should flow smoothly from one to the next. Don’t jump around illogically. Let your poem flow rhythmically like a gentle stream tu8mbling through the smooth stones of a softly babbling brook in a grassy meadow.
State the Poem’s Theme in One Verse
Create a “theme verse” which can be used repeatedly in your poem to help unify its stanzas. Your poem will flow and sound much better as it is read using this key aspect. A love poem theme verse might be one which begins or ends with something like:
o Have I told you that …
o As always, thoughts of you …
o Any key word or phrase used repeatedly to begin or end a verse or stanza
Other Highly Useful Aids
To help you write your poem, try using these dynamic aids:
o A rhyming dictionary – invaluable for finding rhymes for low-frequency or difficult to rhyme words
o A Thesaurus – an indispensable tool to aid you in broadening the vocabulary used in your poem (personally, I like the Rodale’s far better than Roget’s)
o Alliteration – repetition of a consonant sound in two or more words in a phrase or line such as: beautiful bubbling brown sugar or shafts of shimmering sunshine
o Assonance – similar sounds, like alliteration, but used in the internal syllables of a string of words (birthday weather, father’s brother, further mathematics, etc. to give you an idea)
o Consonance – repetition of certain stressed syllables in a pair, group or string of words (taker, baker, maker, shaker, Quaker but not quicker)
o Onomatopoeia – words which by their pronunciation imitate sounds. Words like whistle, tweet, boom, bag, pow, crash, crunch, slam, zoom, snap, crackle, pop, and zing among many others, fit into this category
These steps will help you along in writing poetry that stirs the feelings and emotions of your readers and can help your poetry writing to excel. For other tips and techniques on composing this most-elusive form of language in context, see the companion article, “How to Write Poems That Capture the Heart and Imagination of Your Readers”.