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Tips on Writing Poetry

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Alright so I have been looking around the forums and have seen several different threads of poetry. After my senior year in high school I was highly interested in poetry and writing it. However, it was not until after I started taking classes on writing it that I truly enjoyed what flowed from my mind, my heart, my fingers and/or pen. So I would like to share what wisdom I have gathered here for you all and ecourage anyone to add-in.

1) "The Road to Hell is Paved in Adjectives." - Steven King

This may seem a bit dramatic, but if you truly desire your poetry to flow you need to be economic with your word choices. Let the nouns, the verbs and the connotation of those words dictate the feeling of your poem. If you want an example, I will do my best to reply with one promptly.

2) Leave the abstract at home.

In order for a poem to truly hit the readers' senses the way we desire it to, the abstract words need to stay out of it. These are words that have no sensory value that is universal; For example, love is an abstract word. Love means different things to diferent people. Other words in this category would be magic, hate, hope, etc... feelings are prominent examples of abstract words. Let the concrete, sensory details and their connotations portray how you feel.

3) Let the structure of your poem have purpose.

Even if you are writing a free verse, structure it with intent! For example, a professor I studied under wrote a poem about a woman who had fallen 37 floors to her death. Her poem had 37 lines in it. This is only one example of a plethora of many ways you can structure with purpose.

4) Do not be afraid to say what is on your mind, what others are afraid to say or to "Slay Dragons" so-to-speak.

Do not hold anything back. The beautiful nature of poetry is exemplified in raw, unbridled emotion painted by concreteness. Say what shouldn't be said!

5) Intellectual poetry is not necessarily good poetry.

Stay raw and to the emotions with poetry; try to avoid discussing intellectual topics in an overly intellectual manner.

6) Love poems are hands-down the easiest poetry to write badly.

While love poems are written often, they are not written well often. There is a time and place for dreamy, wishy-washy language and it, my fellow poets, is not in love poetry.

More to come!

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7) Centering your poetry.

Simply put, don't do it... unless the specific form requires it or, if in free verse, centering has some significance to your poem. It really does not make the poem look any better than left-hand justification.

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