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Dear Dish-It: Help Me Write A Poem

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Dear Dish-It,

I am trying to write a poem but I can't. Can you help?

cammy girl

Dear cammy girl,

Poetry is a natural part of our lives. It's not just something we have to memorize and recite in front of the class. Losing ourselves in a poem is one of the best ways of finding out who we are. The act of writing brings us to that point of discovery, of discovering on the page something we didn't know we knew until we wrote it.

Don't let reality cloud your imagination. Look up at the sky and find once again those long-tailed dragons and sailing ships. Wake up to the world as though you are seeing it each day for the first time. Find the wonder. Question the way things are. Imagine new choices. Write from the child in you.

Style isn't how you write. It's how you do not write like anyone else. You don't need a degree to be a writer. It doesn't take teachers or textbooks to show you how to write. One learns how to write by writing. There is no other way.

A poem is a little path
That leads you through the trees.
It takes you to the cliffs and shores,
To anywhere you please.

Follow it and trust your way
With mind and heart as one,
And when the journey's over,
You'll find you've just begun.

Types Of Poems

Writing poems can be fun when you juggle all the words and the rhythms together to make them exciting. Poems can be out anything and come in many different forms. Here's an explanation of some of my favorite styles of poetry.

Narrative Poems: Tell a story and can be about anything. Sometimes the poem's lines have a rhyming pattern. Sometimes they don't rhyme at all.

Limericks: Poems that are usually funny or silly. They have five lines with a special beat and rhyming pattern: Lines 1, 2 and 5 have 9 beats and the last words rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 have 6 beats and rhyme with each other.

Haiku: An old form of poetry from Japan that can be about anything. There are many different forms of Haiku, but this is the most basic: There are three lines. Line one has five syllables. Line two has seven syllables. Line three has five syllables.

Free Verse: A kind of poetry that has no real rhythm or pattern so you can put words together in all sorts of ways. You can be VERY imaginative!

Cinquains: Developed in the early 1900s by an American poet to resemble Haiku. Cinquains follow a formula. The first line is one word giving the title. It has 2 syllables. The second line has 2 words that describe the title. It has 4 syllables. The third line has 3 words that express an action. It has 6 syllables. The fourth line has 2 words that express a feeling. It has 8 syllables. The fifth line is 1 word. It has 2 or 3 syllables.

Lyric Poems: Usually about your feelings and moods. A lot of the words to songs are lyric poems.

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