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Dear Dish-it: How Do I Start Writing Poetry?

Jun 11, 2013

Dear Dish-it:

I want to start writing poetry of my own, but I don’t know where to begin. How to get started?

Wannabe Poet

Dear Wannabe Poet,

A great thing about poetry is that it allows you freedom of expression. You can say or express any feeling, emotion or thought that you want without it being incorrect. There are many different types of poems, such as ballads, haikus, limericks, sonnets, and odes, just to name a few. But if you don’t want to be restrained by a specific format, then simply write in free verse, choosing line breaks where you see fit.

What To Write About

Don’t know what to write about? Look inside yourself. Do you have any strong opinions or passions? Suppressed emotions? Feelings that you have a hard time expressing through speech? It could be about your crush, the loss of a family member, your favorite activity, something that inspires you, something simple in nature that you’ve observed… absolutely anything! Just begin writing, and let the words flow, even if the words don’t make sense to you at first. Don’t edit yourself. Don’t force it to rhyme.

Structured Poetry

If you want to try poetry with more structure, look up the formats for different types of poems. Let’s take the haiku for example. It’s only three lines long and doesn’t need to rhyme. However, it must have only 17 syllables in total, 5 on the first line, 7 on the second and 5 on the third. Consider this famous example:

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

- Soseki

Free Verse

Because you’re just beginning, we recommend that you start with free verse so that you have no restrictions. Google some examples of free verse poetry to get a sense of how people write, and to see that there is no right or wrong way. Simply write from the heart and from the soul.

Have Your Say

Do you have any advice for Wannabe Poet? Tell us in our comment section below!

 

10 Comments

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