Tips on Writing Poetry


A few weeks ago I shared with you my rules for writing. Today I would like to share some tips on writing poetry. I am in no way an expert at writing poetry, but I do enjoy creating a poem or two when the mood strikes. It is a different way of writing than short stories and novels.

Poems tend to attempt to capture a moment or a feeling that you have experienced. A poem centers on the minutia of the experience, not the big picture.

Some poems attempt to communicate to the reader an emotional response. The ability to make this connection is a very powerful way of writing.

Here are my tips for writing poetry:

  1. Just as you do with other forms of writing, reading many different poems teaches you about what poems need to be successful – such as, the rhyming, the meter, and the lyrical sounds of poems.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of poems; there are many forms that you can try. Sometimes a limerick is right for your poem, and at other times a narrative style is better. Experiment.
  3. Think about painting with your words. Use more concrete words that appeal to the senses rather than abstract words. Be generous in using imagery in your writing.
  4. The use of metaphors and similes is encouraged in poems.
  5. Rhyme with caution. It’s alright not to have a rhyming poem, but it does need a rhythmical form with meter and cadence.
  6. Read your poems out loud making sure that it sounds like how you want it.
  7. Lastly, I find it best to wait a few days to review what I have written so I can revise it if needed .
  8. Enjoy what you are writing.

Here’s a recent poem I wrote about experiencing a terrible storm;

Showers of April

By Marie Staight

The showers of April can be cruel.

The sirens sound alerting every fool,

“Tornado!” They cry, “Seek shelter!”

The clouds grow dark, full of helter-skelter.


The winds grow still

Day turns into night to fulfill

The promise of what is near

Little drops of rain appear.


Then splats of water droplets

Sound like rockets

Indiscriminate of where they land

Gathering momentum like a military band.


The clouds let loose their waterfalls

Down come the water’s walls

The wind blows the rivers sideways

This way and that, the rain splays.


A veil opaque, concealing all

The world disappears in the squall.

Lightning rains down its terrors

Thunder roars and the grounds tremors.


The wind, the wind blows in circles

Like a fast carousel, it encircles.

Lifting all that is not locked down

Into the sky, up to the clouds’ crown.


The noise, the noise is like a freight train

The din reverberates so loud it is profane

Crushing all that is in its way

Tossing homes, and cars, and trees astray.


The horror moves onward,

Leaving in its wake mayhem’s ache,

The rain loses its stride

The winds subside.


The showers of April can be cruel

All that’s left is the wail of fools

That found no shelter

When came the helter-skelter.


Yet, we all know that April Showers

Bring the flowers

The baptism of rain gives us tomorrows

And rebirth replaces grief’s sorrows.



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