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poisonedantidote's avatar

How can I learn how to write poetry?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) August 15th, 2011

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Fuck Edgar Allan Poe
This is the best I can do.

I am not interested in poetry that does not ryme, I only like the kind that rymes. I have a fairly extensive vocabulary, but I don’t really know much about how to structure poetry.

I know I can structure it as I did above (A,B,C,B) and I know a few other structures, such as (A,B,A,B… A,C,B,C), and a few others, but when it comes to creating a poem, it is very hard work.

I know how to think up what I want to say, the message so to speak, and I know how to make little lists of all possible words I could use, and cross refference the ryming ones, but I have still never created a poem, just short silly rhymes.

How can I learn how to create poetry?

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8 Answers

King_Pariah's avatar

I think the biggest things are to find a sense of rythm in the rhymes and putting some deep sense of meaning into it/tell a story with it. The rythm helps it flow and in a way is it’s own sort of guide to limit line length. And I never write poetry unless I feel in a “poetic” mood which normally comes shortly after or during a time frame of depression or joy, I just want to express it and it flows, and from it I can share that joy or sorrow with others. And I somewhat reccomend staying away from the whimsical, I’ve rarely seem a poem that was whimsical that I consider to just be a silly rhyme.

linguaphile's avatar

Learn about the different styles of rhyming poetry and parts of them—couplets, quatrains, meters, limericks, sonnets, and my favorite, villanelles. Wiki explains it well enough. I would also look into the difference between internal rhymes and end rhymes. I personally prefer poetry with internal rhymes and alliteration—they give the sense of rhyming without actually having end rhymes.

If you work at writing sonnets, you’ll get a much deeper understanding of how the rhythm and rhyme of words work— there are several different types of sonnets. Again, Wiki’s good for that.

Read, read, read poetry to get an idea of what’s been done, then do your own thing.

PM me if you want a list from my classroom syllabus :D

flutherother's avatar

Join a creative writing class if there is one near you. Read poetry, find poems you like and try to figure out how they work. It is sometimes rhyme but not always. Don’t be so keen to write, be more keen to read.

marinelife's avatar

Write, write, write. That is the only way to learn,.

CWOTUS's avatar

I think that what is needed in order to write good poetry is to get all of the bad poetry out of your system first. Some have more of that than others, and don’t write long enough to get it out of their system, so all we and they ever know is the bad stuff.

But if you write away all of the bad poetry, and if you have good poetry in you, it can come out after all of the dreck is gone.

It also helps tremendously to read a lot of good poetry and to steal shamelessly.

wundayatta's avatar

Take a poetry workshop. Join a writers group. Write about stuff that interests you, and that you care passionately about.

Oh, and understand why you want it to rhyme.

TexasDude's avatar

The best way to learn to write well is to be willing to write poorly.

That said, just write! Write what you are feeling now. Just do it. It doesn’t have to rhyme (most poetry these days doesn’t anyway).

Hibernate's avatar

Start with white rhyming. But before you go there and create it just increase your vocabulary. And depends on what you want to write about.

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