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So You Think You Cannot Write Poetry?

by Cendrine Marrouat 20 days ago in art · updated 19 days ago
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Think again, you actually can

So You Think You Cannot Write Poetry?
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

In France, poetry is part of the curriculum from middle school to high school. As a former English major, I also had to contend with it for six additional years because it was an important component of my studies.

The awful way my teachers and professors taught poetry led to my inability to read a poem without rolling my eyes for a very long time...

…Until something magical happened.

One night in January 2005, I felt the urge to write a poem. My first piece was born in half an hour — and I was hooked. I still am, 17 years later.

Ever since publishing my first book, I have been asked if I had special powers or skills. Sorry to disappoint, folks, but if I did, you would know about it!

Joke aside, I believe that anybody can write poetry. Yes, anybody.

“Ok, that’s fine and dandy, Cendrine. But how do I actually do that?”

I am glad you asked. Here is my answer in 6 steps.

Step 1: Use Prose

Prose is used in novels, short stories, letters, e-mails, etc. As an example, let me share a passage from my introduction to one of my old books, Project: Heartbeats and Elevation:

The way each individual interprets words and phrases, rhythm and sounds does not matter. It is all about firm belief; belief in the beauty of nature, life, love, and possibilities. Of course, one will always find pain, misunderstanding, as well as anger along the way. However, if one can see beyond those hurdles, the rewards will be bountiful!

Step 2: Start a New Line with Each Occurrence of a Normal Pause

Below is my rendition of the aforementioned passage.

The way each individual interprets words and phrases,

Rhythm and sounds does not matter.

It is all about firm belief;

Belief in the beauty of nature, life, love, and possibilities.

Of course, one will always find pain, misunderstanding,

As well as anger along the way.

However, if one can see beyond those hurdles,

The rewards will be bountiful!

(Capitalization is optional.)

Step 3: Experiment!

The way

Each individual interprets

Words and phrases,

Rhythms and sounds

Does not matter.

----------

It is all about firm belief;

Belief in the beauty of

Nature,

Life,

Love, and

Possibilities.

----------

Of course,

One will always find pain,

Misunderstanding,

As well as anger…

----------

Along the way.

----------

However, if one can see

Beyond those hurdles,

The rewards will be bountiful!

Have fun!

Step 4: Perfect Your Piece

Leave the poem aside for a while and let your mind wander freely. Fresh ideas should arise, including punctuation, synonyms, and (maybe) rhymes (RhymeZone may help!).

The way

Each individual re-creates

Words and phrases–

Rhythms and sounds

Matters not.

It is all about firm belief;

Belief in the beauty of

Nature,

Life,

Love, and

Possibilities.

----------

Indeed,

One will always encounter pain…

Misunderstanding…

And anger…

----------

Along the way.

----------

Yet, if the eye can see

Beyond those hurdles,

The rewards will be bountiful!

(Don’t forget to add a title! :))

Step 5: Edit

Editing your poem is a very important step. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked.

Not sure how to go about it? Here are some tools to help you:

Step 6: Practice, Practice, Practice…

…and practice some more. Read a lot to expand your vocabulary. Use yourDictionary.com, Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster Online, Wikipedia, or Wikitionary to look up the definitions of unfamiliar words.

Share your poetry with others and ask for constructive feedback. However, do not let anyone tell you what will work for you. Always be true to who you are and NEVER compare yourself to other poets, unless you want to understand your own style.

Have fun, and do not be too harsh on yourself!

That's it for today!

Thank you for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts about this article with me on Twitter. I'm @haiku_shack.

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This post was originally published on Medium.

art

About the author

Cendrine Marrouat

Artist⎜Multi-genre Author⎜Co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms / PoArtMo⎜(Co-)creator: flashku / kindku / pareiku / reminigram / sixku / vardhaku⎜Podcaster

Website: https://creativeramblings.com

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Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • Babs Iverson6 days ago

    Splendid!

  • Julie Lacksonen7 days ago

    I only had one poetry class in high school. I remember a similar exercise. Fun class. I still have my folder from it about 40 years later! Well done!

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