8 Tips to Improve Your Poetry

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It’s surprising that despite most people’s lifetime of writing school papers, cards and story’s, most people have never sat down to write poetry. As one of the most intimate writing styles, poetry in many forms has been celebrated for its ability to evoke strong emotions from readers. If your looking improve your poetry writing, or start writing now, here are our top 8 tips for amazing and impactful writing.

1. Know your end goal

How do you want to make people feel after they read your poem? Do you want to question the status quo or describe the beauty of nature? Do you want them to be shocked, happy, sad or angry? Try to be able to answer these questions before you even put pen to paper.

2. Avoid cliches or common subjects

It may seem like everything has already been written about everything, but really try to push yourself to think outside of the box when writing.

3. Embrace metaphors and similes

Not to contradict ourselves with the last tip, but just because you shouldn’t be cliche doesn’t mean you have to avoid using any and all metaphors. Remember that comparison and inference via metaphors can really elevate your writing.

4. Use images

Whether you put just one at the beginning or end, or have images through the entire poem, try to include visual art to draw people in and bring your words to life.

5. Use concrete words over abstract words

If someone finishes your poem and has no idea what they just read, that’s probably not a good thing. State what you need to say directly and to the point. One of the most common mistakes poets make is over complicating their writing, or using too many abstract words.

6. Understand your theme

Know the difference between a theme and a topic. A specific war may be the topic, but it’s not a theme. A theme may be how war affects those who serve, or the struggle man has between desire for peace and war.

7. It doesn’t have to rhyme

Too often, poets get it stuck in their had that a poem is not a poem unless it rhymes. In reality, most poems don’t rhyme. Make sure you understand your audience and subject and use rhyming words sparingly.

8. Read, revise, read, revise

The advice your high school English teacher gave you was very good (even if you didn’t take it at the time). Write until you think the piece is perfect, then sleep on it for a night or two. After at least 1 full day, re read it and make corrections with fresh eyes. Keep doing this until you know this is your best work.