Poetry Writing: Tips and Inspiration

Mar 17 08:17 2016 Connie Biltz Print This Article

Ideas and inspiration for poetry can be found anywhere. Here are some tips to help you find the inspiration you need to write a poem and ways to make your poem stand out with your own unique viewpoint.

Are you looking for new ways to approach poetry writing? Ideas and inspiration can be found with just a little effort. First you need to choose an idea or theme for your poem. The subject of your poem can be a person,Guest Posting place, or thing, or it can be a more abstract topic or situation. In fact the subject of a poem can be about anything, but your poem will likely be more successful if the subject is one that you care about.

If you are having trouble choosing an idea, open a nearby book, turn to a random page, close your eyes, and point to a spot on the page. Write a poem about whatever word or image is in front of you. Other poetry prompts might spring from looking through old photos, listening to the news, visiting a friend, going on a trip, and so forth. Obviously, the possibilities are endless. You can write a poem about anything, but it is up to you to make it a high-quality poem. Even if it is a topic that has been written about a lot, do not be afraid to use it for your own poem. You are the only one with your unique perspective on the subject.

Once you have chosen a subject, you then need to decide what you are trying to accomplish with your poem. Are you trying to paint memorable images and create a mood or feeling, or are you trying to tell a story or make a point? Perhaps you want to inform your readers or persuade them to agree with your point of view. You might be trying to entertain your reader with wordplay, rhythm, rhyme, or music. All of these and more are valid reasons to write a poem.

When you know what you want to accomplish, it is time to begin. It does not matter if you write poetry to follow a specific form or if you prefer to write free verse. Both can be done well if you devote enough time and attention to them. Word choice is the most important element of your poem. Poems are generally tighter and more concise than stories or essays, so it is important that you make every word count. Each word should hold as much meaning and be as specific as possible. For example, you can use different words to describe the sky. You might say that it is blue with puffs of white; that it is gloomy; or that it is threatening. All of these can describe a cloudy sky, but each has its own distinct meaning.

You also might want to use elements of humor or surprise through the context of the meaning of the words you choose. These types of unexpected twists will hold the attention of your readers and keep them coming back for more.

Your words should appeal to the five senses as much as possible. Your readers should be able to clearly see, smell, taste, hear, and/or feel whatever is in your poem. Oftentimes, when your own senses are stimulated, a poetry subject will suggest itself to you. For example, a walk through a colorful, fragrant garden may inspire you to write a poem about flowers from a different perspective than if you had never taken that walk.

The poetry I write is often inspired by nature. For example, one winter I noticed that the dead, dried vines of the Morning Glory plants looked like little skeletons to me with the seed pods being skulls and the vines being the limbs. That observation later became the poem below:

“Morning Glory Skeletons

Morning Glory skeletons

hang from the black porch rails

in the white snow.

Seed pod skulls

and thin vine bones

cling to the bars

of their winter prison.

Next summer,

they will find their colors

and reach again for the sun,

but for now,

their heads droop

and their vines shiver

in the cold wind.”*

Several of the poems in my book, Rainbow Chaser, were inspired by nature. Others were inspired by home and family, and still others were inspired by day-to-day life. This shows that you can find ideas for poems anywhere if you stay open to the suggestions of the muse. I like to use imagery, rhyme, whimsy, and the unexpected in my poems, but the devices you use are completely up to you. Making sure that your poems are down-to-earth and from the heart will make them more likely to amuse, touch, and surprise your readers.

*Morning Glory Skeletons is from the book, Rainbow Chaser, copyright 2015 by Connie Biltz

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Connie Biltz
Connie Biltz

Connie Biltz is an author, blogger, and poet. If you would like to read more of her poetry, you may purchase her book, Rainbow Chaser, here. You may also visit her poetry blog here

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