Academic poetry writing is often difficult for many students. They either have trouble writing poetry or trying to analyze it. Having some keys to poetry writing will make the task easier. The first steps to poetry writing are to think about words and the meaning of them. Sometimes the best way to approach poetry writing is to spend some time thinking about each word. Whether you are analyzing poetry or writing it, the importance of knowing and understanding words in poems are important.

  • Begin with deciding who the speaker of the poem is. Who does the poem direct? What is the location of the poem? What is the author’s attitude of the poem? Often listening to the poem aloud will help you decide who the audience of the poem may be and the attitude of the author.
  • Read the poem and listen to the sounds the words make. Are they writing a mental image? Listen to each word and how it adds to the poem. Most phrases in a poem give imagery and figuration and usually appeal to the five senses. Does the poem have regular division into stanzas? Are some lines longer than others?
  • Does the poem use metaphors and similes? What do these add to the poem? What do they mean? Often it is important to read the poem a few times listening to the flow of the words.
  • What types of plot, setting, or characterization are used in the poem? How does add to the poem? Do these add to the mental image you get when reading the poem?
  • Check for the tone and attitude of the poem. How does this give meaning to the poem? Read the poem again and listen to the tone of the poem. What type of attitude does the writer give to the poem? The author usually emphasizes his/her attitude through the use of emotions displayed through words.

Analyzing a poem means listening for the pitch, duration, stress, and rhyming of each of the words. Does the poem have a regular, steady, and schematic rhythm? What type of poem is it? Some poems use rhyming while others do not. Are there symbols, metaphors, or personifications in the poem? What does the poem say to you?
Does the poem have a climax? How does the poet lead up to the climax?
Does the poem tell a story? Does it describe a place or something? How does the title apply to the poem? What is the main theme?
Writing poetry begins by deciding what type of poetry you want to write. Do you want to write a ballad, an Ode, limerick, Haiku, or even a fable? The type of poem may be assigned may be determined from what the instructor wants. Begin with a title that will be appropriate to the poem that you plan to write. Choose a subject. Think about the tone of the poem. Are you trying to appeal to the emotions of the reader?
Poems can be fun to write. Think about simple limericks. Limericks use a distinctive rhyming scheme of a a-a-b-b-a in which the first, second, and fifth lines of each stanza rhymes and so do the third and fourth lines. These types of poems can be fun written about a variety of topics.
Haiku is a type of poem that can be fun too. It originally appeared in the XVI century and continues to be popular in Japan today. This type of contemplative poetry discusses nature, seasons, and contrasts. It is a short poem with about three lines.
Poetry can be fun with just a little creativity. When reading poetry try to get a mental image of what it is saying and make a connection with it and life. Poetry is to be enjoyed.

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