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How To Write A Poem

By Young Writers | how to guide

How To Write A Poem

Here is a handy guide to help you write a poem!

There are so many different types and styles of poetry that it would be impossible to write about them all here, so this is an overview to help you plan and write a poem in any form. 

1.    Pick a subject – what will your poem be about?

2.     If it’s a really large subject are you going to write about it as a whole, or will you focus on a smaller part within the topic?

Subject: Climate change
Poem focus: a polar bear struggling to find food

Subject: Spring
Poem focus: baby animals being born

3.   Decide what the purpose of your poem is:

· Make the reader feel an emotion

· Convey a message

· Educate or inform

· Express your opinion

· Express your feelings

· Entertain

4.   Think about what you want to include in your poem. Using a mind map can be helpful here. Write down as many things connected to your topic as you can think of. You can include:

· Key words

· Phrases

· Images

· Verbs, adjectives and nouns

· Feelings and emotions

· Images

5.   Now you can start to form some lines for your poem. Write simple sentences at this stage, just so you get the content of what you want to say.

6.   What emotion or tone do you want to have? Knowing this will affect the words and language you choose to use.

· Funny

· Sad

· Informative

· Angry

· Cheerful

· Hopeful

· Nostalgic

· Inspiring

7.   Decide if you will include any poetic techniques.

· Rhyme

· Alliteration

· Repetition

· Metaphor

· Simile

· Rhetorical question

· Symbolism

· Imagery

· Assonance

Don’t overuse them though! They can be great tools to make your poem interesting, but if you use too many it will take away from your poem’s message or purpose. 

8.   Now it’s time to write your first draft!

·  Rewrite your simple sentences, thinking about vocabulary and the techniques above to make them more poetic.

· Decide what order to put your lines in – what gives the greatest impact?

· Will your poem follow a specific poetry style or be free verse?

· Will it have a rhyming scheme? You may have to edit lines or play around with the order if so. Remember – a non-rhyming poem can be stronger than a poem that has been forced to rhyme. Don’t use rhyme if it affects the meaning of your lines. If you do use rhyme, you don’t have to use it all the way through!

· Will it be split into verses?

· Think about the line lengths and punctuation you want to use.

9.   Give your poem a title!

10. Let a friend or family read your poem. They can tell you lines that work, and any that may need changing or improving. Don’t be offended! Feedback and editing are important parts of writing!

Finally… once you’ve polished your poem and it’s the best it can be, send it in to us here at Young Writers!

You can see our current contests here.

If you’re on social media, you can also post your poem and tag us, we’d love to read it! 

Published: Tue 21st May 2024

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