How to Write a poem
Anything can be the basis of a good poem. You can choose big important themes like love, death, famine, poverty and war.
Or you can write about what you had for breakfast or your new pair of trainers. Your poem can be happy or sad, silly or serious, scary or peaceful. Maybe it will make people think. It can be about people, animals or things. It can be about real life, aliens or magic. It can be about anything at all.
Humorous poems are usually the most fun to read and they're fun to write.
The Biscuit's Sad Song
Why are you crying?
The mother biscuit said,
And singing that sad, sad song?
I cry because I
Have a crumb in my eye
And you were a wafer so long
Here are two versions of the same poem. The first doesn't have a rhythm but the second does.
First Train Passing
The train makes a clickity-clack noise
on the track
You can see ducks and geese from the window
and they fly up when the train goes by
I can see a big, heavy suitcase
on the rack. It doesn't look very safe.
The train is going into a tunnel
and when it does, everything goes dark Second Train Passing
Ducklings and geese, fly from the track
Big heavy case, rocks on the rack
Tunnel ahead, everything's black
Clickity-clack, quickity quack
The second version feels as if it's actually moving along a railway track. Not all rhythm in poems is as obvious as this, of course. But it's usually there if you look for it.
How can you get rhythm into your poems? You could write
your poem to a well known tune - like Old MacDonald had a farm. (No one need know that you used a nursery rhyme to compose your masterpiece.) Or you could try saying it to a rap beat.
It's easier to get a rhythm going when you say words out loud. Words are made up of syllables. The word rhythm has two syllables, rhy and thm. The word syllable has three syllables, sy - lla - ble. The word, word, only has one. And when you say words out loud you'll find that some syllables are long and some are short.
For example say out loud:
I never like to do the washing up
We can use special symbols for long and short syllables: - is a long one and x is a short one. We sometimes say that the long one is a stressed syllable, because we put more emphasis on it. So,
I ne-ver like to do the wa-shing up
x - x - x - x - x -
and Clickity-clack, clickity-clack
- x x - - x x -
Notice that the symbols make a pattern.
Now don't worry. You don't have go through this rigmarole every time you write a poem. Once you're aware of the rhythm you can just feel it
Lots of poems describe things. Try this. Write down I am sitting at my desk (or at the table, or in my chair - wherever you really are sitting.) I am sitting at my desk
Now try and find some words to describe the desk. Imagine you are explaining to someone who hasn't seen your desk before what it looks like.
You could use words like brown, grey, white, buff-coloured, grainy, wooden, solid, rickety, shiny, gnarled, ink-stained, tidy, untidy, big, huge, enormous, tiny.... or there are lots of other words to choose from. (We're trying to find adjectives here.
A desk is a thing, so the word 'desk' is a noun.
Words that describe nouns are called adjectives.)
Once you've found the adjectives which describe your desk you might now have something like: I am sitting at my huge, wooden, desk.
Now try to find some words to describe how you are sitting.
You could use words like still, awkwardly, quietly, dreamily, happily, miserably, nervously... and so on.
(Now we're looking for adverbs.
Doing, or action, words are verbs, so 'sitting' is a verb. Words that describe verbs are called adverbs.)
So once you've added your adverbs you might now have something like: I am dreamily sitting at my huge, wooden, untidy desk.
Some poems just tell us about things. The describing words, the adjectives and adverbs, give us a lot more information and make the poem more interesting.
'I am sitting at my desk', on its own, is fairly boring, isn't it? 'I am dreamily sitting at my huge, wooden, untidy desk', gives us a more interesting picture. It also makes the reader curious. What are you dreaming about? Why is the desk huge? If you were sitting nervously at your tiny, purple desk, it would conjure up a very different picture.
Try to write a simple poem describing something in the room. Try and make it into a vivid picture. And don't forget you don't only have to describe what it looks like. You can also describe what it feels like, or maybe sounds like, or even smells like.
I like the idea of writing English poems, and it was a good experience
when I wrote (Supplication).
Actually, I would love to continue writing poems and improve this skill
>> perhaps I will be a poet some day.. =)