Brian Clements’ book about short stories and poems introduces to its readers the beauty found in the intricacies of poetry.
Poetry is one of the shortest yet most powerful means of literature. Compared to novels or those prose, its fewer lines can create a world or convey emotions to those reading it. Poetry is beauty. It is beautifully refined as much as it is of liberty and symbolic. Poetry is unique to every individual writing it and the one interpreting it. However, poetry can also be structured. As an example, here’s an excerpt from a book about short stories and poems by a known poet and author, Brian Clements:
“I’m not sure if she carries a Luger.
But I pray she watches her blood sugar.
When she gets upset, you better watch out.
She knows some choice words and she won’t pout.”
From this, it can be deduced that poems can be composed of rhymes and meters held together by syllabic beats. They can be limited to a number of lines or may be allowed to flow depending on one’s mind. While for most writers, especially beginners, poetry might be a craft created through a strict combination of rules, poetry can also be freedom and liberty, one without literary structure.
A poet can write whatever comes to their mind, but for it to be impactful, it should be coming from the heart for the most part. After all, every piece is every poet’s own and should carry their soul or identity. It doesn’t matter if it follows a specific number of syllables or if it has rhymes. What’s the use of all these if they don’t convey one’s emotion and lay flat, void of any feeling?
But if you’re a beginner, having this much freedom can be scarier and more intimidating than following a specific list of rules. With such freedom, one might find it hard to find a point to begin – a starting line to plant their seedling and grow their masterpiece – so for beginners, it’s easier and more comfortable to follow the rules as a guide in crafting one’s piece.
How to structure a poem?
When writing a poem, beginners should start by familiarizing the different types of poems and the rules and format concerning each one. One should also read about poetry punctuation and know when to punctuate poems grammatically and stylistically or if the flow is better if both are used. Learning all of these will assist one to become more comfortable with the typical flow of a poem. Likewise, they will become familiar with how different writing a poem is from writing other forms of literary pieces.
Poetry is Painting with Words
To have some solid imagery, one should have established what they want to write about – their poetry’s main point or story. And in narrating this, one should focus on the details. Instead of utilizing obvious and mundane descriptions, one should put themselves in the moment to create more pleasing and flowing details. Just like how it is writing a novel, poetry is all about showing, not telling. One shouldn’t merely describe the situation. Instead, every poet should bask in their imagination or imagery since it will reflect how one writes and presents such details. The difference between poetry and novel writing is that one needs to choose words that create more beauty and evoke more emotion and impact.
Your poem’s flesh
On top of minding the poem’s imagery, one should also ensure that they aren’t simply putting words together and beautifying them. These words, together, should have a more profound and more impactful meaning. Poetry is but a shortened form of storytelling. Therefore, the poem shouldn’t just have beautiful imagery; it should also have more beautiful meaning and substance.
Here’s a challenge, avoid clichés
As a beginner, it can be tough writing a poem without thinking of the famous ones or of idioms everyone has grown accustomed to. It can be difficult making up one’s imagery and easier to write around clichés. But hold yourself back, and make sure to review the poem line by line and rid it of anything unoriginal. If the poem sounds like it’s from someone else, then one should edit it and make it into something they can proudly call theirs.
What’s a better way to cultivate creativity than doing? By being mindful of the piece’s originality as earlier as now, one can avoid becoming too comfortable using others’ words and begin to think more uniquely than the rest.
Poetry is beauty refined
Since poetry is short-form literature, one should be prepared to make it minimalist. Avoid making lines long. Practice using shorter words while ensuring that every word counts and contributes to your story. Poetry may seem like long, rigorous work, but once the writer gets the hang of it, they will realize and appreciate its beauty as both the writer and reader.