Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to write poetry

Learn how to write poetry that is on a par with the greats. Here is a basic course for those interested in writing good poetry.

Although some would argue that the Golden Age of Poetry passed away with Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg, people everywhere are still writing volumes and volumes of the stuff. Like any other artistic endeavor, fads and movements come and go, but the interest in writing poetry has never faded completely. Indeed, run the word 'poetry' in any good Internet search engine and see how many thousands of hits you receive. Although the quality and caliber of poetry may vary widely, the basic desire to express personal thoughts in an intense and intimate writing style is nearly universal in scope. All of us are familiar with the sentimental poetry of greeting cards, or the image-filled lyrics of our favorite songs. Presidential inaugurations always include a commissioned poem from one of our best writers, and many of our most sacred traditions are enhanced with poetry. There can be no doubt that poetry and the writers who create it are part of our collective consciousness.

But how does one begin the challenge of writing poetry?

To begin with, there are as many forms of poetry as there are writers who create it. Some forms, such as free verse or light verse, are still hugely popular with many readers. Other forms, such as sonnets or blank verse, have faded somewhat in popularity, but are still worth studying and creating. In short, poetry should never be limited to what is current or popular, but what is most effective for the particular effect a poet wishes to have on his audience. Before starting to write poetry, you should develop a true appreciation for all the forms it has taken over the centuries. Once you have a strong foundation, then you can consider which forms are the most appealing for your particular voice.

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