How to write a Poem and Make it Sound Great!

Last Updated: 02 February 2024

Can’t seem to figure out how to write a poem? For years now, people have been using poems to express themselves. This craft has existed across various cultures and was prevalent in prehistoric Africa. But, writing a poem as a beginner can be challenging when you don’t know where to begin. There are so many rules you must follow, but at the same time, there are no rules.

Challenging, right?

Fortunately, we have developed a detailed guide to help you write a poem. We have the best writers to help you write and analyze a poem.

What are Poems?

A poem is a form of literature that uses words artistically to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories and appeal to the reader. A good poem could have the following structure, which is also called a form:

Please note that each form has its own rules and is associated with a specific theme so take time to know them to understand how to write a poem.

The Main Elements of Poetry

What makes a good poem? Writing a poem becomes easy when you understand all the basic prerequisites of a good poem.

Steps for Writing a Poem

Writing a poem is different from writing other types of texts, which are mainly prose. Poetry isn't prose. The poem uses figurative language to express meaning, while prose is more literal.

Find Inspiration n from Written Poems.

Before you get down to writing, you must learn what makes a good poem. The best starting point for this is some classics like Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare, How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns, and To A Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley, among others.

Do some research to find out what you like. Please closely examine how the poems are written, the message behind them, and the overall tone. Doing this can spark some ideas and insights on how to write yours. The goal is to find some tricks that you can use to replicate your poem.

In addition, consider listening to live poetry recitations. Go to a coffee house or bookstore that has loud poetry readings. Listening to poems being read out loud can be fun but is also a good way to discover the beauty of their construction. Pay attention to stressed and unstressed syllables, alliteration and assonance, internal rhyme, line breaks, and more.

Brainstorm different ideas

Learning how to write a poem becomes easy when you have various ideas. You don't have to think too hard on this; just go with what your brain can conjure first. For instance, maybe there is someone you are attracted to or an image that you can't get off your mind. Use them as the "why" behind your poem.

Whatever ideas that come to mind, jot them down. As you do this, also think about what tone to use in the poem. Do you want it to be sad or funny?

Pick Your Subject

Now that you have some ideas that you could use for your poem, it is time to narrow them down. This is the most important part of writing a poem, as it forms the basis of your writing. Unless you have been given a specific subject to write about, you must pick your own. What do you want your poem to be about? Look for inspiration around in your surroundings and note how they make you.

Use the freewriting exercise to search for the perfect subject for your poem. Pay attention to where your mind takes you. For instance, if you want to write about a location, consider how that place makes you feel.

Choose the Form

A form is crucial in a poem as it determines how it reads. So, before you write your first draft, take a moment to think about the form to use. Begin by first thinking about the theme you wish to use in your poem. For instance, go for limerick style if your poem is cheeky and humorous. On the other hand, if you want something with Shakespearean influence, then a sonnet should be your choice.

However, consider the free verse form to avoid following any rules in your poem. This has no rules to follow, so you can organize your poem however you like.

Research on the Form

Now that you know which form to use, research it to understand the rules and guidelines. You could also read other poems written using a similar form. This will help you know how to structure yours, what to do, and what not to do.

Begin Writing

The good thing about poems is that they come with various literary devices you can use to improve your text. Explore all these devices, including juxtaposition, simile, and imagery, before writing a poem.

Getting your words on paper can be a bit daunting, but the only way to get over the hump is to start. Some of the ways poets begin writing their poems are:

These are just some examples of ways you can begin your writing. Play around with different styles until you find one that suits you. Remember not to obsess over your first line; it’s just one component of the overall poem.

Edit Your Poem

More than learning how to write a poem is required; you must also know how to edit it. Wait to submit your poem, especially if this is part of a school project. Take time to edit, paying attention to every line and syllable. Listen for rhythm, flow, and how the poem sounds in general. Check every element to ensure it is what it should be.

Refining your poem takes time and patience, but it's a necessary step to creating a masterpiece.

Use the following tips to edit your work the right way:

Take your time to edit the work to give your readers the best experience.

Tips for Writing a Good Poem

Use these tips to ensure your work is a masterpiece.

Know Why You Are Writing

What is the purpose of writing the poem? This understanding beforehand will help you know how to write a poem correctly.

Take a Break before Revising

While it can be exciting to hand in your poem, it is best first to take time to revise it. First, take a break to clear your mind and rest before diving back to edit. Depending on the given deadline, you could take a day or two to relax, and then when you get back to writing, you can edit with a fresh mind.

Give Yourself a Break

As a beginner, expect to write something other than an award-winning poem. If your first draft feels off, don't give up. Sometimes, you could also write a good line followed by a bad one. Some of your lines could rhyme, others couldn't. Others could have many syllabuses, while others could have just a few. In that case, take a little break to relax. Remember that whatever you have written isn't final, and there is always time to improve.

Paint with Words

To paint with words essentially means you use words to paint an image in readers' minds. Use descriptive words and phrases to appeal to readers' senses and help them understand the poem. After all, a poem aims to use words (as per their meaning, sound, and rhythm) to evoke emotions among your readers.

Avoid using a lot of Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are those words that name things that cannot be seen, for instance, bravery, happiness, madness, etc. While there is nothing wrong with these words in general, when it comes to poems, they can make readers imagine them. Furthermore, these words can be easily cliched. If you must use them, ensure you do so moderately.

Connect with Others

Look for poets around you who have successfully written their poems and ask for some advice. Chances are, they struggled too initially, so they will have a few tips that can steer you in the right direction. They could give you new ideas, influence your mind, and share some exercises to help you know how to write your poem.

Take Note of the White Space

The visual appeal of your poem is critical in determining whether readers will enjoy reading it. White spaces are the surrounding areas of a poem. Just like line breaks, white space helps readers know how to read the poem.  

The Bottom Line

Writing a good poem is a process that takes time and skill. It employs interesting mechanics and established poetic forms to create a good piece. The good thing is that you can write a good poem with a little practice and the above tips.

If you could use some help writing a poem or analyzing a poem, our top English and Literature writers can come through for you. We deliver 100% original, well-organized, non-AI-generated, and custom-written papers. Hire our writers for any English and Literature task and smile all the way to understanding things better and better grades!