CategoryPoetry Tips

How To Improve The First Line Of Your Poem

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The first line of a poem is always the hardest for me. It’s the line most in danger of sounding corny, awkward, stilted, flamboyant or simply wrong. So assuming I’m not the only one who often hates the first line of their poem, I have a couple ideas of how to switch your poem up and make your first line strong. Note these suggestions are most effective if you are not working with a strict poetic...

How To Write A Pantoum

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The Pantoum is a form that originated from Malaysia. I like to think of it as a sort of circle, because it begins and ends with the same line. Whatever the journey, you end up back where you started, so it is an interesting form to explore. So what do you need to know about the Pantoum? 1)      Length: it does not adhere to a specific length. So even though it is a strict form, you can make it as...

How To Write A Villanelle

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Compared to the other poems I have talked about thus far, I think the Villanelle is the easiest to compose. It’s also fun, lyrical and expressive. A great poem for getting your point across. Like the Sestina, the Villanelle is a poem that relies heavily on repetition but unlike the Sestina, it is repetition of the entire line.   1)      Length: The Villanelle is 19 lines long; however six of...

How To Write A Sestina

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The Sestina is another favourite of mine. It seems to me that the formula, though a little complicated, guarantees a certain depth and etherealness that you may not have otherwise been able to achieve on your own. The Sestina is about repetition. It is a conversation, a telling, a retelling, an obsession with an object, a person, a situation. It is definitely a poetic form that you should try at...

How To Write A Sonnet

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The sonnet was the first poetic form that I experimented with, so it holds a special place in my heart. Shakespeare clearly loved the sonnet form, as it was the only type of poem that he seemed interested in writing. He wrote so many, he didn’t bother to name them – they got numbers instead.   There are only FOUR things that you need to know about the sonnet form If you are writing a...

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