Ways to improve a poem?

I’ve been writing poems for about a year. They never really seem to flow, if you get me. How can I get them to roll abit more off the tounge? Just make them sound better? Any good techniques I could use?

Answer #1

There are a lot of elements to poetry. I think the first, very important thing to remember, as in all art, is that there are rules. Free verse breaks a lot of them, but the rules are there, and learning them, and abiding by them for a while will make you work, when you decide to break them, cohesive and poignant. Poetry is metrical writing. I know a lot of poets will go all up in arms when they hear this, but facts are facts, and that is what poetry is. Your early poems will probably suck. Mine do. A lot of my later poems suck, too. Depending on your style, you are going to do different things, but a couple of small elements you can add to your writing are: consonance assonance alliteration rhythm rhyme Consonance is when two words end in the same consonant, such as ‘night’ and ‘boat.’ They don’t rhyme, but they end the same. Assonance is when words contain the same vowel sound, such as ‘high’ and ‘slide.’ Again, they don’t rhyme, but the similar vowel gives the impression of a rhyme. Alliteration is quite common (ahah, you see?), and it is when words begin with the same sound, whether it’s the same letter or not. See above, ‘quite’ and ‘common.’ Other examples: ‘burgundy blame’ and ‘tinned tuna.’ Rhythm is pretty simple, and there are loads of ways to add rhythm. You can use the same amount of syllables, with the same stresses in the same places. Metre is a way of using rhythm. An even metre means a poem will scan evenly, that they have the same amount of stressed syllables. For example: “Beneath the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie.” There are four stressed syllables in each. Sehr simple. You know what rhyme is…rhyme is when words end with the same vowel and consonant blends, such as ‘flood’ and ‘blood.’ (And for the sake of sweet baby Jesus, please, please, PLEASE do not ever use that horribly overused rhyme.) Another element, of which I am not sure what the term is, is using vowels, not necessarily the same ones, to start words. For example, I just read a poem with the words, ‘eglantine arachnid.’ It gives the impression of alliteration, but it is subtler.

I’m going to go ahead and leave you with that poem, actually, as it carries a lot of strong sound elements. Go ahead and read it out loud, and see if you understand what I mean. It’s not going to be in fixed form, so that you don’t think it’s only okay to write by the rules. I think it’s a good example of combining traditional techniques of sound with the sort of free verse that is so popular nowadays. It’s a very short poem, called ‘To His Son.’

My trine, my moon, My eglantine arachnid, Malformed in the soul, Made to live, like a star, I have shone, like the wind, I have tasted your bitters, Sampled your sweets and sours, And turned to ash.

Do not cry, my little goldfish, You know the sea has salt enough. I give to you my final kisses, You are my window to the sun. (finis)

Answer #2

first of all, all poems don’t have to rhyme (people seem to think that). here’s a few things that might work:

  1. use more decriptive words
  2. write about your emotions, how you’re feeling at that moment; turn it into a creative masterpiece
  3. write down all you thoughts on paper, then go back and put it in the form of a poem (change any words you need to).

these are the 3 main things I focus on; I’ve written 21 poems in four years; getting ready to write #22. if you need anymore help, I’ll be glad to give you more advice on this.

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