How to Write a Poem

In my opinion, there’s no single way, formula

or person

anywhere I know about

that shows you step by step how to write a poem

and makes a Poet out of you.

I am sure there’s many books for sale and websites

about this subject, but I never visited them nor bought

any books about it.

It’s not that I have the audacity or gall to touch such a sacred

area as creativity in poem writing; it’s that I am trying to explain

how I do it and by that,  it may serve to encourage and inspire you

demonstrating you and I are alike in ways you might want to be.

Yes, I’ve read quite a few poems, and have eaten even more

hamburgers, but now I keep writing what I think are poems every day,

but eat far fewer hamburgers and a lot more fruits and vegetables.

I took many semesters of creative writing

in college.

I also took literature and English.

 I don’t think any of it taught me how to write

anything creatively, at all.

There’s just no rules to it I know of.

Yes, there’s proper English, but obviously

I don’t do any of that, here.

To me, that’s the good part of it.

Almost, anything goes.

The cuffs are off.

It’s something you can break the rules about and you

don’t get arrested for.

Of course, you’re bound to offend someone.

But, hopefully they don’t find out where you live.

You’ve seen too much of what happens to someone in the news

when they open their mouths and say the wrong thing these days…

Yet,

There’s No restrictions and no rules in writing in general.

The world becomes your Oyster.

In that creative writing class many moons ago, I just wrote short stories, and I think some Poetry

and turned it in and the teacher gave me a grade.

He did critique it with a couple of notes on the paper, but that was about it.

I had the same teacher for as many semesters as was allowed for electives.

I have written for many years now, and I can’t say for certain I do

any of it the right way.

I know whatever I write, and whatever it is about, it sounds much better than it used to.

Boy, I used to cringe when I read some of my stuff I thought sounded good

in the past.

It was embarrassing.

Terrible.

But, I kept writing and editing and scrapping a lot of scribbling and I got better and better.

I can look back and see the vast improvement.

That’s what you have to do.

Practice.

I think that with poetry, there isn’t a right or wrong way to write.

Sometimes, I don’t even know if the passion is there.

But, I write anyway until it appears.

Most of the time I don’t have a clue what the poem is goanna be about.

I open up my website here and open up a new post.

I often think of the title after I finish.

It just flows out of me and I don’t know where it comes from.

But, I do know I am the vehicle it drives itself through

to get to you.

I also can’t say for sure if I would be someone worthy of modeling his style.

I wouldn’t recommend it.

I would say you have to develop your own style.

It will come someday.

I am still working on mine.

It evolves.

I have had a lot of practice through the years writing articles online, pages of various websites I used to have that I lost interest in and closed down, and, on this one.

The ‘How’ to writing poetry is more ‘Doing’ than anything.

You just write, and keep doing it.

I wouldn’t advise doing it to make money.

I think that backfires.

If you believe you are called upon to do it,

keep doing it sending your message.

I like to have a message in my work, but I am not sure

my message is always understandable.

And, that’s part of poetry.

Some of it is meant not to be understood.

Some poems rhyme, others they call prose

that don’t.

Some poems don’t make any sense.

It doesn’t matter how it comes out, as long as it does.

I do all of it.

I don’t really have a plan.

although, I may have sort of a general outline in my mind’s eye

It forms itself as I write.

One word leads to another.

Then, I look at it to see if it has any continuity, or makes any sense,

or if I can’t finish it, it would be because it just doesn’t sound right and I’m tired

and let it set to ferment and come back to it the next day.

I’m not sure I devil in the details more than I see a vagueness of the big picture of what I’m

writing about.

The more poetry I write, the more I can finish it in one sitting.

But, I read it over and over and when it’s right I recognize that it sounds

right whether it makes any sense to me at all.

I do think the poem has to say something meaningful to you,

even if you don’t understand it yourself, because someone out there

will.

I think the thing that is the most fulfilling about all this poetry writing stuff,

is when it seems someone comes away with something meaningful, or for no other reason than he likes reading your material.

Of course, most of the time you never find out, what anyone thinks or how they feel.

Poetry is art, and it’s like anything else like paintings, music, what have you…

Everyone has his own preference.

You like what you like.

You don’t like what you don’t.

And,

You don’t want someone’s opinion, unless of course, you ask him for it.

Poetry is kind a one man’s opinion.

You put it out there for the whole world to see.

You only know for sure if you like your own stuff or not, and hope no one thinks it irrelevant

or garbage.

No one likes to be laughed at.

It’s better to laugh than cry.

But, if it weren’t for crying, I wonder how much poetry would actually

be written?

poetry is like building your own burger

you build upon each step

add lettuce

pickle

meat

cheese

and of course

lastly

you put a scoop of

your special

sauce

on each bun

 

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About Steven Humphreys

I live in sunny California with my beautiful wife, three wonderful cats and very handsome dog! I write a lot these days about different subjects I hope you will find interesting and informative. Thanks for your interest. Read more 'about me' on this site. Thanks for visiting!
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