By Margaret Hall Simpson

  • There is no formula. There is no prescribed guideline for the creation of poetry, only the inspiring models of existing poems.
  • Be a critic and reader of poetry.
  • There is nothing wrong with rhyming, however if you rhyme the words “love you” and “blue” you will immediately be expelled to the poetic catacombs of disregard.
  • Avoid pedestrian phrases. Saying “I love you more than words can express” is neither unique nor is it your own.
  • Use fresh imagery. Show the reader something in such a way, as he or she has not considered before. To say “my heart withered like a dying rose” offers nothing new.
  • DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPS.
  • Consider poetic presentation. No words should loiter extraneously. No punctuation intrudes pointlessly.
  • Use the correct word/phrase. Enhance your vocabulary. A good vocabulary, gained through reading good poetry, prose, dictionary, and Synonym Finder enhances poetic expression.
  • Write in language meant to be unraveled. Use images, ironies, metaphors and analogies.
  • Do not ignore traditional poetical forms: ballad, haiku couplet, etc.
  • Emotion is not enough. Writing down raw emotions, simply because they are genuine, does not qualify them as good poetry. Oscar Wilde put it best when he said, “All bad poetry Springs from genuine good feelings”. Conversely, all good poetry Springs from genuine feelings.
    So, right with emotion AND in language that uses metaphors, ironies, and analogies.
  • Write to be funny. Poetry does not have to be serious or emotional.
  • Good poetry makes you feel something. It will give you goose bumps, make you cry, chuckle, or put in high spirits.

While meaningful poetry is in the eye of the beholder, the above list provides some basic principles of poetry.

Compiled from the Internet