How do I write a really interesting poem?


How do I write a really interesting poem?
Everytime I ask about a poem, I only get one or two answers, though I ask for negative criticism as well.

What is necessary to make a poem interesting? Rhymes often make the poem sound immature, in my opinion, unless the poet is extremely skilled. What should I focus on when writing? Should I hold onto the poem for a few days and di many revisions before posting it? Is that it?

Best answer:

Answer by synopsis
Go out and walk around in your home town. You are looking for something different (this will make a good core for your poem): you are looking for something I probably wouldn’t see in my home town.

Once you have got used to seeing only the things that make you special (the best poems are news, but most things can be news as long as you are not used to them), choose something that is really worth seeing, something that you know would interest me if you told me about it.

But don’t tell me about it. Make me see it.

Do that, and you will have a good poem.

Even if you only get half way there, you will still have a poem that is worth working on.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

3 Responses to How do I write a really interesting poem?

  1. Stephen Returns

    Think of things that inspire or interest you. Think of people you love, hate, desire. Interpret your dreams.

  2. jo

    Those of us who have published even a few poems are always glad to see someone from the younger generation getting into it, as we believe that an appreciation of poetry is essential to a fuller life. It is a good thing, in the beginning, to perhaps compare learning to write poetry to learning to play the piano. One starts by practicing scales for months, then simple tunes, sometimes for years, and after maybe ten years one can play a nice piece very well. But one does not start with a complex piece. One should know that to write a good poem one also needs about ten years of practice, in this case reading good poetry, over and over. But because it is so easy to write down words, much easier than to play a good tune on the piano, some think that they can write an interesting poem right away. Now poetry is more like music than like short stories: it is a different way of writing. The musicality of the poem is more important than the literal truth of the poem, and usually a poem is NOT very true to literal facts, but to our feelings, just as music is.

    Poetry is the art of hiding our meaning just a bit, in order to make the reader search us out.
    It usually tries to show us, with images, instead of just telling us, with statements, facts.
    It should surprise us with language we never thought of before. Above all it must avoid cliche, use images that we did not expect.

    Many first poems show how the author has plenty of feeling for the subject, but you know, we all want our own feelings, not someone else feeling for us.
    Reading a poem, we are all like children: we want to be surprised.
    What do you think of this:

    Among twenty snowy mountains,
    the only moving thing
    was the eye of the blackbird.

    Of course if we can see 20 snowy mountains, we cannot see at the same time a bird´s eye.
    But the contrast between great and small, black and white, stability and movement,
    is so interesting, who cares if it is true?
    Tell us some great lies, give us a big surprise, an emotion, make us feel!

    To make your reader feel (and all of us want to have our own feelings,
    not just hear about another´s) you want a surprising, even a startling image.

    Try this, by Elinor Wylie


    I shall lie hidden in a hut
    In the middle of an alder wood,
    With the back door blind and bolted shut,
    And the front door locked for good.
    I shall lie folded like a saint,
    Lapped in a scented linen sheet,
    On a bedstead striped with bright-blue paint,
    Narrow and cold and neat.
    the midnight will be glassy black
    Behind the panes, with wind about
    To set his mouth against a crack
    And blow the candle out.

    Will she really go to live in a cabin in the woods, is she talking about her wish to die? (Of course not, she was a sophisticated poet and she is inventing, but we don´t care, because she has interested us with her images.)

    She is obviously alone and despondent, and she makes us feel something by the strong images she invents.
    We are surprised at the end. Her last bit of light is put out, what happened?
    We have to invent, to imagine, to make up our own meaning. That is poetry.

    If you want to carry on, and I hope you do, I recommend Emily Dickinson´s poetry. In this one

    Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
    Indicative that suns go down;
    The notice to the startled grass
    That darkness is about to pass.

    I think she is talking about death, but does not mention the word, she makes us work for it.

    Surprise us, give us feeling! (you are on your way, keep at it.)

  3. Seaman

    by simply feeling it
    honesty of feelings will make it soul elevating
    never mind about the old school poetry

    the beauty of the heart felt easy word is what really counts

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