Poetry Tips
3 Ways to Craft a Unique Opening Line for a Poem

3 Ways to Craft a Unique Opening Line for a Poem

When you’re waiting for the curtain to rise at a theatrical production, you wonder what the stage will look like. Will the first few moments show dazzling scenery or characters prancing about? Will silence or song fill the air? What are you in for, and where will it take you? The catchphrase “lights, camera, action” captures the exhilarating transition from darkness to light and stillness to dancing. When you stand on the threshold of a poem, you’ll have similar questions and emotions swirling through your mind.

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How to Brainstorm a Topic for Your Poem When You’re Out of Ideas

How to Brainstorm a Topic for Your Poem When You’re Out of Ideas

Whenever I’ve asked my students to write a poem, I invariably hear the question, “Where do I start?” My immediate reaction is consternation, plus a certain level of frustration (in case you don’t know, writing teachers can be an exasperated bunch). Poetry is all about your surroundings, right? So, formulating a topic should be as easy as attending school, going to work, or otherwise carrying out your daily routine. Why, oh student writer, are you overthinking this task? It’s supposed to be fun!

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3 Steps to Create a Vibrant Villanelle

3 Steps to Create a Vibrant Villanelle

Poems come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short like blips on a radar screen, provoking a burst of thought in the reader (haiku, for example). Others are long, sweeping songs full of passion, emotion, suffering, and death (Homer’s epics). And many in between tell stories of people, objects, and animals (from Tennyson to e. e. cummings). But few types of poetry leave you as simultaneously stuck and fascinated as the villanelle.

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3 Powers of Personification

3 Powers of Personification

When you take the leap and attempt writing poetry, you’ll find a multitude of tools at your disposal. Some are self-explanatory, some are surprising, and some are downright strange. All you need is practice. You can arrange rhyme, metaphor, and simile in a variety of combinations to wreak havoc with language.

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3 Unique Ways Poetry Affects Us

3 Unique Ways Poetry Affects Us

I have a couple confessions to make. First, I am biased toward poetry, not because I believe it is inherently better than other art forms (like novel writing), but because poetry is largely misunderstood. People interrogate poetry to gauge its worth, asking questions such as, what is the point, why are we reading this, and why do people even write this?

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