I have a crazy idea…

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    Eden Anderson

    I got a crazy idea.

    I don’t know how I got it or where it came from…but it’s here.

    And it’s stuck. And is showing no sign of leaving any time soon…

    I’ve tried to talk sense to myself, but this idea just keeps on popping right back up, strong and persistant.

    I CANNOT get rid of it.

    And since I can’t make it leave, I am resolved to do something about it…

    But I need your help.

    First, let me tell you what the crazy idea is:


    I want to learn to write poetry. 

    It’s absurd, I know…but I really do.

    Can you help me?

    I have no idea where to start or what to do…I am so lost.

    So, two questions:

    1. Is it even possible for somebody to learn how to write poetry? (Or do you have to have some sort of heaven-blessed gift or something…?)

    2. Where do I start?

    Any advice would be very happily accepted! 😁


    @evelyn @kb-writer @h-jones @libby @k-a-grey @mariposa

    And just so you know, I only have hedge-hugs to give in exchange for advice. I’m poor. 😉

    Please tag other poets you know of…


    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky


    @eden-anderson I’m  with you. I’d love to write poetry but like I don’t even know how people do it?

    So I’m just gonna stalk this thread now.

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

    The Fledgling Artist

    Sameee. There was a point that I almost made a thread exactly like this myself.

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    @eden-anderson OF COURSE YOU CAN!

    *happy dance* 😀 😀 😀

    All of you can. 🙂 @the-fledgling-artist @lin

    And for the record Eden, I’d take your hedge-hugs over money any day. 😉

    Oh dear… let’s see. Where to start…

    There are two main types of poetry: Free-style poetry, (See: Handprint Heart on the blog for a beautiful example. :)) and the kind with a pattern of some sort, whether it be rhyming or meter or both. (And I Hear a Train is an example of one with a rhyming pattern. :))

    For both kinds of poetry, the key is to experiment and practice and try them out. Discover which way you like to work better: computer or paper and sit down and try it out.  First maybe try to write a simple poem about the weather free-style way. (Quick example: “The snow is falling / so white – pearly white / like a new canvas / for me to paint.”) And then try to explain the same weather with rhyming. (Quick example: “Today I see the snow / out my window / sparkling white / that came in the night.”) Rhyming is pretty self explanatory. ;P If you get stuck though, I find sites like rhymes.net nice tools. Eventually as you work more with rhyming, you’ll remember more words that work together and start building a collection of them in your mind. 🙂

    Meter however is not as self explanatory, so I’ll introduce that more.

    The English language and words have built-in beats, so to speak. Certain syllables are stressed more than others. For example: “Doghouse” has two syllables, the first one stressed, the second one unstressed. (“DOG-house.”) Meter is when you set a beat for your poem and helps it flow.

    There are four basic types and each have a unique feel:

    (Also notice the names fit with the patterns. :))

    1. Iamb

    Adjective form: “iambic”

    Pattern: Unstress, stress

    Feel: Soft, moves forward, smooth, and interesting.

    Much of Shakespeare’s verse is written in iambic pentameter, which means that a line consists of five iambic feet, or ten syllables in all.

    2. Trochee

    Adjective form: “Trochaic”

    Pattern: Stress, unstress, (long, short) though the final syllable is often left off.

    Feel: Forceful and stressful, choppy and violent

    (Some good words to use that follow the trochaic pattern are verbs ending in “ing.” Examples: “running” “chopping” “jumping.”)

    3. Anapest

    Adjective form: “Anapestic”

    Pattern: Unstress, unstress, stress

    Feel: A waltz; carries one away


    4. Dactyl

    Adjective form: “Dactylic”

    Pattern: Stress, unstress, unstress (Though the final syllable for the line is often left off.)

    Feel: a parade; majestic and big.


    Also, there’s a way to symbolize stressed and unstressed syllables when editing poetry, so once I get a picture, I’ll post it. 🙂

    There are even more complicated meter patterns and some types of poems that combine difficult combinations of rhyming, syllable count, and meter. At that point, it becomes like a puzzle. You have to try to piece your words together in a very strict form. It’s hard and sometimes frustrating, but can be fun. I’d suggest not trying to tackle those yet until you feel comfortable with the four basic types.

    (Fun fact: some fiction authors use meter in their prose and descriptions to help it flow. :))

    Other things you might include in poems are metaphors, and similes, and alliteration. I especially like the latter. 😉

    Anyways, if I was to put overall advice in bullet-point form it would go something like this:

    1. Read lots of poetry and read it aloud.
    2. Write at least one poem every week… ideally more. Maybe two: one freestyle and one with a pattern. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit for the latter. Force yourself to start communicating in rhymes and meter. At first it’s really hard, but as you get more practice it comes more naturally.
    3. Work your way through the different types of meter.
    4. Try different exercises and poetry games. (For example, write one line and pass it to a friend/sibling, them write a line and pass it back. Or rewrite your favorite fairy tale in poetry form.)
    5. Think outside the box every once and awhile. Personally I think (here comes my poetic description 😉 ) a poet is someone who takes the mundane and opens everyone’s eyes to see the beauty in it. Or take the pain and points them to the joy, or looks at something and compares it something new. For example, don’t tell my the snow is like the world’s blanket or that fire dances. 😉
    6. And finally, get involved in a poet community. Hint, hint. 😉

    Well, I probably missed something, but I hope that was helpful. 😛

    And I’m really excited for you guys! I love poetry and can’t wait to read yours!! 😀

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Evelyn.
    Daeus Lamb

    @eden-anderson Ditto to what @evelyn said. Also, read lots of poetry! And read a book on how to write poetry. I read The Roar on the Other Side and really recommend it. 🙂

    I’m not much of a poet really, but I’ve done it enough that I’ve seen myself grow significantly, so I know you can too. 😀

    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    The Fledgling Artist

    @evelyn AAAH! I don’t have hedgehugs, but can I give you a normal hug?? This is amazing. I have a few questions though.  Would you suggest getting comfortable with free-style, and then easing into meter? Or is it better to figure out meter before messing with free-style? Do you have any other tips for someone who is TERRIBLE at coming up with rhymes? I never really thought about the importance of avoiding obvious comparisons, so I’m glad you brought that to my attention! 😀 Oh yeah, last question, if I force myself to write a few poems do you think you could critique them?..

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

    The Fledgling Artist

    @daeus-lamb Thanks so much for the book recommendation! I’ll definitely look into it. 😀

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    @daeus-lamb Ah yes! What I’ve read so far from The Roar on the Other Side has been really helpful. I’d recommend it too.

      I’ll take any kind of hug. 😉 Really though, you helped me a lot with art tips, so consider this settling the debt! 🙂

    Would you suggest getting comfortable with free-style, and then easing into meter? Or is it better to figure out meter before messing with free-style?

    Honestly I don’t know… @libby @h-jones @kb-writer @other-poets What do you guys think?

    I don’t think there’s a wrong order or a right one. Maybe start with the one that interests you the most? *shrugs*

    Do you have any other tips for someone who is TERRIBLE at coming up with rhymes?

    Practice! Ask a sibling for a word and thing right down everything that you can think of that rhymes with it. Usually I go through the alphabet to help think of words. For example, say I have the word “Night” I identify the ending sound “-ight” and then go through the alphabet:

    A: Nope.

    B: Yep! “Bite,” and “Bright.”

    C: “Kite”

    D: Nope.

    E: Nope.

    F: Yep! “Fight” and “Fright”…


    For specific cases, sometimes I use http://www.rhymes.net. I just search the word I’m trying to find a rhyme for and then it pops up with a list. The only downside are ads. 😛 Instead you could buy a rhyming dictionary. I’ve heard from a couple people they’re helpful, but I’ve never actually used one myself, so I don’t know which ones are good.

    Oh yeah, last question, if I force myself to write a few poems do you think you could critique them?..

    Sure! 🙂

    K. A. Grey

    @eden-anderson  I almost thought your first paragraph was free verse at first…. XD  I’m still a beginner poet, too, so unfortunately I don’t have much advice.  I leave it the more experienced and seasoned poets.  🙂

    "Atticus, he was real nice. . . .”
    “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”


    @evelyn Wow that was all super helpfull and interesting! Thank you (:

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”


    @lin Oh good! I’m glad.

    You’re good! I love your poems! 😀

    Katherine Baker

    @lin, @evelyn, @k-a-grey, @the-fledgling-artist, @eden-anderson… (I think I got everyone)

    I’m so glad you are thinking of poetry! That in and of itself is payment enough (though I will take some hedge-hugs or normal hugs!). Evelyn gave you some excellent advice, so some of what I’m saying will be copying her with different words (sometimes you need to hear the same thing several different ways before you understand it, though!)

    I started out with rhyming, and I think that’s the best way to go because it’s the most simple to understand the pattern and structure of poetry. Placing hard rules for yourself (like you must rhyme) makes it easier to grasp a concept because you have smaller chunks to deal with. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

    Here’s my first challenge/lesson/example thingy:

    To start, get an idea in your head (I’m going to take dogs) and come up with a few lines.
    Example: Do I see a wagging tail? / What’s this friendly face?

    Once you have them, began to figure out how to rhyme your next half of the stanza
    Example: That bark never was a wail / licks aren’t a disgrace.

    Go online to help you think up rhymes if you’re stuck. If that doesn’t help, then you can change the original stanza to give yourself something easier to work with
    Example: Do I see a wagging tail? / Here he comes to play! / That bark never was a wail / simply a “good day!”.

    I would write out your rough draft with whatever semi-coherent rhymes come to your head and make them better later. I usually end up experimenting a lot with different word choices before I’m happy with it (for instance, I don’t like my tail/wail rhyme because wailing seems out-of-the-blue. I would mess with that later if I liked the poem enough).

    Another thing I didn’t talk about much was the meter. I do have one in my example, and it has to do with where I would stress the syllable if I were reading out loud. If you’re struggling to find the meter, try reading it rap-style.
    Example: Do I see a wagging tail? / Here he comes to play! / That bark never was a wail / simply a “good day!”

    If you follow my example, the bold is the stressed syllable, and the normal is the de-stressed syllables. The way to make a meter is to have a pattern of stressed to de-stressed, with only minor variations if necessary (in this case, the meter is: 1 3 1 2 / 1 3 1)

    If you’re struggling to understand that much, start by simply counting syllables in each line, and then worry about the stress afterward.

    Homework: give it a try!

    a) pick a topic

    b) write two lines about the topic

    c) try to rhyme the next two lines

    d) count syllables

    e) fine tune stress/de-stress points.

    Send me what you do (even if you don’t follow my homework)! I’d love to see your work.

    Just remember that everything takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get much more creative than dogs wagging tails. The great content comes later! One of my first poems I uncovered went like this:
       Once we went to visit Ramseys
       The journey was very long
       But once we got there he was wearing his jamseys
       And singing a bedtime song!

    Not very good at all (but still fun)! But the thing is, I got better with practice. Poetry might come more naturally to some than others, anybody can do it!

    I can’t wait to see what you all have! I’ll talk about free-verse in my next post (though it is harder even for me to understand!).

    Always remember you're unique...
    ...Just like everyone else

    Katherine Baker

    Would you suggest getting comfortable with free-style, and then easing into meter? Or is it better to figure out meter before messing with free-style?

    I would suggest meter first because it is easier to understand how to make it work. Free-style seems a bit more “heady” to me, but a lot of meter stuff cross-applies.

    In other words, since meter is limited to rhymes and syllables, you don’t need as much head-knowledge. Freestyle is, well, freer, but it takes a greater understanding of how poetry works to make it happen.

    As for your other questions, Evelyn’s advice is great (absolutely use both). You can also stick to easy rhymes in the beginning until you feel ready to branch out to bigger ones. Also, read lots of poetry so you know what other poets are doing. The more you imerse yourself in rhymes, the sooner you’ll be able to “get it”.

    And yes, I would LOVE to read your poetry and give advice!

    Always remember you're unique...
    ...Just like everyone else

    K. A. Grey

    @evelyn Aw, thanks! 🙂  I’m just glad there’s people like you and @kb-writer who can explain stuff so well.  😀

    "Atticus, he was real nice. . . .”
    “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

    Eden Anderson

    @lin @the-fledgling-artist Thanks for commenting guys! It makes me feel so much better to know I’m not alone! ❤️


    Aw, thanks! You are so encouraging and inspiring! *squishes you to death with hedge-hugs*

    Thanks so much for the advice!! THIS IS SO AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to try out what I’ve learned! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! The over-view at the end was especially helpful…it gave me something to start with and made everything feel way less overwhelming. (Also thanks for the link to that website…it looks amazing!)

    Okay, thanks for the book recommendation! I’ll check it out!

    read lots of poetry!

    I love reading poetry so that shouldn’t be too hard. 😛


    Thanks so much for everything you shared!! It was incredibly helpful! And your little rhyme made me laugh so hard! 😆


    Everybody, you all have been so helpful! And y’all’s support means so much! Learning poetry isn’t near as daunting with friends who believe in you…thanks so much! *hedge-hugs all around*

    Also, question: What’s some of your favorite poets/poems? I love Longfellow, and Emily Dickinson, and J.R.R. Tolkien, and Edgar Allen Poe, and others…(Also, I just adore Cindy Green’s poetry. ❤️ Keep writing, @cindy we love it!)

    I’m currently reading The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott…have any of you read it?

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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