April may be our favorite month of the year—National Poetry Month! Whether you write it or not, poetry offers something for everyone who reads it. It can offer strength, encouragement, reflection, peace—the list goes on and on. This month is dedicated to reading, writing, and appreciating poetry in all its forms, which is wonderful, but we think this is a practice readers and writers should carry with themselves throughout the entire calendar year. If reading poetry has inspired you to start writing your own, but you aren’t quite sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. DiggyPOD aims to help every writer, whether self-published or not. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to write poetry for beginners.
Read All Types of Poetry
There are many different types of poetry. There are acrostics, ballads, epics, free verse, haikus—poems from A to Z! If you’re unsure of the differences between these types of poems, read this blog.
Before you start writing poetry of your own, we recommend reading as much of it as you can. Study the various forms, rhymes, and rhythms. Explore different topics. You’ll likely find that you prefer one type of poetry over another. There’s nothing wrong with this. Personal preferences, subject matter, and word choice will all affect what form your poem takes.
You can’t write poetry if you don’t read it. You should read a lot of poetry. Read all sorts of poems on all sorts of subjects. Read poets of all backgrounds, ages, and nationalities. Read poets who look like you, and poets who don’t. Read poets who have similar backgrounds and those who don’t. Read to discover what you like and what you don’t like. Read poets that write about topics you’re interested in. The more you read, the more you’ll learn, and the more you’ll have to draw on when you put pen to paper.
Reading poetry isn’t just instructional. It’s enjoyable, too. Poetry is meant to be an escape. You should love to read poetry before you love to write it. That’s step one in how to write poetry for beginners.
How to Write Poetry for Beginners
Obviously we can’t tell you how to write the perfect poem. However, we can tell you great ways to start writing poetry.
How to write poetry for beginners:
- Find inspiration. Inspiration for writing a poem is all around you. Look to nature, to other works of literature, to yourself. What is calling to you?
- Know what you want to write about. Poetry can be very personal in nature, or it can be vague. It can be true, or it can be fictional. Know what you want to accomplish with the poem. What is your topic? What underlying message do you want to send? What imagery or metaphors do you want to use?
- Decide on a format. Will this poem be a sonnet? An ode? A haiku? Does it even matter? (Yes, it does.) The form a poem takes can inform a reader of its meaning. A poem with the same subject will read differently, depending on if it’s written as a ballad or if it’s written as an acrostic. So, too, will form influence rhyme scheme and meter. Choose the format that will best amplify the meaning of your poem.
- Draft your poem. Use a mix of concrete and abstract language. Insert imagery. Be original. Understand that your first draft is not going to be perfect.
- Edit, edit, edit. Yes, you must edit your poem. Pay attention to the natural rhythm of the poem. Do the line breaks work with how you hear it in your head? Which words work well together? Which words aren’t strong enough? Should you add a stanza? Cut a stanza?
- When choosing poems to include in a self-published collection, find a common theme. Your soon-to-be self-published poetry collection should have a common theme. What’s connecting the poems you’ve chosen?
Print Your Collection with DiggyPOD
If you’ve written a poetry collection that you want to self-publish, look no further! DiggyPOD prints beautiful poetry collections and chapbooks. We are the go-to resource for writers interested in self-publishing poetry. DiggyPOD prints more than 100,000 books a month, perfectly customized to fit each writer’s unique vision. We offer paperback, hardcover, and coil-bound binding, as well as several paper options, so you get exactly what you’ve been envisioning. We understand that a book is a work of art and that every detail — from the cover to the paper weight, the images to the binding — matters. When you choose DiggyPOD for self-publishing poetry and chapbook printing, your vision comes to life exactly as you want it to. Poetry book printing at DiggyPOD is infinitely customizable.