Writing Poetry

Written by Joy MacKay
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There is inherent value in each written poem, but there comes a turning point in the process of writing poetry. You begin to take writing poetry seriously as a craft, and begin to focus less on your own emotions, and more on the quality of your poems. When this happens, with practice, you truly become a poet.

Issues in Writing Poetry

One of the hardest things for people to remember when writing poetry is that length does not mean quality. Some of the best poems written are extremely long, such as Whitman's Song of Myself. However, some of the best poems are also short in length, such as the many verses of Ezra Pound.

Another pitfall to avoid when writing poetry is to criticize your work before it is finished. Many people want to begin writing poetry, but after writing just a few lines, they begin to crumple their work and send it towards the wastebasket. Poetry is not a magic occurrence--some of the best writers in the world write their work and go over it many times to make changes. Don't expect it to be perfect the first time.

The purpose of writing poetry is dual: to express yourself in language, and to share your writing with others. In fact, poetry used to be largely an oral tradition, oftentimes sung aloud to pass along to others. Once you have become comfortable with writing poetry, begin to give thought to sharing it by publishing.


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