Seven Secrets to Writing Good Poetry

Seven Secrets to Writing Good Poetry


Many aspiring poets really don’t know how to write poetry people can enjoy and relate to and this is because the poetry does not reach its targeted audience or the poet is targeting the wrong audience or the audience don’t like poetry in general.

In today’s modern world, poetry is the most undervalued genre of literature, which is not surprisingly as its superior style makes it have a lot of enemies and always has the potential to look boring and what a jobless individual does away. Poetry is more than that and it is bettered only in terms of imagery and message it passes across by a picture, not novel or drama.

Below are seven secrets tips which will not only help you reach out to any audience in the world but improve the overall quality of your poem without you having to change your style or drop your favourite topic you love to write on.

  1. Tell a story

Every poetry and in general work of art should tell a story. We all know poetry is a genre of literature and in general literature tells a story so it is only logical for poetry to tell a story and like other genres, it has to be a good captivating story to captivate a large web of readers.

The success of any piece of poetry according to the ManOnPurpose research group is 100% tied to the quality of the story it tells and not the quantity which according to further research by the group is responsible for most failures in poetry.

If your story is poor, no matter how you play with words and do your pun homework, your poetry will be below average but if you deploy a good storyline and simple diction, you will get the pass mark.

  1. Imagery

Imagery is very important to poetry as any other genre and even more important to poetry than any. Poetry is officially the world’s most underappreciated work of art and the most imaginative too (apart from fiction). While prose and poetry gives you the liberty of creating a clear and vivid picture for the reader and at the same time affording you the privileged of expressing your ideas in unmeasurable number of words, poetry is the opposite.

Like a picture, poetry allows for deeper meanings and varying views and of course limited words in a sense. This is where Imagery comes in, the imagery should be so good the reader immediately gets the whole picture the poet is passing to him at a go.


  1. Know your Audience

Very important point, you must take into consideration the audience you want to reach else you will be throwing diamonds into an ocean instead of selling it for profit. If the audience you intend to reach out too are average readers and not too good appreciators of poetry then it would do you a wealth of good to reduce the language difficulty and choose simplicity or else your audience won’t read far into your poetry and likely not read another of your poetry again.

A reader most times will likely not read a work that keeps him consulting his dictionary and confused, he prefers the easier way out and that is reading work of arts that contains words he can relate to not some work that makes him look unintelligent.

If your audience are pros and dons of poetry, don’t make that costly mistake of using words that don’t relate to the subject matter, unlike your previous audience they have a broader idea of the words you intend to use and they won’t be easily swayed by your rhymes when you are clearly making no sense.

  1. Unrelated items

Most poets tend to add a lot of unrelated items to make their piece longer but unknowingly the message the poet intended to pass looks some or all of its meaning and imagery. Remember poetry is a story and once it goes off that line, it becomes just mere words and ink. You can’t be talking about war and use peace and tranquillity terms to describe it, no war is peaceful. You can only be talking about

  1. Don’t sacrifice rhythm for rhymes

A good poet they say knows how to blend similar words that rhyme into his poet to give it a structure and juicer flow without distorting the original meaning of such words. This takes time, sufficient knowledge of the topic, a thesaurus and good memory. It is not necessary the rhyme that makes a poem juicy, it’s the flow of rhythm. Most poems lack all round rhyme and some none at all and you can point to very good poems that lack some rhyme and very few that lack rhythm and make some sense. For your poem to be interesting and image evoking it is not only the diction that makes it thick, rhythm is also important to enable the free flow of ideas of the reader. Rhyme is good poetry but rhythm covers for it well.

  1. Take the blank verse/free verse bailout

To put rhymes into poetry and not alter the meaning or find yourself changing some aspects of the message you intend to pass takes hard work, luck, poise and brilliance. At times poet get hard luck which is kind of understandable, of all the three genres of literature poetry is the most difficult due to its emphasis on style and short words which tells a summary. A playwright and novelist spend a lot of time expressing their ideas into very big books while a poet would have to express this same ideas in at most four pages and the imagery he creates should be a summary of the whole novel which is kind of hard. When you have problems with finding rhymes, use the free verse or the blank verse as a bailout, it doesn’t mean that you are less a poet than the guy who uses rhymes, it means you are smarter.

  1. Engage your readers

This is the most important point of all. All of it (rhyme, rhythm, imagery, content) they all must have this critical ability to engage their readers, make readers want to read it to the end. You can engage your readers simply by adding a bit of suspense, intrigue and maximising the tempo the poem. Once you have engaged your reader, he not only reads your poetry to the end but wants to read more of your work.


Timeyin Mammah


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