Thursday, 17 December 2009

How to Write Good Poetry

by A. J. Kramer

I don't know what makes a good article, but I do know what makes a good poem. All poetry tips can be placed into three categories that I believe are essential for a good poem. 1.) The poem must be a meaningful, necessary part of your personal process. 2.)

It must appeal to one's aesthetic senses. 3.) It must be read.

I'll admit it, I've written some bad poetry. Usually this has been a result of stagnation in my spiritual process, when what I have learned no longer provides a mentally orgasmic epiphany, yet I write it anyway, like I have already written before. They may be slightly new words, but they don't take me anywhere new. Someone reading the poem may not know that it is bad, but in the context of my life I know that it is so. So the first rule of writing good poetry is that it must be truly important to you.

The beauty of good poetry flows naturally with the process, in my experience anyway. Rhymes and rhythms are visceral experiences that help the ideas flow. Onomatopoeia becomes all there is as words seem like biological eruptions. The sounds of words, their placement on the page, all the possible ways to play with attention and ambiguities of meaning... There is no need to know what you want to say before you start to write, but if there are no words for part of the experience, it is okay to make them up. Good poetry results from a freedom of expression that has no boundaries but those the poet chooses. Classical forms can be so free; likewise, free form might be limiting.

After a poem has been created it exists on its own. You may live or die. You may tweak some words or never visit it again. If the poem is lucky, someone will find it and read it. It will be interpreted by someone other than the author. They will find in it some of the same things as the author, and some new things as well. If it is a good poem is will inspire something. As the inspiration spreads, poem to poem to action of some kind, to perhaps another poem, another action-- it will live on in some form, perhaps quite removed from the original. But if it inspires, it is good.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! Could you omment on my poem at