Celebrating East African Writing!

Guideposts to Great Poetry

Poetry is the most artistic and form of creative writing. You can write in the abstract or the concrete. Images can be vague or subtle, brilliant or dull. Write in form, using patterns, or write freely, letting your conscience (or subconscious) be your guide.

You can do just about anything in a poem. That’s why poetry is so wild; there are no rules. Poets have complete liberty to build something out of nothing simply by stringing words together.

All of this makes poetry writing alluring to writers who are burning with creativity. A poet’s process is magical and mesmerizing. But all that freedom and creativity can be a little overwhelming. If you can travel in any direction, which way should you go? Where are the guideposts?

There is no particular sign...

The truth is that there are no real guideposts, but there are ideas that a poet can follow, and they might lead to poetry writing breakthroughs.

Try this:

  • Read lots of poetry.
  • Write poetry as often as you can.
  • Designate a special notebook (or space in your notebook) for poetry writing.
  • Try writing in form (sonnets, haiku, etc.).
  • Use imagery.
  • Embrace metaphors but stay away from cliches.
  • Sign up for a poetry writing workshop.
  • Expand your vocabulary.
  • Read poems over and over (and aloud). Consider them, analyze them.
  • Join a poetry forum online.

So here are ten poems for this month’s showcase:

1.  An Ode to a Mystery Queen

2. A Sigh of Life

3. Conversations with the Moon

4. Dear Mr. Politician

5. She…

6. Behind my Dazed Self

7. Black

8. Warm Call on a Chilly Night

9. The Beat

10. The One I Waited For

Anyone can write a poem if only they want to. In today’s world of fast, moving images, poetry has lost much of its appeal to the masses. But there are those of us who feed on language and who still appreciate a poem and its power to move us emotionally. It’s our job to keep great poetry writing alive. And it’s our job to keep writing poetry.


2 comments on “Guideposts to Great Poetry

  1. patrick
    July 6, 2010

    i like your guide to writing poetry. please help me by telling me which forums to join because i am an ardent fan of poetry and i write them oftenly, i would like to develop my talent in writing. please help me.


  2. lilian kalunda
    July 30, 2010

    thank you for this blog…its an inspiration but like Patrick please advice me on forums i can join to develop my poetry skills .i just love love poetry,,,n cant help writing.than x in advance


Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on July 1, 2010 by in Writing.
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