Here we are again, with Wednesday coming to a close. Though at the time of writing, my Wednesday has just started. Today, I’d like to talk about writing poetry, mostly because I really like doing it, but also because someone asked me how I write poetry so easily. Typically, a 3-4 stanza poem takes me about 40 minutes to get right, though if my rhythm is working well it can take less time.
In terms of structure, one of my preferred poetry styles is to mimic the style of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam. This follows the pattern A, B, B, A—which means lines one and four rhyme, and lines two and three rhyme. Additionally, each line is 8 syllables in length. These are just aspects I’ve noticed while reading his poetry. I don’t know if it consists of iambs, sorry. That being said, there are a lot more forms of poetry. One I’ve been toying with lately is A, A, A, A, which is a lot harder than it would seem, mostly because the style can feel forced and redundant. That being said, it certainly makes a person rack their brain more.
One of the popular poetry styles nowadays is a Free Verse poem. Free verse poetry typically is more…well, free form. It’s just line breaks. There’s no need to rhyme, or follow a pattern of syllables, and so on. While this can often be interesting, I don’t really like this type of poetry that much. I’ve used it before, and I have no doubt I’ll use it again, but it sometimes feels lazy to me. Maybe this is because I make deadlines for myself, and in doing that I have some inner expectation of what a “poem” should look like. That being said, one of my most “liked” poems, Stand Up Citizen uses this style.
A sonnet is one of the more difficult styles for me, mostly because iambic pentameter can be a bit hard for me sometimes (quick note: iambic pentameter means lines of 10 syllables, which alternate unstressed and stressed. I.E., I like to ride my bike—“I,” “to,” and “my” are all unstressed, where as “like,” “ride,” and “bike” all have more emphasis on them). A sonnet’s rhyme pattern is A, B, A, B, C, D, C, D, E, F, E, F, G, G. Of course, there are many, many, many ways to craft a poem, and it really should come from the heart a lot more often than forced. That being said, any time you write as often as I do, sometimes writing from the heart doesn’t come as easily.
Choosing a topic can often be difficult. I stray toward love poems quite often, but sometimes writing about internal frustrations, or other aspects of society are good as well. Take I’m Looking for My Friend, which another poem that people have received fairly well. It’s about other aspects of society besides romance. The key, I’ve found, is to find something you can cling to and ride it out until you feel good about it. Then reread it, clean it up, and see what people think.
Am I wrong? Do my ideas make sense? Let me know!