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How to Compose a Good Poem

Poetry, how to compose a poem, imagination.

Hi dear budding poet, I have some thing here to enrich your creative out put in poetry. This article will teach you certain valid points about how to compose a poem. You know, literature, like all other art forms needs training and few people I am sure will snub at this idea. But there comes a serious question what kind of training can be imparted? I can answer this question from another dimension.

A writer is basically a good reader; he reads only those genres of book that can impress his attention and appreciation. For instance as a reader I never love so much reading plays, I don’t know why it is so. Perhaps the few plays I read may not be more than five in number and that too by Bernard Shaw and Ibsen. But as for poetry and novel I am a voracious reader since I am a university teacher where I teach these two genres. My interest in reading these two never came out of my being teacher; truth lies elsewhere both these literary forms communicate to my mind better than other forms. So the first point to imbue in you is you should be a voracious reader of poems.

What is the benefit of reading poems? A natural question. The first and foremost benefit is you are reading a most chiseled form of language and thought. The canvas for writing a poem is very small in comparison with novel and short story, so the writer is to face the question of precision in the use of language. We call it linguistic consciousness. You can push your thoughts in the form of prose however there is prosaic poem in literature, which I am sure did not get due recognition and considered only an intellectual fashion. Or you can be musical with words composed that way.

While you are wadding through the waves of poems you must take care of two things. First thing to note is how the poet puts his ideas in the frame of the poem and also the language used. Some poets write out of sheer inspiration as you find in case of Coleridge whose Kublakhan was written not from conscious plain of mind but from the semi-conscious level. But when you compose a poem don’t expect your mind will open up such recondite aspect of it. But the sub conscious mind will begin its function. What I want you to focus here is the art of using language; in literature we call it as language criticism. The thought and language must go together and also both must go well with age or the time. Perhaps you don’t understand what this point is; look, do you think it is good to compose a poem after 19th and 18th century fashion. No not all. You will sound old and outdated. You can’t call somebody, “thou”. Of course once it was really nice to say so. But the time is changed and you have to find out the best usages that can address changed aspects our times. But one thing this use of language must go well with theme of the poem. For instance your are composing a sarcastic poem where you want to turn somebody into butt of all jokes, then I agree you can use all the clichés that will have novelty and freshness about it.

Let me tell you, composing a poem is as much an art as anything of the same name. So the next step is about the imagery and other embellishments needed in the poem. There two approaches to this issue. First being is direct treatment of the theme it means you can put less embellished sentences and phrases that can tell what you think. The reader will not find it difficult to comprehend and appreciate it. But if you are using a different approach like, use metaphor and imagery through a less embellished diction is really commendable feat of success. Don’t be so rash in composing and presenting the poem somebody’s opinion. Once a poem is written keep it for several days to have a rethinking that will be like brewing wine keeping under earth. You must squeeze your self to the last drop when you are in composing. The theme at hand must be well thought from several angles then construct imagery and metaphor .Now think about the language suitable for it. Do all these step by step and write the poem at the most compelling moments alone. There will spring an end-product that will have the essence of your vision.

Good luck for all budding poets.
Published: 2008-02-16
Author: sreelesh vk

About the author or the publisher
Sreelesh is a freelance writer based in kerala, southern state of india.He writes articles, stories, and his first book about creativity is to be published soon.He writes mostly for local magazines and on internet he has already made a name for his writing contibuting to several web magazines.
www.sreelesh.sulekha.com

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