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How to Write a Poem With Explanations and a Sample of Poetry

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Written by
Dr. Isabel Larsen
  • Icon Calendar 18 May 2024
  • Icon Page 2946 words
  • Icon Clock 14 min read

Poetry services to express emotions, academic purposes, communicate about social movements, and serve as entertainment, among other reasons. In this case, poem stanzas, rhyme schemes, and poetry meters are the main characteristics of defining poetry and poem types. Based on these characteristics, there are many types of poetry, such as blank verse, Haiku poetry, and rhyme poems, among others. If people want to learn how to write a poem, the choice of words, punctuation, and other stylistic devices help in communicating themes. Also, balance is essential in verses to ensure poets do not include sentimentality in the poem. In turn, subversion of the ordinary use of language is crucial in making poetry artistic and comfortable for the audience to remember the message.

General Characteristics on How to Write a Poem

A poem is a piece of writing intended to express ideas and various emotions of the author regarding a specific subject. Basically, poets pay attention to features, such as diction, rhyme, symbolism, and imagery in the writing to communicate. In this case, the type of literature is different from the official forms of writing, such as letters and books. In most cases, poets are allowed to flaunt the rules of grammar to create imagery, rhythm, or a specific message to the audience. Also, poetry is closely related to music in comparison to other forms of literature. Hence, people write different types of poems for various reasons with the kinds determined with the use of poetry features, such as stanzas, rhyme, and poetry meters. In turn, the message the poet intends to communicate determines the wording and content.

How to write a poem

Why People Need to Write Poems

Different factors make poets write poetry. Basically, one of the reasons on how to write poetry is the fact that people want to express themselves on various issues. Using a poem, a person can express their emotions, such as pain, fear, love, hate, melancholy, and many other feelings. Also, authors write poetry to express their ideas on subjects, such as the environment, a lover, a leader, or a practice. In this case, the lack of strict regulation of language for lyrics makes poets prefer to use the genre in expressing themselves. For instance, William Shakespeare used poems in his plays to express the feelings of his characters towards various issues. As a result, dramas are lively and exciting to follow for the audience.

Academic Poetry

Academic poetry is another reason why people write poems. In this case, academic poets mainly write to inform people about a specific subject. Also, poems were written for educational purposes to employ stylistic devices, such as rhyme and rhythm, to pass elaborate messages. Therefore, poets who identify their works as an academic poetry center their works on scholarly disciplines. For instance, a poet who is a technologist is likely to write about technical issues such as futuristic poems on the use of technology in various spheres.

Communication in Writing a Poem

Another reason why people write poems is to communicate about social movements. For instance, there are many poems on the issue of racial attacks on Black people by police dubbed as a Black Lives Matter. Basically, people interested in social movement poetry mainly write about social issues, such as homosexuality, racism, and animal rights, among others. Also, environmentalist movements have produced a large number of poems on topics, such as pollution, deforestation, and global warming. Therefore, social movements are another reason why authors write poetry. In turn, they use the lyrics to communicate their perspective on social issues of their interest.

Comercial Purposes for Writing a Poem

Also, poets write to entertain and earn a salary from the poems. A characteristic feature of poetry intended for commercial purposes is their entertaining nature to the general population. For instance, a collection of poems by Amanda Lovelace titled The Princess Saves Herself in This One has sold millions of copies. In this case, the entertaining nature of the literature in the book makes people buy and write poetry. However, making money is not the primary reason for the author to write a poetry piece. In turn, informing and entertaining are the primary reasons for the authors to write good poetry. Therefore, some poets rely on their composition to earn income from their works.

Theoretical Background on How to Write a Poem

The main elements defining poems are stanzas, rhyme schemes, and meters. Basically, a poetry verse is a primary tool used in building poetry. In this case, a stanza is equal to a paragraph that expresses ideas and defines them. Also, a rhyme scheme is the flow of words and sounds in the poem to create consistency. Then, there are different types of rhyme schemes that poets write when reinforcing the message in their lyrics. In this case, a meter in poetry is used to define the length of lines, stanzas, and the written piece itself by considering how to write a poem. Thus, the use of a meter helps in identifying the ideas and how they flow in the poem. In turn, different types of poetry defined by the various elements of a poem discussed above.

1. Write a Blank Verse Poem

This type of poetry is common in classic literature, such as those written by William Shakespeare and John Milton. In this case, the main feature of blank verse poetry is the standard iambic pentameter if authors learn how to write a poem. Therefore, each line of the poem has five iambs, where the second syllable is stressed. In turn, another common feature in the works is the lack of rhyming words in the lines.

2. Write Rhymed Poetry

Rhymed poetry have a rhyme scheme that has words at the end of each line sound similar to the others in the same position. As a consequence, poets write rhymed pieces by using the rhyme scheme as the main reason for word selection. However, the poetry of this classification may have different rhyme schemes between different stanzas.

3. Write Haiku Poems

As the name suggests, the type of poetry has its origin in Japan. In this case, the poem’s defining feature is the specific number of syllables in particular lines in each stanza. Traditionally, haiku poetry has five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line, and five syllables in the third line, covering how to write a poem. Thus, the three-line poetic form is definitive for this type of poem.

4. Write a Free Verse Poem

As the name suggests, the type of poetry has no defined structure followed. For example, poetry under the category has no repetitive rhyme scheme, metric, or rhythm. In the literature, poets write pieces by breaking the universal poetic laws at will. Therefore, free verse poems do not follow the rigid rules of poetry. In turn, authors are allowed to craft the lines, stanzas, and the lyric with the main focus being communication.

5. Write Pastoral Poetry

One of the most prominent poets today is Gary Snyder. In this case, the natural world characterizes the type of poetry is the primary subject of how to write a poem. Also, countryside life and scenery are significant subjects in pastoral poems across the globe. Thus, elements, such as forests and history, are common in the form of poetry.

6. Write Epic Poems

A characteristic feature of epic poetry is their lengthy size of both stanzas and the complete verse. In this case, authors tell epic stories of the past about heroes, heroines, gods, and goddesses. Also, the performance of abnormal feats by the subjects of the narrative forms a distinguishing feature of this poetry.

7. Write an Elegy Poem

A distinguishing feature of this poetry is the reflection on death or loss. Features of death, mourning, and injury are consistent in this type of poetry. Also, in this poetry, authors write about subjects such as the consolation of those who lose a loved one and redemption. Therefore, other elements related to death and loss, such as war and mythological themes, are also covered in this type of work.

8. Write Lyric Poetry

These are poems that are concerned with the feelings and emotions of the narrator or the poet. In this case, the main idea of lyrics is that they have a song-like pattern with a clear storyline, covering how to write a poem. Primarily, poetry intends to invoke the emotions of the audience by talking about emotional events in one’s life or that of closely related persons. The name comes from lyres, an instrument played when reading the poems.

9. Write Ballads

Primarily, a ballad is a narrative verse that is poetic. Also, a ballad poem can be a musical verse that is similar to rhymed quatrains. Therefore, it is a story told poetically with intonations and other musical elements present.

10. Write Soliloquy Poetry

The defining characteristic of this poetry is the presence of a single character who speaks to themselves. In the monologue, narrators write about inner thoughts to the audience. Therefore, the focus of this poetry is on feelings or convictions about a specific subject. In this case, Shakespeare is one of the famous poets with soliloquy poems that are based on different issues and used to describe feelings of characters in his plays.

11. Write Sonnets

A primary feature of sonnet poetry is its fourteen lines. Mainly, the lyrics are of love but not exclusively on the topic. In the fourteen tracks, sonnet poems have a rhyme scheme that is dependent on the specifications of the lyrics. Also, other main themes in sonnet poetry include rejection and loss of a loved one.

Content on How to Write a Poem

In writing a poem, wording and placement of content are essential for the poet to communicate the intended message. Also, punctuation in poetry is one of the features that poets employ is sending a specific message to the audience. In this case, punctuation can help in creating sounds or changing the meaning of words and sentences. For instance, a poet can decide not to use full stops to indicate continuity of the story narrated in the poem. Apart from punctuation, there are other stylistic devices used when writing poems to communicate with the target audience.


Storytelling is one of the means used in communicating a specific message to the audience. For instance, in a poem on imaginary characters, authors write about emotions and their lovers. Therefore, storytelling serves in poetry as a method of sending information to the audience.


People use imagery to communicate the intended message if they know how to write a poem. Basically, the use of descriptive words, sounds, oxymoron, similes, and proverbs help the poet in communicating. Considering that poems are literary works, they use a language that forms images in the mind of readers. Moreover, the intention is to make people not only read the message but also feel it in their hearts. Therefore, one should focus on impressing the other senses of the audience apart from just plainly reading the text.

How to Write a Good Poem with Balance

Balance in writing poems is another essential aspect that a poet should consider. Despite the need to communicate specific messages, the writing style, choice of words, and selection of styles should appeal to the target audience. For instance, using archaic language in writing a children’s poetry can lead to misunderstanding of the writing. Also, the use of vulgar language does not improve a poem. Instead, poets prefer to write by using euphemisms to describe events such as making love or murder. In turn, confrontational style is avoided in poetry, as it may put off the audience who may feel offended by the written piece.

Subverted Style, Metaphors, and Similes

Subverting the ordinary and the use of metaphors and similes helps in improving poetry. In this case, regular writing often irks the audience and hard to remember the message in comparison to a subverted style. Using subverted language to make the word flowery makes it easy to remember the content of poetry and the meaning derived from poetry. Also, metaphors and similes help to make the language fancy and more artistic to follow the rules on how to write a poem. In turn, metaphors and similes help in passing the message to the audience.

Delivering a Message

Poets intend to communicate a specific message to the audience through themes in the poems. In this case, some of the common issues in lyrics are love, pain, suffering, among others. When writing poetry, the central theme and supportive themes should dominate. For instance, a poem that writes about love should use words, imagery, and symbols that communicate love. Also, the use of actual words helps in the communication of intended themes.

The Choice of Words

The choice of words is essential in poems. In this case, words should be specific, short, and precise, considering a meter of a poem. Therefore, the used word should carry a particular meaning that the poet intends if authors understand how to write a poem. Also, the lack of message precision makes poetry lose relevance. For instance, when describing time, words, such as midnight and midday, are a more accurate representation of time in comparison to at night and during the day, respectively. Thus, clarity is essential in poetry, and poets achieve it through careful choice of words.

Writing a Poem and Revisions

Revising a poem after writing it to ensure they fulfill all the expectations is essential. Basically, proofreading to confirm that the target audience can identify the themes and correct words poets write in their poetry pieces is a crucial step. Also, the removal of clichés and concepts that may suggest sentimentality is essential. In this case, poets should ensure that they achieve the goal of writing a poem. Thus, revision is necessary to eliminate mistakes and to replace words with more appropriate words. In turn, the following example is a sample poem on COVID-19:

The Fear of Unseen

The unseen enemy is moving amidst the dearly,
The new scourge devastating the weary.
It takes the best of best,
And leaves the worst people for last.
A disease in the air,
Tormenting even the fair.
No longer walk in pair,
But the wise should not live in fear.

How to Write an Analysis of a Poem

The author writes about the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting persons across the world. Basically, the first line talks about the possibility of the virus being contracted by persons that one loves and cherishes. Therefore, it suggests that wise people should be fearful of moving around. In this case, the illness has impacted social life, such as walking in pairs as people seek to keep a social distance that is one of the WHO recommended ways of stopping the spread of the virus.

Intepretation of a Written Poem

In the poem, the word such as “tormenting” indicates the impact of COVID-19 on humans. In particular, such a word helps to paint an image of the effect of the disease on humans. Also, the line that reads “a disease in the air” does not mean that COVID-19 is airborne. Instead, it refers to the lack of signs that one is just about to get infected with it.

Rhyme Scheme

Also, this poetry piece uses a rhyme scheme where the last word of the lines has similar sounds. For instance, the first and second lines of poetry end with the words “dearly” and “weary.” In this case, two terms are similar in pronunciations and form a rhyme scheme. Also, there is a precise rhyme scheme that is constant in the rest of the poem, with words sharing the same meaning occurring in two adjacent lines.

Writing Style in a Poem

Another style applied in the poem is the personification of the disease. Basically, the poet gives it the power to torment and move. In this case, a virus is an inanimate object given the ability to move and devastate human beings in the poem. Also, repetition is employed to reinforce the message of the author. In turn, the author writes a phrase like “the worst people for last” to enhance the theme in the line. Therefore, different elements of poetry and stylistic devices are used in this sample poetry to help the author to communicate the message to the audience.

Summing Up on How to Write a Poem

Poetry serves different purposes leading to specific types of poems. In this case, poets use lyrics to write, communicate, express themselves, for academic purposes, for commercial purposes, and to advance social justice goals. Basically, factors that determine the type of poetry include the rhyme scheme and the meters. Therefore, the characteristics of poetry determine their classification and forms that depend on the message, arrangement of content in the poem, and other elements. When writing poetry, the use of language, pronunciation, and stylistic devices helps poets to communicate. Therefore, the correct choice of words, clarity of the message, and balance of the content are essential in writing a good poem.

 Major Points on Poetry Writing

Reasons for Writing a Poem

  • To express their emotions.
  • For academic reasons.
  • Communication of social movement issues.
  • To write for entertainment.

Defining Elements of Poetry

  • A number of lines.
  • Stanzas.
  • Rhyme scheme.
  • Poetry meters.

Types of Poems

  • Blank verse.
  • Rhymed poetry.
  • Haiku.
  • Free verse poems.
  • Pastoral poetry.
  • Epics.
  • Elegy poetry.
  • Lyric poems.
  • Ballads.
  • Soliloquy poems.
  • Sonnets.

Qualities of Poems

  • Good punctuation.
  • Use of storytelling.
  • Use of imagery created through descriptive words, sounds, oxymoron, similes, etc.
  • Balance in messaging.
  • Subversion of the ordinary.
  • Clearly communicate themes.
  • Choice of words.
  • Proofread to ensure the right use of all the elements of written pieces.

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