3 Valuable Advices for Poem Writing
For some people, poetry writing is a joy. They feel the sheer pleasure to put beautiful words on paper. However, for others, poetry writing could be a nightmare, and they only do so because of a requirement to get grade in a literature or English course. No matter why you are writing poetry, below are the three tips that can help you.
- Avoid Clichés
According to Stephen Minot, a cliché is “a simile or metaphor which has become so general because of overuse, and won’t contribute any meaning to the tenor. It no longer provides vividness like a fresh simile, nor the strength from an unmodified word.”
Cliché could also be other overused elements in literature. A poetry filled with clichés is just like a plate full of old food: it doesn’t work for anyone’s appetite. Clichés work against your original intent of communication. Creative talent is what people value. Work which rises above the normal standards is what they expect. When you have an amazing work without clichés, people know that you have worked your tail off to accomplish something that is original. If a work is full to the brim with clichés, people think the writer is nothing but ordinary, or worse.
To transform a cliché into something original:
Instead of Using Abstract Words, Use Concrete Words.
- Determine the clichéd phrase you are trying to say.
- Think of an alternative original way to express the same meaning.
- Create a creative phrase by describing in a non-clichéd way.
- Eventually come up with a line that is original and sound for a poem.
People use concrete words to describe their experiences with senses. Words like red, warm, bark are concrete words, because people can see the color red, feel the feeling of warm, and hear the sound of barking. As a poet, you can use concrete words to paint a “picture” for the reader to let him/her better understand what you are talking about in the poem.
Abstract words usually refer to either concepts or feelings. For example: liberty, anger, love. “Liberty” is clearly a concept. “Happy” is a feeling. There is no agreement to whether “love” is a feeling or concept, or action. However, people cannot touch, taste, or see these things. So when used in a poem, they simply might fly over the reader’s head, not triggering any response.
To avoid the problems with abstract words, simply change them into concrete words. For example, instead of saying “She felt happy”, improve the sentence to “Her smile was spreading, just like the red tint on a ripening tomato.”
Subvert the Ordinary
The strength of a poet lies in his/her ability of seeing in a new way of what other people see every day. You don’t need to be a literary genius to come up with good poems. What you need to do is come up with new perceptions with ordinary objects, places, people or ideas. Literally, the word “subvert” means “turn upside down”. So, take the ordinary things, and turn them on their heads.