I remembered another reason why April is my favorite month… and that is because April is National Poetry Month. And, in honor of April, here are five tips for writing poetry.
1. Don’t use mixed metaphors. Make sure the imagery in the poem flows together and doesn’t clash. “A wave of guilt wafted over her like an avalanche” is a mixed image. An avalanche does not waft.
2. Keep in practice; don’t just write when you’re inspired. Like any art, poetry requires dedication and practice to gain skill. If you want to become a poet, write a poem (or a scrap of a poem, or a writing exercise) every day.
3. The lyrics to popular music (by and large) are not good poetry. Yes, they are poetry of a sort, but if you want to write good stuff, you must read (and listen to) real poetry from all different writers, in all different time periods.
4. With that said, it’s good to practice writing all types and styles of poetry. Haiku, limerick, sonnet, ghazal, villanelle, etc.
5. Read your poems out loud. Poetry was originally a spoken-word art form. Even if your poem doesn’t rhyme, it should still sound pleasing to the ear when read out loud. (And of course, not all poetry has to rhyme.)
Feel free to share any other useful poetry tips in the comments section!