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Judith Silverthorne, Writer in Residence February 13, 2019, 8:29 AM

10 Tips on How to Write Poetry

Here are ten simple steps to get your from blank page to sonnets.

  1. Decide on a Goal – what do you want your poem to do? Explore, protest, describe, evoke…
  2. Create images to stimulate the six senses: sight, hearing, sell touch, taste, kinesiology (motion)
  3. Avoid clichés to create work that rises above the norm
  4. Use original metaphors or similes to bring imagery and concrete words into your writing.
  5. Use concrete words to describe things that people experience with their senses: chocolate, warm, dog
  6. Change abstract words into concrete images. E.g. change ‘happy’ to an object or scene that represents the happy feeling. Instead of “She felt happy,” use concrete words like “Her smile spread like the glow of a sunrise.”
  7. Communicate your theme. Theme is an idea plus an opinion. Strive to show your theme during the entire poem. Give your interpretation of a topic or idea.
  8. Try writing in different forms. (free verse, haiku, etc.)
  9. Make every word count. Eliminate all unnecessary words, phrases, and lines.
  10. Read lots of poetry. Read even more poetry.

About Author

Judith Silverthorne, Writer in Residence

Judith Silverthorne is an award-winning Saskatchewan writer. She has authored more than a dozen books, many of which are children’s novels. She has also written two non-fiction biographical adult books, and has authored extensively as a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines.