Poetry Information

Rules for Writing Poetry


You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your high school writing class. You know the rules about writing poetry, right? Are there rules? Well, if you frequent the poetry forums across the Internet as much as I do, you'd find that there are a lot of amateur poets who adamantly declare that there are no rules for writing poetry and if someone even suggests reading poetry or books on poetry, many of the amateur poets will throw up a defensive front. My opinion seems to swing fervently toward the opposition. You have to know the rules before you break them; at least that's what I always say.

I know that writing a sonnet in iambic pentameter is an art that has been buried in the tombs of the renaissance, but understanding it, along with the numerous other dying closed forms of poetry, is a powerful tool when writing that prosy contemporary piece. Being a great poet demands an intricate understanding of the way in which language works its edges into a reader's conscience. A poem is a mosaic of sounds, syncopations, and images. All of the little fragments of a poem must work together in a unified fashion to culminate in something refreshing and new.

Refreshing and new? Well, you might wonder how understanding such archaic attributes of poetry such as meter and rhyme might help a contemporary poet craft a refreshing new poem. It is all about the sound and the innovation of it. Even scientists stand on the shoulders of those before them. You don't have to manage a perfect rhyme or a measured foot in a poem to be jumping from the inspiration of Shakespeare's sonnets, but having those rhythms and rhymes teetering in and out of the wrinkles in your brain will send a very subtle vibration of sound through your very own pieces.

In summary, read, read, read, know the rules, and then break the rules. Goodness help you, please break them.

Here are some references to help you along the way:

-Books:

The Practice of Poetry: by Robin Behn

Writing Poems: by Robert Wallace and Michelle Boisseau

A Poetry Handbook: by Mary Oliver

-Websites:

www.poetrylessons.org

www.poetrymagic.co.uk

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/poetry-explication.html

http://www.poetry-portal.com/poetry.html

-And don't forget to read some contemporary poetry:

www.poems.com

http://www.pedestalmagazine.com/

Devrie Paradowski is a freelance writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by several literary journals and she has written dozens of articles for various publications including "Poetry Renewal Magazine," and "Poetryscams.com." She is the author of the chapbook, "Something In the Dirt," which can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/108560 . In 2001, Devrie founded a popular online literary community ( http://www.LiteraryEscape.com ) that has become highly respected for some of the most honest and in-depth poetic critique on the Internet. In keeping with her commitment to inspire amateur writers to hone their skills, she also founded a local writer's group called, "The Fire and Ice Writer's Group."


MORE RESOURCES:
Generation next: the rise – and rise – of the new poets  The Guardian

With soaring sales and a younger, broader audience, poetry is on a high. What is behind the boom? Plus the *fresh* voices to read now.


D’Angelo Russell Is Poetry on the Court. Take It From a Poet.  The New York Times

The Nets' All-Star point guard has a fan in Mikko Harvey, an award winner. They see the parallels in their crafts, sharing the tension between daring and safe.


The seductive appeal of Arabic poetry  The Arab Weekly

While Nabati poetry may resemble classical poetry in its form and artistic structure, it is distinct in its use of Bedouin vernacular.


'Prince of Poets' rekindles grand tradition of classical poetry  The Arab Weekly

Prince of Poets” has added tremendous value to the Arabic literary canon and provided contestants and viewers with valuable literary criticism.


Palm Beach Poetry Festival Invites Local Poets & Poetry Lovers to Upcoming Events  The Boca Raton Tribune

Boca Raton, FL – The Palm Beach Poetry Festival's Director Susan R. Williamson and Dr. Blaise Allen, Director of Community Outreach, today invited local poets ...


‘The power of poetry comes when we engage other people’ says new Olympia poet laureate  The Olympian

The mission of the Olympia Poet Laureate is to connect people to poetry, and that's something Sady Sparks started doing well before she was chosen for the city ...


What's poetry doing on a page like this? Plenty  CatholicPhilly.com

By Matthew Gambino • Posted February 14, 2019. Poetry is like a joke. If you get it, you enjoy it. If you just don't get it, like a computer joke for your grandmother ...


Poetry spot: 'Miss America' by Tyler Meier  AZCentral

Poetry spot is part of a collaboration with local poets to bring poetry closer to the center of our everyday lives.


When we talk about poetry, we should also talk about freedom: Palestinian poet  Business Standard

Eminent Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish Friday said that when we talk about poetry we should also talk about freedom of having a political voice and saying ...


New Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga puts her actions into words  OnMilwaukee.com

As the new poet laureate of Wisconsin, Margaret Rozga inherits a platform that allows her to advocate for social justice - something she's done in Milwaukee and ...


"I Reject Walls": A 2019 Poetry Preview  NPR

This year, says critic Craig Morgan Teicher, America's poets are stepping up and expressing their faith in the capacity of words to overcome barriers, find ...


Literature and poetry help to shorten all distances, says international conference in Hanoi  Nhan Dan Online

NDO - Literature and poetry help to shorten all distances, agreed the participants at the opening ceremony of the fourth international conference on Vietnamese ...


This 32-year-old poet (and firefighter) mails poems to strangers without a return address  The Washington Post

Every day, somewhere in Prince William County, two residents receive an unusual piece of mail: a greeting card containing the same handwritten poem. "A gift ...


MSU's writer-in-residence brings award-winning poetry to campus  Mississippi State Newsroom

Member of the Myskoke (Creek) Nation, award-winning poet and musician Joy Harjo will present a public reading Feb. 27 at Mississippi State University.


Local musician digitizes the music of poetry  Mountain Xpress

I don't want to become Odysseus stuck on an island and say, 'That was my music — the music of my high school years.' There's so much great music in every ...


KUAF Arts Beat: Community Building through Poetry In Open Mouth's 2nd Annual Retreat  kuaf.com

The Open Mouth Readings , a non-profit dedicated to cultivating and enriching Northwest Arkansas' literary community, is accepting applications to the 2nd.


Reading to celebrate Robert Bly's 60 years of poetry  MPR News

Hundreds of people are expected in Minneapolis Monday evening to attend a celebration of the poetry of Robert Bly. Now 92, Bly is credited with reshaping ...


Mary Oliver did something rare: She made poetry accessible. That’s not a bad thing.  The Washington Post

“Wild Geese” was trending on Twitter on Thursday, and poetry lovers — not naturalists or ornithologists — were responsible. Mary Oliver, arguably America's ...


Poet Who Wrote About Milwaukee's Fair Housing Struggle Named Poet Laureate  Wisconsin Public Radio News

Peggy Rozga has been named a Wisconsin Poet Laureate, serving as an ambassador for poetry and creativity through her 2020 term.


Kingston poetry, arts festival cancelled due to alleged incident of vandalism  Global News

A Kingston student's poem was selected for the Skeleton Park Arts Festival, but after an alleged incident of vandalism days before, the organizers were forced to ...


Bob Dylan's Lyrics, Poetry, and Prose Showcased at Chicago's American Writers Museum  Mental Floss

Dylan's personal copy of "The Catcher in the Rye" is one of the rare items on display. In it, he wrote notes and drew doodles.


BU student to compete in W.Va. Poetry Out Loud state finals  My Buckhannon

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Fifty-one students from across West Virginia will recite poems by Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Sara Teasdale, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ...


Free gala reading kicks off historic black poetry conference  Princeton University

"Black Poetry: A Conference" — a historic gathering of 42 poets — will open with a free gala reading Feb. 14 at McCarter Theatre Center's Matthews Theatre.


Poetry sales soar as political millennials search for clarity  The Guardian

Record £12m sales last year were driven by younger readers, with experts saying hunger for nuance amid conflict and disaster were fuelling the boom.


Calling all poets: A Celebration of Poetry Month  Concord Monitor

NewburyCalling all poetsThe Literary Arts Guild of the Center for the Arts, Lake Sunapee Region invites all local poets to submit poems for their upcoming “A ...


Founder of Dead Poets Society is published, posthumously  Tribune-Review

PORTLAND, Maine — The late founder of the Dead Poets Society of America can be inducted to the society of fallen bards now that he's now a published poet.


On Poetry: Unconventional meets powerful in Cummings' poetry  Traverse City Record Eagle

We know Cummings for his unconventional punctuation, the way he smashes words and punctuation together, and the way he moves words around to suit ...


Your haiku can become public art on Congress Street  Arizona Daily Star

Planters spring to life, Adorned by the desert's poets. Congress Street will bloom.


Jamal Parker, poetry champion and published author at 22  The Philadelphia Tribune

At 22 years old, Florida-native Jamal Parker has published his own book of poetry, become an international slam poetry champion and a resident artist at the ...


Students put 'truth' on display at Poetry Slam  Chicago Tribune

Twenty-five entrants performed at a Poetry Slam at an art gallery, operated by the Purdue University Northwest College of Humanities, Education and Social ...


Theater review: Teenagers explore life, death in poetic 'I and...  Duluth News Tribune

A play focused on two teenagers surprisingly partnered for a poetry class homework assignment may seem like a challenge to collegiate theater audiences used ...


Poetry at Large returns to Oxford for second season  Cumberland News Now

OXORD, N.S. – The 4/27 sun bisected the Oxford meridian where earth meets sky. That's where broken bells knelled deep upon mortality with lulled tones.


Poems from the Hoot: Next Poetry Hoot is Feb. 6  Foster's Daily Democrat

The Portsmouth Poetry Hoot, sponsored by the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program, is usually held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at Café ...


How the public domain offers new life to these poetry classics  PBS NewsHour

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.” For years, those iconic lines of verse in Robert ...


'Burnt City' battles U.S.-Iran relations with biracial humor and bilingual poetry  The Advocate

Writer and director Josh Hamzehee will perform "Burnt City," his one-man play, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-23 in LSU's HopKins Black Box Theatre, Room 137, Coates ...


Youth Poetry Slam just the first step in expression  soprissun.com

Jo Altmaier spends most of her time at Colorado Mountain College these days, but the Basalt High School senior really found her voice at last year's Poetry ...


Experiencing Northern Michigan: Community Reading Celebrating Poet Mary Oliver at Traverse City's Horizon Books  9&10 News

After Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver passed away last month, at the age of 83, the poetry lovers of Northern Michigan organized a community reading for ...


Skeen reflects on establishing poetry center  MSUToday

Anita Skeen, founding director of the Center for Poetry at MSU and a professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, is considered one of ...


Writing poetry as a step toward common ground  The Christian Century

Jacinta White, a poet in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, started the Word Project as a way to help youth tell their stories through poetry. She conducts workshops ...


High school students recite poetry at Arts Council event  Benitolink: San Benito County News

Five local students recited poetry during a contest at Anzar High School on Feb. 8, with the hopes of making it to the Poetry Out Loud state championship.


Reading High's poetry success continues  Reading Eagle

Senior Hannah Mogford wins Poetry Out Loud regional title.


Review | 'I don't get off/on pain anymore': Poets turn life's challenges into verse  The Washington Post

For nearly 30 years, Dorianne Laux has written about love and violence, survival and grief, in poems that are clear, compelling and insightful. In “Only as the Day ...


In 'Kill Class,' A Poet Aims To Map The Distance Between Perspectives  NPR

At her best, Nomi Stone is able to make an anthropological excavation into something beautiful and haunting, laced with double meanings. But at times she ...


Poetry pharmacy set to open in Shropshire  The Guardian

The Emergency Poet, Deborah Alma, plans to dispense literary first aid from a shop in Bishop's Castle.


Three Artists, Three Curators, Three Poets: Grace Hudson Museum hosting Valentine-themed poetry event  Ukiah Daily Journal

“Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey, and Grafton Tyler Brown” is the current exhibition at the Grace Hudson Museum.


Young people look for meaning. But poetry doesn’t always offer clarity  The Guardian

Bridget Minamore has written this original poem in response to news of the popularity of poetry among young people.


Poetry: Listening to Love and Heartbreak at St. Elmo's | The Zebra  The Zebra

Snap-snap-snap. There's nothing like sitting in St. Elmo's Coffee Pub on a Friday night and listening to Alexandrians pour their hearts out just before Valentine's ...


Jammu's 'poet laureate' Pandit Vidya Rattan 'Aasi' bids adieu  Daily Excelsior

Lalit Gupta With the demise of Pandit Vidya Rattan 'Aasi' on 11 Feb, 2019, the cultural landscape of Jammu in particular and Jammu and Kashmir's.


Local writer publishes 3rd book of poetry | Community  North Jefferson News

Local poet Tyler Adams has published his long-awaited third book of poetry, which he calls “my heart on paper.”


Black History Month poetry showcase to feature Flint poet, CMU student poets  Central Michigan Life

A poetry showcase for Black History Month will feature Flint poet Ernest Mack of "Nobody Big Yet" and Central Michigan University student poets as special ...


What poet Mary Oliver can teach us about dealing with criticism  Quartz

Nature poets aren't normally associated with controversy. But the New York Times' Friday morning briefing on the death of poet Mary Oliver couldn't resist a bit of ...


Remembering a inspiration: longtime Cape Cod poet and Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver  SouthCoastToday.com

Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”— Mary Oliver She's been on my mind these last few weeks.A longtime Cape Cod poet ...


Poetic Waxing (and Waning)  Tribune-Review

Our Book Club recently read various works by Edgar Allen Poe, including his poem 'The Raven.' This led to a discussion of poetry in general and complaints ...


Submit to the Plainfield poetry anthology  The Herald-News

The Plainfield Public Library is celebrating National Poetry Month in April by publishing a poetry anthology.


Sacramento State sponsors first public display of local poet’s ‘mysterious’ collages  Sacramento Bee

Sacramento State is hosting a gallery display of poems written and published by a local man known for pushing the boundaries of traditional poetry in the 1960s ...


Why we are in love with poetry again  Telegraph.co.uk

It's official: poetry is more popular than cricket. It was recently reported that, in any given year, more adults in England wrote a poem than played in a cricket ...


Nick Cave names his most loved poets  Far Out Magazine

Nick Cave has revealed some of his most loved poets while in conversation with his fans and included the likes of William Blake, E.E. Cummings and more.


American Life in Poetry: ‘Aquarium, February’ by Liz Ahl  The Spokesman-Review

Liz Ahl was once a very talented graduate student in our creative writing program at the University of Nebraska, but she's long since moved on to teach at ...


Satyajit Sarna’s debut poetry collection, The Profane, is a meditation on death, dissent and our time on...  Firstpost

The Profane is Delhi-based Satyajit Sarna's first collection of poetry and has “poems of heartbreak and disillusion, of loneliness and mortality, but also of passion ...


Micromobility: the Prose and Poetry of the Scooter-Faithful  WIRED

The shared, electric scooter and bike-based industry has earned its own conference—even as the hype starts to cool.


Retrospective collection by Robert Bly puts poetry at the center of life  Minneapolis Star Tribune

There might be little left to say about Robert Bly, the poet, critic, translator and nonagenarian whose astonishing “Collected Poems” is now available. Ever since ...


American Life in Poetry: ‘Weren’t We Beautiful’ by Marge Saiser  The Spokesman-Review

Marge Saiser, who lives in Nebraska, is a fine and a very lucky poet. With the passing of each year her poems have gotten stronger and deeper. That's an ...


Event celebrates poet Robert Bly and his ‘Collected Poems’  St. Paul Pioneer Press

Robert Bly and his newly published “Collected Poems” will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave., ...


Students connect with the incarcerated in poetry course  MSUToday

Guillermo Delgado, academic specialist in community and socially engaged arts in RCAH, leads a course at MSU where he and RCAH students venture to local ...


Book fair / Book fair flooded with lousy poetry books  newagebd.net

The number of new titles on poetry at Ekushey book fair is increasing every year but most of these publications severely lack in quality, both in terms of *content* ...


Deltona High students publish book of poetry  The West Volusia Beacon

From migrant workers to major-league sports stars, a new book of poetry written by an intensive reading class at Deltona High School pays tribute to all aspects ...


Award-winning poet reflects on themes of Black representation and masculinity  The Michigan Daily

The Zell Visiting Writer Series welcomed esteemed poet Major Jackson to the University of Michigan Museum of Art for a poetry reading on Thursday evening.


City's first Doric poetry slam to take place  Press and Journal

Jo Gilbert, 43, will host the first ever Doric Poetry Slam next month, and hopes the event will attract people from all backgrounds. The competition will be judged ...


Land of westlin’ winds: the best Scottish poetry for Burns Night  The Guardian

James Naughtie's picks include bashed pillows, sharp stars and sexy spacemen. What are your favourites?


Carroll County student takes first place in regional poetry competition  Carroll County Times

The Poetry Out Loud competition held annually encourages students to memorize and perform great poems. Gerstell Academy student Kate Maerten took home ...


James K Baxter: venerated poet's letters about marital rape rock New Zealand  The Guardian

Collection of writings just released includes references to rape of then-wife Jackie Sturm, herself an acclaimed poet and author.


Poetry in Motion: Actor brings famous works to life  WHAS11.com

Local actor and poet, Phillip Cherry, brings the work of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes to life.


Hebrew Poetry of Muslim Spain is Topic of 2019 Carleton Forkosh Family Judaic Studies Lecture  Carleton College News

Poet and Hebrew translator Peter Cole will present Carleton's 2019 Forkosh Family Lecture in Judaic Studies on Monday, Feb. 18, from 8-9 p.m. in Leighton Hall ...


Lost Poet Wine From Winc & Atticus Is Here To Become The Instagram Aesthetic Of Millennial Dreams  Bustle

Artfully photographed glasses of wine are all over Instagram — but a new collab between two digital age favorites encourages social media-savvy wine ...


Remembering Al Mahmud's literary contribution  The Daily Star

Al Mahmud was one of the most iconic poets in Bengali literature. In his early youth, he entered Dhaka city with a broken suitcase. The same man, through his ...


Three Lessons Change Agents Can Learn From Mary Oliver's Life And Poetry  Forbes

An inspired look at Mary Oliver's poetry and a few lessons activists, humanitarians and social entrepreneurs can learn from her words, work and world.


Fourth Jibanananda Das Poetry Festival starts in Barisal  Dhaka Tribune

Uttoron Sangskritik Sangathan, a cultural-literary organization of BM College, is the organizer of the festival. The festival will feature discussion on the life and ...


H.E.R. Speaks On Drake Collaboration Prospect, J. Cole & Poetry  HotNewHipHop

Her heart cherishes lyrical prowess. The musical talents of H.E.R. are undeniable. The mystical songstress was honored with a Grammy Award nomination for ...


Fulbright Fellow's poetry reading tugs heartstrings  The Brown Daily Herald

On the evening of Feb. 5, Room 101 of Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center turned into an intimate and inviting space for Brown community members to hear ...


300 Million Poets: Amateur Poetry and Our Imminent Reconnection to the Land  Resilience

The “poetry of everyday life” -- amateur poetry written every day by common people; personal reflections written and shared with family and neighbors,


"Ode to the Zip Code" poetry contest begins Friday  13abc Action News

Residents are invited to write poems inspired by their zip code.


Joey Diaz at Fox Theatre, poetry readings, and so much theater  Arizona Daily Star

Family Friendly Improv Comedy — Unscrewed Theater, 4500 E. Speedway. Taking suggestions from the audience, performers create games and scenes right ...


Poetry slam  Mount Desert Islander

BAR HARBOR — The next “Verse Unleashed! Poetry Slam” is set for Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library. “Whether it's a haiku, free verse.


Baylor English Professor and Poet Receives One of New Zealand's Leading National Literary Awards  Baylor University

Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship will allow Chloe Honum, Ph.D., to research and write during four-month residence at Sargeson Centre in Auckland.


Valentine’s Day: Impress them with these love poems  The Irish Times

Michael Longley, Elaine Feeney and eight other Irish poets choose their favourite romantic verse.


Huckleberries: CdA’s propagator of poetry pens poems that are pure Montana  The Spokesman-Review

Roger Dunsmore has spent the six years in his adopted hometown of Coeur d'Alene promoting the work of other poets. Dunsmore?


PCHS Senior Wins Local Poetry Out Loud Competition  KPCW

Following a very close competition on Tuesday afternoon, Park City High School Senior Carly Herr was named the school winner in the Poetry Out Loud.


Impressive history: Poets follow footsteps of Lanier’s past greats  Montgomery Advertiser

Sidney Lanier boys move into state quarterfinals for the 31st time in school history with Southeast Regional victory. Poets to face rival Carver for regional title.


Once more with feeling: Juneau poetry contest winner gets second shot at state  Juneau Empire

It was a very happy birthday for high schooler Morgan Blackgoat.


Teachers promise to print book of their poetry motivates Deltona High students  Daytona Beach News-Journal

Ripping the wrapping paper from the packages in front of them, students in Hazel Sparrow's intensive reading class at Deltona High began to grin once they ...


Poetry In Motion | Community  Yankton Daily Press

Jim Reese's writing has taken him many different places — college classrooms, lecture halls and even prisons.


Crawford: Remembering a poet who wrote in the 'vernacular of humanity'  Greenville News

Katherine Scott Crawford writes about recently deceased poet Mary Oliver.


Salina poet Patricia Traxler wins 2019 Kansas Book Award  Salina Journal

Salina poet Patricia Traxler has been named the winner of the 2019 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry for her collection "Naming the Fires."This year's ...


February's Bushwick Bohemia Beat Poetry is Here: Words of Love  bushwickdaily.com

Bushwick-born poet, Emanuel Xavier, curates a monthly feature exclusively for Bushwick Daily, featuring poems by local Bushwick residents and/or natives.


Speculative Poetry: Poems of SFF and Other-Worldly Visions  Book Riot

Speculative poetry is an expanding genre with numerous sub-genres. To help you sort them out, we've rounded up some must-read collections.


North Central WV students to compete in statewide Poetry Out Loud competition  WBOY.com

Fifty-one West Virginia high school students, including ten from the north central region, will compete in the statewide finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition.


Poet Infuses Spoken Word Into Walking Tours  Spectrum News 1

Mike Sonksen began writing poems in college and conducting tours after graduation. Before long, he merged the two.


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