Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tuesday Tip #13: Writing poetry, part 1

Do you dream of being a published poet or possibly writing a rhyming picture book some day? Maybe you've always loved poetry and would like to try your hand at it. Here are a couple tips to get you started.

1. Read poetry—all kinds. Study it. What makes it appeal to you? What do you not like about it? What do you think when you come across poems with choppy meter or near rhymes? Knowing what appeals to you in others’ poetry will help you find your own poetic style.

2. Write, write, and write some more. Polish your poems until they sparkle. You may have a great ear for rhyme, but that doesn’t mean your poetry is as good as it could be. Rhyme is only one part of the equation, and not the most important. A good poem—whether rhyming or not—uses the fewest words possible to get the point across. Take the time to learn about rhyme and meter (we'll talk more about that later). Practice various forms of poetry, such as couplets, cinquains, haiku, free verse, etc.

Reading list: Dr. Seuss, Jane Yolen, Jack Prelutsky, Shell Silverstein, Sharon Creech's LOVE THAT DOG

More to come next week!


  1. I have got to read LOVE THAT DOG!

  2. Yes, you really do need to. It's a quick read. You can read it in less than an hour, as long as your kids aren't bugging you.


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