The nation is often divided over poetry. There are some writers who love writing creative prose; I am one of them. We write short stories, novellas, fiction pieces, sometimes even creative articles. Yet the thought of writing poetry scares us. Then there are poetry lovers; creative writers who shy away from the thought of writing a full on fiction novel and opt instead for a shorter piece of creative poetry. And of course there will be some lucky, talented writers who will happily turn their hand to poetry and prose, and find enjoyment and fulfillment in both styles of writing.
Ultimately anyone can be a poet and often people find that they have written little pieces of poetry before without even realising they’ve done so. Perhaps for example you have created rhyming songs for your children – these count as small pieces of poetry. You may have written love notes to your partner, or song lyrics as a teenager in a band – these are all good examples of how language has been used musically to create some form of poetry. Often individuals are shocked by how well they can actually create poems, and how much pleasure they get from writing creatively in this way.
If you decide that poetry writing might be something you’d like to try, you’ll need to first come up with a subject matter. Poetry can be written about anything. Shakespeare focused on tragedy and love, but then you have poets such as Roger McGough who enjoy writing poetry on the simplest things in life. Anything and everything can provide inspiration for poetry writing. Don’t feel constricted by writing about your emotions; often innate artifacts can provide great subject matters for creative poetry.
The next question that people ask themselves when writing poetry is often about the length. How long should the poem be? Ultimately there isn’t a word length for poetry, and a poem’s length is determined by the type of poem written and the content that you are trying to convey. Generally however you should remember that in poetry more than anywhere, every word counts. Words hold power, so use them wisely.
And finally, once your poem has been drafted, poets often wonder about how detailed the editorial and proofreading element of the poem finalisation should be. The best advice is that poetry, as with all creative writing, should be edited and proofread by an external individual; someone who can provide an objective view on your written work.