For some of us, when we hear the word poetry our minds immediately associate it with a few things, such as old English we can’t understand (sorry Shakespeare- major respect though!), analogies and words that make no sense together and just sound pretentious , and odd free verse yelling or cliché nature scenes.
Of course, this isn’t what poetry is all about, but almost everything sadly has some sort of stigma attached to it. So, what is poetry all about then? Can you be a poet? Do you want to be? Let me take you on a hypothetical taxi ride to tour this city of poetry, hop on in!
First stop, Poet’s Avenue. So, what does it mean to be a poet, do you have what it takes? First off, if you deeply truly want to be a poet and poetry makes you feel something then BOOM congratulations! You are a poet! There aren’t any serious requirements to be a poet besides the task itself to write poetry. Now I can’t say there’s a for sure recipe on how to become a world-famous poet as that’s between you, your mind, and the pen to the paper.
Now, if you’ll take a look up ahead you’ll see our next stop, The Style Factory. Each writer themselves has a style/voice, and a poet needs that and one other thing that’s basically broken down into two different areas: rhyming or non-rhyming. However, you can mix it up and do both! I believe typically a poet sticks to one or the other, but hey you be a radical and do both if you feel called to it!
There are tons of different rhyming styles you can do (we’ll save that for another article, but a quick Google search will let you know!) and challenging yourself and making your own rhyming patterns is a lot more fun than it sounds. Though I myself am not very experienced with non-rhyming poetry, it is very beautiful, and many people are drawn to it. Whatever your poem is, remember it’s yours, and your poetry is a part of you, so of course it matters!
Now let’s take a cruise down our next stop, Muse Parkway. Muse is a lovely term for your inspiration. What makes you want to write poetry?
Is it the way Fall makes you feel while you’re walking down the sidewalk and you walk past the window of a cafe? Is it the way music makes you feel like you’re on a whole other planet? Or maybe it’s a great profound love in your life, or a deep seeded passion to advocate for something you believe in.
Whatever you find your mind thinking about while reading these examples, that’s your muse. And it’s very important to channel it and remember why your muse means so much to you.
Believe it or not, it truly shines through your work! Your muse can change, it doesn’t have to be one thing forever, but keep it close to you and let it show you the way in your writing.
And here’s your [hypothetical] destination: Poetry Time Train Station!
Which train will you hop on? Rhyming railroad? Free verse boxcar? Or perhaps you’ll take the caboose and create a whole new view of poetry!
Whichever way you decide to start, or if you want to start at all, remember that there isn’t a “right way” to write poetry; it’s an expression, so express yourself! Try to refrain from comparing your work to others, be yourself, and write how you see the world. You may be surprised how many people see what you do. So, get out there and write!