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Writing poetry is easy! But how do we know if it's any good?

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One thing stands out whilst considering why and how people write poetry - and that is, the words come when they are ready to come. This statement is borne out by several prize-winning and highly respected poets who have contributed to a recently published book titled The Process of Poetry. In this fascinating book the reader is given a glimpse into the different methodologies used to make a top-rate poem, including a comparison of the difference between first drafts and the finished articles.

On Write Out Loud we have an incredibly diverse resource of poets from around the globe who, by having registered with the website, can enjoy having their work read and commented on by their fellow poet peers. Virtually every subject under the sun finds its way into the poems in the Write Out Loud Blog section.

This got us wondering when, where, why and how Write Out Louders become motivated to write the poems that they do. Often personal experiences with life, health, relationships and money feature regularly, as do issues concerning the environment, politics and world events.

But what is it that makes people put pen to paper, or perhaps more typically in these technology-driven times, finger to phone?

When the words start appearing, how long does constructing a poem take? How many drafts are used to hone them down to the final version? Does inspiration happen more often at night, or on the bus, train or bicycle going to work or to school?

Is it easier to write about one’s personal experiences (authors of fiction would have it so) or events external to one’s own environment?

How is one’s poetry validated, by a close friend, a like-minded open mic group or on a website such as Write Out Loud? Does such feedback force a change to the work, or is a poem really finished when it’s finally given wings?

Such are the questions and scenarios that encircle and envelop the poetry communities around the land. Good poetry isn’t as easy to write as one would think. But when is poetry right or wrong? Is there such a thing a right way?

There are many forms of poetry, from a simple seventeen-syllable, three-line haiku, to a more complicated villanelle or fourteen-line sonnet. Does a poem have to conform to a set, recognised scheme or be totally free verse and what about rhyming? Not all poems (increasingly so it seems) rhyme in any way at all.

All of these questions and many more can be asked and answered on Write Out Loud every day on either the blog section or the more specific discussion group section. Direct feedback or commentary, both positive or constructively critical is encouraged too on the comments section.

Here on Write Out Loud the old adage, ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’, is very true. So why not explore the site more fully? We’d like to know what you think!

 

 

◄ Poetic splendour: festival tour around Northumberland's Seaton Delaval Hall

How to write a villanelle ... ►

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Comments

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Hélène

Fri 5th Apr 2024 03:27

I tend to like poems that have an instinctive rhythm to them; that make the reader feel the words; almost like a chant or a song. Rhyming, although fun, is not particularly important to me, as a reader or a writer. I usually get inspiration in the form of a single sentence that pops in my head; I grab a pen (or my cell phone) and start writing, to see what flows. Enjoyed reading this post, Graham! Thanks for the referral to The Process of Poetry book.

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John Coopey

Wed 3rd Apr 2024 09:47

I think asking if poetry is any good is like asking if jam is any good. You like it or you don’t.

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 3rd Apr 2024 08:53

I tend to redraft poems quite a lot and will often agonise over a choice of one particular word (I suspect I'm not alone here).

Inspiration (or what passes for it in my case) can happen at night, in the early hours. Walking the dog is another occasion for ideas to come, although remembering them until we get back can be a struggle!

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 1st Apr 2024 17:53

All poetry is subjective in its appeal. The more important
quality is surely whether it is memorable.

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