How To Write And Self-Publish A Poetry Book

self-publish poetry book

Being able to write poetry is something everyone aspires. But it’s not that easy. Before I tell you how to write poetry, Im going to tell you the ad-vantages to it.

Advantages Of Learning To Write A Poem

advantages of learning

People learn to write poetry for other reasons apart from being a professional poet as they are beneficial in several ways. The main reasons are :

–  It is therapeutic. It helps healing as poetry gives a chance for emotional expression. It provides a safe way to vent, examine and understand our feelings.

–  It helps with self-awareness. You get a clarity about your thoughts and feelings that helps you express better.

–   Helps become aware of what you write. Poetry involves strong language without unnecessary words. If you know how to write a poem, writing a novel will because easier for you as your prose will become crisper.

–  Helps with critical thinking. Poetry helps challenge ourselves intellectually.

–  Helps develop perspective. Writing poetry helps us view the world from different perspectives.

–  Strengths cognitive process. Whether we’re searching for the perfect word, working out how to articulate a thought, etc., steps involved in crafting poetry helps strengthen the cognitive process.

types of poetry

Types Of Poetry

Some of the popular types of poetry are: 

Epic – Epics originate from ancient Greece, where epikós meant “speech,” “tale,” or “song.” Like a ballad, an epic is a narrative poem that spins a lengthy tale of a hero’s great valour and adventure.

Limerick – A limerick contains five lines with rhyming pattern AABBA. This typeof poetry is a brief and bouncy poem ideal for Mother Goose-style nursery rhymes. 

Sonnet – Sonnet means “little song” from the Italian word sonetto. The traditional sonnet consists of 14 lines divided into 2 stanzas (8 and 6 lines each). There is no definitive structure or rhyme scheme.

Villanelle –  Is a 19-line poem divided into five tercets (three-line stanzas) and a closing quatrain (four-line stanza). It has a regular rhyming scheme and two refrains that are echoed in each stanza. 

Elegy – The word elegy describes the content of the poem, not its form. Elegies are poems written to lament someone’s death.  Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” Is a great example.

Haiku – The Japanese haiku is a popular type of poetry. It is a rigidly-structures poetic form that consists of three lines of five, seven and give syllables. Later, the haiku broke away from its longer context into the profound three-line poems popular today. 

Ballad – The ballad’s lyrical rhythm and rhyme nod to the fact that this poetic form is rooted in song. The term ballad is derived from the Latin word ballāre meaning “to dance.” The traditional ballad was performed at dances in time with music. This form of narrative poem is structured with an unspecific number of rhyme four-line stanzas.

Examples: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Acrostic – Are words, names or messages spelled out by particular letters in a series of lines. This intelligent form of wordplay has been used by popular authors like William Blake, Lewis Carroll, and John Milton.

8 Keys To Write A Poem

key to write a poem

1. Have A Goalhave a goal

What is the purpose of writing a poem? Is it for your audience or for you? Poetry is a personal form of writing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share it with your audience.

If you decide it’s for an audience, decide what you moral or feeling you want to convey. What are you trying to express?

2. Structure of writing a poem

structure of writing a poem

Form 

This is the physical structure of your poem. It should have requirements for rhyme, line length, no of lines/ stanzas, etc.

Here are various forms of poetry and the number of lines it usually has:

Haiku:  A poem of 3 lines. The first line is 5 syllables, the middle line is 7 syllables, and the last line is 5 syllables.

Limerick: This is a 5-line witty poem with the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme as do the other two with each other.

Sonnet: A rhyming, short poem of 14 lines.

Epic: Is a narrative poem that celebrates a hero’s great valour, adventure and accomplishments.

Acrostic: Are words, names or messages spelled out by particular letters in a series of lines.

Couplet: Can stand alone as a poem of two lines that rhyme or can be a part of a poem.

Free verse: The type doesn’t follow any rules and is free written by the author. Less experienced writers stick to write a free verse poem. As a free verse poem doesn’t follow any rules, and has no form of its own, a poet may decide to have a certain rhyming scheme if he (s)he wishes.

The main advantage of a free verse poem is that you can set up any theme/ pattern you wish or have none.

3. Meaning

meaning

Every poem has a deeper meaning to what you read. If not there is no point of a poem at all.

Majority aspiring poets write on what’s trending instead of what they are passionate about.

Write a poem only if you’re truly passionate about it, or else it won’t have any meaning to it.

To write a poem with meaning you can:

Brainstorm poetry ideas. How? By looking at your own experiences. What do you feel deeply about? Can you make people feel what you feel deeply by putting it into words?

At the same time, you don’t need something extraordinary to write about.

4. Imagery

imagery

Rather than going for the obvious description, really put yourself in the moment to see what you’re feeling and then write.

Some examples are: Crackling popped in rhythm to the dancing flames, Burning light painted the insides of his eyelids red.

5. Punctuation

punctuation

Punctuation for a poem can be different from the punctuation of a book.

The 3 essential ways to punctuate your poetry is:

– Stylistically:  You use punctuation the way you ant your poem to be read.

  • A comma indicates a short pause.
  • A period indicates a longer pause.
  • A dash indicates a pause with connection to thoughts.

Using no punctuation will lead to a rushed feeling, which you might want. Your punctuation choices will depend on your goals when writing a poem.

Grammatically: A poem has lines and stanzas that can be grammatically written.

If you remove the lines and stanzas, you will have a paragraph by itself with grammar.

A dialogue between two people also can be derived from that poem.

A combination: You can have a certain line read in a certain way even if you follow most of the punctuation rules.

6. Sound

sound

First rule to remember is to never force a rhyme. A rhyme on every line makes your poem look amateur. Going with a strict rhyme scheme can lessen your word limit and creativity.

Here are some options instead of going for exact end rhymes when writing:

Alliteration: Is the repetition of a consonant at the beginning of words.  Eg: She sells seashells by the sea-shore.

Assonance: Is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words. Eg: Hear the mellow wedding bells by Edgar Allen Poe.

Internal rhymes: Is the rhyming of words inside a sentence rather than the end of words.

7. Last Words

last words

The last word of a line, your poem and the last line of your poem are important as these are the bits that have more emphasis and are remembered by the reader.

Ending with a dash, period or comma will give a dramatically different read than a poem without any punctuation at all.

Read your poem out a couple of times see where you would like the emphasis to fall.

8. Avoid Cliches

avoid clicks

Since you talk about how you feel, your poem must be as crisp and original as it can. Avoid cliches. If there is any part of your poem you feel you’ve heard before, try to use different words.

Cut Back And Refine

Once you have your draft ready, cut back to only what’s necessary.

Every word should be essential and with absolute emotion.

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Is it too long? Is it too short? Ask yourself questions.

After you’re done cutting back, refine the living heck out of it. Don’t be in a hurry to rephrase it. It might take weeks, months or even years. Be patient. It’s awesome you have goals, but take as long as the poem needs.

How To Self-Publish Your Poetry book

poetry book

  1. Write many poems. Majority poetry books have at least 25 poems in them. It’s going to take a while to write these many poems so get writing!
  2. Choose your poems. A poetry collection must have a theme. Choose your poems around a particular theme, idea, style, subject.
  3. Edit your collection. Now that you’ve roughly picked out the poems you want, you need to edit your poems to the most essential collections. Remove any poem that isn’t connected to your theme at all. Save the remaining poems for promoting your book or for your next collection.
  4. Decide on your format. Do you want your poetry book to have black and white pages or color?
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