Tips and tricks to improve your poetry skills

What is usually your go to or what moves you to write a poetry?

Because when I started writing poetry, it wasn’t intended, it was too raw, an outburst of feelings that struggled to find its place inside of me. Poetry was a place for my feelings to settle somewhere without being messed, questioned or prodded on.

My feelings, like myself, were on a path of self discovery searching within themselves looking for the place that they belong within my world. It was then I started writing poetry that I started noting my feelings down and finding them a place to forever be alive.

Now whenever you read your piece you would these feelings blooming out its fragrance like a flower that just blossomed. Its beautiful, its enlivening and it holds a definite place in ourselves.

Here are a few tips like to share with you. These tips are interrelated to each other and are essential for a good poetry writing.

1. Feelings.

What I intend to say here is that a poem full of raw feelings brings out the right set of lines if you learn to conquer and understand them. Whenever you feel like things get too much or you feel really numb, take out your pen and paper and start drafting out a poem.

There is a saying, “Great pain evolves great masterpieces.”* and even the infamous quote by William Wordsworth says, ” Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” . So, next time you feel overwhelmed, you know what you can do.

 Your feelings can also be wielded out from within you by involving or imagining yourself in that particular scenario you wish to write. It does not necessarily have to be you waiting to feel overwhelmed enough so you can write a poetry. Imagine powerfully enough to capture and build your poem upon it.

Your feelings and the way you understand and explain them, will rule the outcome of your poetry. You learn to wield them, for you are your own master.

 Remember, ” Only a great poet knows how to wield his feelings into words and lines of vibrant couture such that the reader transitions into a different world than his own, enlivening it.” – S. A. Khan.

 2. Source of inspiration:

Now, next comes in your source of inspiration. When it comes to me, I am a natural observer and very sensitive to my surroundings, so much that I draw inspiration from just about anywhere. It could be a still tree for someone, but for me the tree would speak its life story, it could be just an ant to someone, but what one can even see is how it can carry on a load heavier than its own body.

 It could just be a fallen drop of dew, but if you look close, it hold an enigma of its on small world in it.

Beauty certainly comes from the eyes of a beholder, and if you want to be amongst them, change the perspective of your angles and observe gently. Every single object, even a floating pollen has its own story.

 If one is to sit and note all, he would be living in such a depth of life no one would have ever thought possible. Its why they say, ” Inspiration starts where you choose to start it.” – S. A. Khan.

Yet many of us also have a certain someone who inspires them or a memento or memory that encapsulates deep feelings of one’s heart. It can be just about anything that triggers your feelings or your thoughts, be it negative or positive. I would repeat, You learn to wield them, you are your own master.

3. Reading Books.

Another important aspect is reading books lots of books. The more you read the more enhanced your vocabulary and your writing will be. A good poet will always involve himself in reading books, articles or even newspapers. Enhancing your vocabulary and flow can only come by reading many other works of literature. The poetries of other great poets will also greatly influence and inspire you to write.

For me, reading other poetries and articles has influenced very greatly. It has helped a lot with my flow and rhythm and vocabulary as well. I have found my writing style through them.

 On a side note, reading poetries aloud occasionally, be it any, helps you figure out the rhythm, flow, punctuations and a lot more.

4. Knowledge of poetry:

My next point will be the knowledge of poetry, What it is, the types of poetry structures, sequences, rhyme, styles, meters, rhythm, flow and so much more. Having this knowledge will help you gain a deeper insight into the world of poetry. You will know what exactly is poetry and how it has evolved over the decades; an unforgotten tale of the times.

 This is a very important aspect just as important as any other of my points. It is a must to surf through the web to gain understanding of them. Due to lack of knowledge your poetry may lack something or the other. Having a nuanced understanding of poetry and its techniques will keep you on track for creating your polished piece.

 Once you familiarize yourself with the different types and forms of poetry have the flow and rhythm to a natural level (as in use the flow and rhythm to make your words flow smoothly.)

Challenge yourself to write poems within a set time or use a picture and get into it. Involve your feelings in it. Always read your poems aloud to check your flow and rhythm by fixing your punctuations and line breaks.

 5. Reviews, suggestions, critiques.

Amongst all these it must be kept in mind to seek out readers who will give reviews, ideas and suggestions, and critiques. Preferably look for a good poet who has an open mind or a reader who understands and loves poetry.

Good reviews will change your idea formation structure and perspective at poetry. You will know what it is lacking in and how you can bring more depth in your piece.

 Do not shy away from constructive criticism. Khan will frown upon you.

They play a major role in exemplifying your poetic skills, join communities and contests to test your skills and learn more about the art of poetry.

 ” Inner battles aren’t fought, they are wielded out through expressions of skills; stated, recognized and brought to one’s understanding.” -S. A. Khan

 To know your skills completely and evolve them, you either become a critic yourself or let others critic you.

6. Editing your poetries:

One way to edit your poetries is to simply start editing them first, then send your first draft and edited second draft to a peer and let them compare the drafts to see which is the better of the two. You can also check it yourself or ask for advice from someone experienced in the field.

Once you receive suggestions for improvement, make sure you understand the reasoning behind the suggestion. When editing based on these suggestions ensure that the meaning you are trying to portray doesn’t fade after the edit.

 A good round of editing emphasizes and brings out the beauty in your poem. No poem is outright polished and ready, every draft has cuts errors and shuffling of lines before we finally have our masterpieces.

Editing is a crucial process although sometimes very frustrating and hectic, it is encouraged to gather skills to do basic editing and as you progress with your experiences, your editing and insight will improve and aid with better results to your work.

7. Your pronunciation and spelling of words.

One major thing that affects your poetry skills vastly in your pronunciation and spelling errors. Keep a monthly check on all that you pronounce and how you pronounce then. Evaluate them and keep improving them as much as possible, be conscious of how you pronounce and how you write down the spelling.

Often, the way you pronounce is the way you write down its spelling. Be conscious and closely monitor how you speak out words. 

And this was the last point,

Now I will simply share in some observations I’ve made and experienced that are life changing. Replacing short hands with actual words.

  1. Learning more than one language.
  2. Practicing your conversational and speech skills, either by speaking it out to yourself or to someone close to you.
  3. Building up on your self confidence and love. 
  4. Knowing yourself and what you do. (self awareness)

If you conquer them you’ll do good well not just in your poetry skills but various aspects of your life.

S.A. Khan

S.A. Khan

S. A. Khan is a published author of "When Nature Beckons You", poet, writer and content writer, who goes by the pen name Meraki’s Quill. She was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia and currently resides in India. She is a college student pursuing bachelors in Psychology, Literature and Politics, and sees herself to be a clinical psychologist in future.

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