Writing poetry - advice needed

Discussion in 'Poetry' started by Alomiakoda, May 14, 2004.

  1. Alomiakoda

    Alomiakoda Boniface McSporran

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    I have a problem when trying to write...I either try to make it have a rhyming pattern and end up with a piece of nonsense just to make it fit, or go with no rhyming and end up with something really obscure that makes absolutely no sense.

    I'm also shit when it comes to adjectives :p
  2. HappyChild

    HappyChild Member

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    i used to get hung up on those kinds of things too.
    but remember, there are no rules to poetry.
  3. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

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    i find rhyming makes it easier for us when were not quite sure what it is were righting about.

    try thinking of a theme first of all, know what you want to say.

    it takes more talent to say it without rhyming, so i suggest starting with rhyming.

    good luck!
  4. SoundStepper

    SoundStepper Member

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    i agree with the post above, think of what you wanna say, then try and find the words and then make the lines of words to desribe what it is you want to say, okay fine i'll admit i write better when i have a buzz, do whatever it takes to make your mind flow better, but once you figure out how your going to do that your much better off, don't worry about rhymes, many of writers don't, i don't, mabye think of your melody but not the rhyme. Good luck man, its true though practice does make perfect.
  5. sonik

    sonik Member

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    ok maybe not

    I stink at writing poetry

  6. fizzy_elf

    fizzy_elf Member

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    heres some bits of advice off the top of my head...

    you say you "try" to make it rhyme, or just "go with no rhyming", i recommend you dont "try" to do anything, just let it come out. if it ends up rhyming then its a poem that was destined to rhyme i guess! and of course the same with no rhyming, if it sounds good without it, leave it out.

    second, if your shit with adjectives go and read! read books, poetry, short stories, lyrics, whatever. you'll be surprised the amount of ideas and vocabulary you will pick up. i try to use a broad vocab even when speaking. it livens things up a little :)
    you could also use the humble and underrated theosaurus or dictionary. learn some interesting words and what they mean. it will help you with any kind of writing and you may discover the perfect word(s) for saying exactly what you want to say in a small word gap :D

    make a list of all your favourite words. verbs, adjectives and adverbs i would recommend most. find as many interesting and unusual words as you can (theosaurus and/or dictionary will help if you get stuck, but try to do it from your own head). words you find beautiful, grotesque, funny looking, dramatic, words that feel nice to say or sound good. link these words together into short phrases or sentences (it is surprisingly easy once you have the hang of it) and you'll start to write like this naturally, using all the words you come to learn.

    carry a notebook. make a note everytime inspiration hits so you dont forget it!!

    and like everyone says, practice is a surefire way of getting better :)

    good luck, hope at least some of this was useful :)

    love, the elf xxxx
  7. tourmaline

    tourmaline Member

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    don't think.

    when it flows - you are writing poetry
  8. Cirrhosis

    Cirrhosis Banned

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    I either completely disagree with most of what people are saying here, or I believe they're only saying half of it.

    To whomever said there are no rules to poetry: That is a common excuse used by lazy poets. It is true, there are no rules to poetry. However, there are rules for good poetry. Good poetry has a rhythm, a structure, a pattern, and/or above all, it presents the reader with an idea, and then builds on that idea. Also key: Good word usage, display of emotion yet a display of ability to be cerevral with said emotion, proper grammar, and no free-form crap.

    People say, "Let it flow." They are half-way there. First, write with your heart. Then, write with your head. It's basically what you're taught in English class. Rough draft, possibly more drafts, final draft. Rough drafts are always written with all your soul. Never think when writing a first draft. The following drafts make it enjoyable for the reader.

    And to any of you say you should never write for the entertainment of other people: I'll bet you wonder why no one likes your poetry.

    You see, writers write for many reasons, and all of those reasons vary from writer to writer. However, one reason is firm for all true writiers: Writers write so that readers can read.

    And always, always remember this: Not everyone who writes a poem is a poet. A true poet is someone who is i touch with their emotions, yet can display it in a way that one can actually want to read. "I'm in love, she's so great, etc." or "These tears drip from my face, Why did you do this to me?" or "Shut up, You're all full of shit" and so on and so forth is not poetry, and it never will be. And the people who write those poems are not poets. They may call themselves poets, but this is only because they have no idea what they're talking about (just read their so-called poems).

    Sorry, I went off on a rant.

    I suppose I'll sum it up with this: It is obvious what is good poetry and what is a waste of words. Please don't write the latter.
  9. MarkN

    MarkN Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    Look man, your all ways going to have people telling you what poetry is and what it isn't. Fuck them. Those types that try to put everything they see is some nice little orderly structure. For "thier" benifit, not yours or the world. They can't stand to see anything disshoveled, or messy. They must curse god when they look at 2 leaves from the same tree....because no 2 leaves are the same. Nature doesn't fit in a box. These people are not artist. They like it, probably envious. So they judge it.
    Poetry is like jazz. Write what you feel. don't put restrictions on yourself. Not self imposed restrictions or restrictions from the art nazis.
    Others opinions.....trash can them. Start with a fresh canvas. you only need 3 things to write.

    1. desire......you alread have that. good start.

    2. inspiration

    3. passion

    look at the artist in history....the impressionist (van gogh, Guigan, Renior etc}.
    They were rebels of the "art" community. They were about breaking the bondage of "what good art is" for that particular time. Most of them rarely sold any of thier stuff. and died poor. Get use to it. Write for the love of writing, not to please some anal retentive art critic. Good advice earlier in the threat, read everything you can get your hands on. Good readers make good writers.
    Good luck
  10. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

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    Don't inhibit the spirit flow with cerebral ramifications.
    You'll find then that the right people dig your emanations.
    Read and write, write and read, give it time and you will see
    everything doesn't have to be a tragic comedy, shakepearean
    droning on about the byronic delirium of incessant verbalism,
    what a waste of time if all you want to say is FUCK YOU,

    Connections are made that the critical just don't see,
    so they disect and analyze, and wonder why, oh why-
    "How has this art I have mutilated come to be dead before me?"


    much love, best of luck :)
  11. Communism

    Communism Member

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    I suck at writing poems. All advice I can give you is:
    Just listen to some music, drink a little (a little!), relax, let the thoughts flow.
  12. ripple23

    ripple23 Member

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    The best thing you can do starting out especially is read. if you dont read you don't know what you like. it will open you up to styles and ideas that you can expand on. my advice is read everything.
  13. Cirrhosis

    Cirrhosis Banned

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    I like how you tell her not to listen to anyone telling her how to write...then proceed to tell her how to write. G'job.
  14. thoughtless_wanderer

    thoughtless_wanderer Member

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    I myself as a novelist by nature, and I know what you mean about getting things to flow, poetry is not my strong point. However, it acts as a much needed form of expression for the heart. And for that reason, I would recommend that you not think about what you want to write, but feel it. Open your heart to your other senses, sit quietly and listen to the murmurings from deep within. The reading will most definately increase your use of adjectives and broaden your vocabulary to aid you in your effort to put into words your most complex and intricate human emotions. And don't ever tell yourself you suck. So it doesn't rhyme, so what? It has rough edges, so what? Is it not still your very own expression? Do you not feel the echoing of the words from your soul ringing true? If your heart's need to be expressed is fulfilled, than your poetry has served it's purpose, and to hell with the critique of those whose strengths lie in areas other than yours. If you don't make a comparison, of your work to someone elses, then you are capable of truly appreciating both forms of expression, and acknowledging your ability to be an equal with everyone elses. It matters not how smart you are, but how aware. Trust yourself.
  15. MarkN

    MarkN Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    Uh? What's the name of this forum? Oh yeah, "Writing poetry, advice needed"
    Thats just my advice....ok?
  16. spicypisces

    spicypisces Member

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    I think it's great that you have come and said something as bold as "I'm shit with Adjectives". That, my friend, means you have potential. If you can tear your writing up ("Kill you Babes" as it were), then you have within you potential to be a good poet.

    Bad poets are the ones that are so impressed with their first draft, they're loathe to mess with it for fear that their magic touch will somehow wither on the page.

    Good poets are FEARLESS! First....spew. SAY it. FEEL it. Don't worry about who gets it. NEXT - get rid of the passive voice. "I will be coming to your house at 3" NO. I'm comin' over at 3! "All of a sudden a thought came to me. NO! Suddeny I was seized by a thought! The passive voice is an evil and insidious creature that can find it's way into even the best writers work.

    After you've said what you FELT, say what you MEAN. This is the part where you can create metaphors, analogies, all of those things that making writing a truly rewarding experience. This is also the part where you can wreck your poem. This is the part where heart beats can become "the tumultuous drumbeats of the dying soldiers in my chest" and tears can become "fast and furious torrents of hot searing liquid pouring down the craggy, screwed up surface of my horribly contorted face". Don't get caught in the adjective trap. It's like alcohol. Know your limit.

    Also, don't try to use big words to sound smart. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. The most pleasurable reading is reading that we don't need a dictionary to enjoy. You don't HAVE to tell us her poem was scintillating but prosaic. Just come right out and admit that it was fancy - but boring. No one's going to think you're any smarter anyway. Anyone can get there hands on a thesaurus.

    Lastly, edit for style. Hmmm... there's a lot of internal rhyme here, maybe I'll turn it into a classic quatrain-style rhyming poem. Or maybe, the prose is so touching, you want to just let it flow. Consider your audience too.

    BUT above ALL of this, READ READ READ. You just may find yourself developing into your favorite writers' style, that's a great way to start. Use them for inspiration, and build on it.

    GOOD LUCK! Hope this helps you.
  17. Cirrhosis

    Cirrhosis Banned

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    Finally, someone who knows how to write.

    But instead of actually saying "tears" and "face", why not take it a step further?

    "The festers boiling on this jagged surface"

    You get the pleasure of saying what you mean, and a phrase that can be easily interpreted many ways, making it easier for the reader to relate.

    An example of a full poem written with this philosophy:

    I leave this uncertain world
    In star-lit harmony, where
    Desperate pleas have fallen
    From the tongues of destiny
    I can't press on, beyond
    This neglected day-dream
    And on golden horizon
    Lies this young yet broken steed

    In your narrow light
    Under moons of time
    I heard the whisper of
    The lingering dead
    For once in my life
    I know I'm not lost
    In a land of memory

    Distorted angels claim
    Violence is the way
    Of God's true soul
    In fleeting suffrages
    And what hearts are
    Honest to themselves?
    What words can be held
    In this uncertain world?

    I got across the my meaning in writing that, but because of the way it's written, it can easily be interpreted into many different things. Also, and I won't lie, an extended and well-used vocabulary is always going to impress people, even if they don't find any meaning in the poem.

    Good luck on all your writing endeavors. And remember: Ignore anyone who says poetry should only come from the heart and soul. If you don't put your mind into the equation, you won't ever be a good poet.
  18. Random Andy

    Random Andy Member

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    Buy a thesaurus... Ummm. It'll increase your vocabulary. Listen to the lyrics in songs cos they have music to guide them and it's the best poetry about.

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