I’ve been in a poetic frame of mind lately–partly due to my poem, “Reaching for the Stars” in this month’s HIGHLIGHTS magazine, but also because I’ve been working on a classroom project to help some 5th graders explore poetry.
- It sounds more like regular speech.
- There is no set length to lines.
- There is no rhyme or meter or counting of syllables.
- It lends itself to any subject matter–serious or silly.
Tips for Writing Free Verse Poetry:
- Remember to use rich words (juicy nouns, powerful verbs, original phrases)
- Create unique similes and metaphors that make an instant connection with your readers
- Appeal to all five senses
- Orchestrate a lyrical flow to your poem with your word choices and placement
- Speed it up or slow it down with the length of your lines and of your words
- Use line breaks to punctuate your poem
- Evoke a mood with your poem
- Stop when you’re stuck. Take a walk, shoot some hoops, let your mind float free and that’s when you’ll discover just the word or the idea you needed.
One of my favorite poetry how-to books is from Scholastic publishers. It’s called HOW TO WRITE POETRY by Paul B. Janeczko. You can find this book at your independent bookstore or library.