In this session, we’ll consider four basic elements of the poetry writing craft: There are two basic modes of poetry: lyric and narrative.
Roughly speaking, lyric poetry expresses the poet’s thoughts and feelings; while narrative poetry, of course, tells a story. They can mingle in a single poem, but the poem will usually lean more one way than the other.
In this seventh installment of my creative writing course, poet Andrew Philip introduces us to the basics of how to write poems.
Andrew has been part of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets since 2002. The previous instalments of this course have focused on fiction, though much of the advice is also relevant to poetry.
By breaking the line at a specific point, you emphasise the words at the very end and the very start of a line.
As a rule, try not to break your line after a weak word like ‘and’ unless you’re looking for a very specific effect.
As Don Paterson explains: Of course, that gift can co-exist with a gift for fiction.
And it can lie dormant in a writer who hasn’t realised it’s there.
For more on free verse, read Fiona’s post on How Free is Free Verse?
and for a discussion on the importance of sound, see Joan’s post Are You Listening Carefully?