Poetry is a beautiful art form. Unfortunately, despite being poignant and deeply personal, we sometimes still imagine something akin to “An ode to a small lump of green putty I found under my armpit one midsummer’s morning”. But the good news is that poetry is still alive and vibrant today! You might even be able to write something beautiful, and here’s how to start and improve.
No, you don’t have to spend hours pouring over Blake, Keats or Shelly to be a poet. Instead, read what interests you. If you’re keen to learn about confessional poetry, how about Sylvia Plath? Or perhaps you might enjoy the dark introspection of Philip Larkin. Reading others’ work will provide you with inspiration and ideas for use in your writing. As an artist, you should never be afraid to borrow insight from what came before you (as long as you’re not just copying their work, of course). Don’t be scared to stand on the shoulders of giants and see further than the past’s great poets.
This one may sound obvious, but it is worth putting down on paper. To get better at writing poetry, you will need to write poetry. Your first one may be terrible, and the next slightly less so. But, eventually, you will be making work that you are proud to show off. It’s the same with any skill, practice, practice, practice!
Share your work with others
Go to an open mic night, find other poets and share your writing with them. Make use of internet communities and poetry forums to talk about your craft. Even if you’re relatively inexperienced, you’ll find that artists are always keen to learn from one another and make the best art that they can. Because of the expertise and freshness in these communities, they are also a great place to get recommendations for new poetry to expand your reading.
Perhaps you’ve seen someone experimenting with different fonts?
Out in a strange way
on the page?
But take some risks and see how they speak to you and your audience. With modern printing/ word processing, the possibilities of what you can achieve are endless. So let your imagination run wild!
- Take the plunge!
Taking a course in poetry will force you to leave your comfort zone and grow as a writer and an artist. By immersing yourself in literature and a learning community, you’ll be able to make some breakthroughs and make connections that will help you become improve. Our Poetry Course is a perfect way to do this because it is very flexible and completely online, meaning that it can be done at a pace and time that suits you. We also provide you with a personal tutor to help you get the most from your learning experience.