Poetry: Why Write It? by Cheyenne

If you are like me and have an adoration for your beloved, long, descriptive novels, you may think poetry is not the right kind of writing for you. You may enjoy writing lengthy details and witty dialogue, not a sappy love story that rhymes. Poetry is a challenge for you all in itself because you have an appreciation of lots and lots of words, and perhaps you think that writing a poem may limit your creativity.

To a pro-novelist, writing poems is a nightmare. Poetry can be a struggle if you do not know how to approach it, and most believe that writing poems means you need to know how to rhyme. Not every poem needs to rhyme though, and there are several long and short types of poetry. There is no right or wrong way to write a poem, and the best first step I can give you in writing a poem is finding your preferred style.

The longest poetic form is an epic, which is like writing a novel-length story of verses. The characters are usually heroes, like Aeneas in Vergil’s The Aeneid. Epics focus on adventurous events and struggles that the hero must endure either alone or with loyal companions, and usually progresses in an elevated or climatic style.

Often, people believe that poems need to have multiple verses, but poems can be as short as two sentences long. Catullus’s Odi et Amo (Hate and Love) poem is a great example of this. If you happen to be an individual with an inclination for rhythm, haikus may be your forte. These follow a 5-7-5 scheme, where the first line contains five syllables, the second contains seven syllables, and the third contains five syllables. A more relaxed and informal form of poetry is free verse, which is exactly as it sounds. These poems may go on as long as you would like in any direction that you please.

If you happen to be a lover of rhymes, then a sonnet is perfect for you. These are most notably compared with Shakespeare’s poetic style. A sonnet is composed of fourteen lines, following a slightly more complex formula. The first grouping of lines have an ABAB scheme, the next grouping has a CDCD scheme, and the third grouping has an EFEF scheme. The last two lines are known as a couplet, which rhyme with each other.

With so many poetic forms out there, it is best to read through as many types as possible before diving into the world of poetry on your own. A poem can be about any topic, any emotion, any feeling you think of, and like all forms of writing, it is limitless with ideas. A poem’s goal is to be captivating, funny, heartwarming, angry, melancholy, or joyful, but above all, it is to be remembered by the audience as a lingering voice in the atmosphere after the poet has finished reciting their work. Make it your goal to be the voice of the air as you write your poetic masterpiece!


Posted on December 16, 2015, in Editorial Board Essay. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I loved this! I absolutely love reading poetry, but I just can never write it any good.

  2. Nice Cheyenne! I loved Odi et Amo, it’s very thought-provoking mainly because it was so short. I loved this 🙂

  3. Cheyenne, we have truly learned much from you today,
    We shall practice and pursue what you did say,
    We shall always attempt every day to write,
    Our poems shall bring to simple topics much light.

  4. I write poems when I need too, but I just don’t have the same passion I usually have when writing novels. But I never knew about the epic poems. I just might give poetry another try:)

  5. Thank you for your lovely little poem, Mabel! And thanks to others who took the time to read the article. 🙂 Writing poems can be difficult because many try too hard to force the emotions, but in a cliché sense, you have to listen to your heart when writing them.

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