A poem is a captivating selection of words, which arouses intense feelings and memories in the reader, so poetry is the perfect medium in which to describe love. Love in real life needs no words, as more often than not, it is displayed in actions. However, those limited lines and words of poetry, can indeed mimic those deepest, passionate emotions.
Often when we struggle to express our feelings, we turn to greeting cards with poetry, to show the other person where our heart truly lies. It is in these moments that the art and creativity of love poetry comes to fruition.
How do I start the poem ?
Like any writing a good poem must be planned. The more thought and planning that you employ, the better the quality of the final poem. In some ways writing poetry is a much more complex a task than conventional writing, as you must convey intense feelings in a short burst of lines.
Think of writing an original poem in the same way as storytelling, with a beginning, middle and end. You must advise the who, what, where, how and when but much more loosely than in fictional writing.
Ideally, spending some time in creative visualisation is a great way to focus the mind. Don't worry it's not as complex as it sounds - Visualisation is basically daydreaming back to those encounters with the person or persons, who are the focal point of your poem.
Memories tend to have triggers, as we remember events and things by visual hooks onto images within the mind. The first step is to take a glance back in time, and reminisce those tender moments with that special person. This can be easier if you have some props (like a photograph), to conjure those memories as you gently close your eyes and zone out.
Breathe in and exhale over a few moments, as you think about this person, You will find after a few minutes that it will be as though you are reliving a past encounter with them. However, you must have all your senses on full alert to recall all the sensations that you feel. This may take a few attempts to achieve, but once you master this, it will probably be past-time that you enjoy at night, or even for moments of pause during the day.
Armed with these feelings and memories, let me take you through the steps that I feel are key to writing a perfect love poem: -
Decide who is the focus of the poem?
What event is the poem focussed around?
Does when (and timing) matter to the poem?
How are you going to story-tell the event at the core of this poem?
What is the purpose or lesson to this poem, and will there be a crescendo?
Of course these five points will be personal to you, and it is never easy to share your feelings in written format. Nevertheless, you must focus on them to plan the poem's layout without flaw. Another poignant decision, will be as to the style you adopt for your poetry. There are many formats to choose from, including simply rambling, to Haiku and hugely popular for love poetry, is verse. You will need to select the best format for what you want to convey.
Probably the most popular style for love poems is verse, and this is because of the rhyming and repeating lines that can be included, to give the poem an almost musical chant. Most people enjoy repetitive beats, and this is why we, as a society have a love affair with music
Layout of the poem
After having decided on the style of poem, there are still countless options for the skeleton structure of the poem, like:
How many lines will be in each verse?
Will the lines rhyme within each verse?
How many verses will the poem have?
What will the theme of each verse?
Do you want to have a repeated line or lines within the poem?
This format of the poem can be "make or break", as it provides a clear flow, and will allow the audience to follow the story and become "involved", as they will gain a sense of being a participant, as opposed to being a bystander. Who wants to stand on the outskirts, and not be involved in the action.
You will remember the famous poem by Maya Angelou, Still I Rise, with the repeat of those three words, making you almost "take up arms" with her toils and overcoming struggle. This sensation became more powerful as this stanza of words was repeated throughout the poem in fact.
Good poetry needs momentum and a focal point. The reader is easily able to then jump on board the carriage, enjoy the ride, until they finally arrive at their destination.
Great poetry uses little, subtle twists and turns with hidden symbolism along that journey, to almost disguise the path the poem is taking, as the reader is distracted with embedded meanings and thoughts, which garner attention and thought.
An excellent poem has all of these elements, with a relatable subject matter, rhythm and a message for the audience. This message can be one of love, empathy, loss and so on. It will most definitely grab your emotions, take them in its palm and manipulate them within its lines.
Tools to Help
Poetry writing is no longer 'reserved' for those with a vast vocabulary or writing ability. There are many tools that you can access to assist your poetry composition, like an online dictionary, access to synonyms, antonyms, and rhyming dictionaries.
Please also beware of plagiarism, as it is easy to hold memories of your favourite poems in mind subconsciously. Personally I find that avoidance of the works of famous or other poets, whilst writing your own poems, is a wise measure.
The Crescendo Ending
Now even though I have mentioned the word "crescendo", this does not have to be bold and brazen, as it can be a gentle upbuild to a point where the reader has no idea where the poem was heading. This is extremely powerful, as human beings we love an element of mystery, or indeed surprise. It is particularly powerful, when a writer or poet, can deceptively take you to a place without your awareness with a small cluster of words.
Often, you will have the title in mind before writing the poem; however experience has shown me that my best poems only gain a title after they are complete. This is probably as the text in the verses, warrant a more symbolic title.
It can be the case, that matching an all-encompassing title is more complex than writing the original poem. Remember - your title is the attention-grabbing factor. The title will either grab attention and coax a reader to the bait of reading your poem, or allow them to wander towards some other poet's craft.
Another point of significance about titles, is to make them relevant, simple to understand and short in length. Success of poetry may not only be determined by the attraction-factor of the title, but in terms of accessibility on the Internet.
Remember search engine optimisation for Google, and make the title relevant to the content in terms of keywords, but also consider the character limit of the title text. One last often neglected part of Search Engine Optimisation ("SEO") in relation to poetry, is to include an image that is engaging and relevant to the poem. Ensure that behind the scenes, you add the poem's title and attribute the poem to yourself and your website, adding any long-tailed keywords of relevance too.
With poetry, it is important to add an introduction to the poem, and/or after-thoughts as SEO requires a minimum of 300 words on a page, which means that unless you add a few paragraphs to your poetry page, then the poem will be lost in search, as Google will not give your poem any weighting on their platform. Lastly try to share, gain comments, backlinks and likes for your poem as this will all amplify its status in search!
Feedback from Your Peers
The best feedback for poetry is ultimately from other poets, as they are the masters of this skilled craft. Clearly positive feedback will make your efforts worthwhile, however negative feedback can also be viewed positively.
We all too often seize on negativity in life as being a bad thing, however used constructively, it can enhance your poetry writing skills. Firstly, it takes a lot of energy to compose a critical comment or review. This shows that it not only stirred something within that negative reviewer, but that this was to the extent they not only had to write, but could not simply walk away. You gained a reaction, which can be harnessed ultimately to positive vibes.
All budding poets should be members of poetry groups and clubs. Not only can you receive feedback from your fellow poets, you can also see flaws in poetry writing by reviewing the work of others. By viewing from both sides of the fence, you learn how to improve your own work.
Here are four of the top poetry online websites, where you can join and share your poetry with a captive audience:
Additionally, there are several Google+ poetry groups, which allow you to share poetry with fellow members. However, this platform may not be in existence, if Google close their plus service in 2019, as planned.
Case Study of Writing an Original Poem
Choose the topic
Love, but more specifically unrequited love.
Write the poem as if expressing those feelings in a conversation, and explain how this state makes you feel on the inside. People tend to think of this one-sided love as being foolhardy and unreal. The plan - Let's turn this theory upside down and show the qualities of unrequited love - strength, determination and resilience.
The title must say everything concisely, but firmly stamp what the poem is all about. What do you want from this scenario - You want the other person to simply, "Love Me Back". That is it, a short, concise and meaningful headline message!
Place yourself in the shoes of someone going through this scenario. Imagine how they feel, lonely, isolated and feeling the chill factor. Image found!!!
The Finished Poem
Love Me Back is displayed below, with the video interpretation to show how intense this love poem truly is:
..and the video interpretation of "Love Me Back".
Writing an original love poem is actually easier than you imagine. Hopefully, with the suggestions above, you will be encouraged to give it a go, and you may just surprise yourself as to your own "hidden talents" in poetry writing!