Poetry Show Thyself

“Unlike many other areas of life, when you write poetry you are expected to be a little odd. You might even be celebrated for this oddness. You can embrace all that is eccentric about yourself — and even cultivate new eccentricities. You can do this on the page or in real life, and no one blinks. Because you’re a Poet. And poetry is not bound by a strict set of rules. (The only rule is there are no rules.) It’s quite liberating, actually. And allows you to invest more fully in the best poem of all: You, Your Life.”
— Irene Latham / guest post on katiedavis.com

Great tools for poets of all levels!

Want to Write a Sonnet?

[found on livingapex.com; by Josh Rueff] 

“Less is not less but more, more is not more but is less – unless less becomes less by becoming more. That being said, this is the formula for a sonnet:

The Shakespearean Sonnet

3 Quatrains + a Couplet = Sonnet.

Quick definition:

A quatrain is a set of 4 lines.

A couplet is a set of 2 lines.

It’s almost that simple. The sonnet is composed of nothing more, however, there are two more rules to follow while composing the sonnet:

Iambic Pentameter and

Sonnet rhyming pattern.

Each line of the sonnet contains 5 sets of “iambs”.

The Iamb

Quick definition:

One unstressed syllable, one stressed syllable.

Don’t get hung up on strange words – an iamb is simple – it sounds like this: baBOOM.

And looks like this: the CLOCK, or com PARE.

Iambic Pentameter

Quick definition:

Iambic Pentameter is 5 sets of iambs.

Iambic Pentameter looks and sounds like this: baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM.

Example: When I / do COUNT / the CLOCK / that TELLS / the TIME

Sonnet rhyming pattern

Quick definition:



First quatrain

Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? A
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: B
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, A
And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date: B

Second quatrain
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, C
And oft’ is his gold complexion dimm’d; D
And every fair from fair sometime declines, C
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d: D

Third quatrain
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade E
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; F
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade, E
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: F

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, G
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. G

So a sonnet consists of 3 quatrains and a couplet, following the sonnet rhyming pattern and iambic pentameter.”

[found on http://www.livingapex.com/how-to-write-a-sonnet-like-shakespeare]

More Rhyming, and I Mean It!

“When you’ve got a thing to say, 
Say it! Don’t take half a day.

When your tale’s got little in it
Crowd the whole thing in a minute! 

Life is short–a fleeting vapor–
Don’t you fill the whole blamed paper

With a tale which, at a pinch, 
Could be cornered in an inch!

Boil her down until she simmers,
Polish her until she glimmers.” 

― Joel Chandler Harris

Poetry Tools

Even writers of novels will run across the need to write a poem. Take J.K. Rowling for instance—how many poems and lyrics lace the pages of her hit series Harry Potter?

Here are some quick links to help poets on their journey:
  • RHYMES: Perhaps, you need to find a rhyme that has three syllables, and rhymes on the last two? Even if you just need a quick rhyme for a simple word—this tool is what you need: RhymeZone.
  • THESAURUS: Have you been searching for a different word, it’s on the tip of your tongue, but you just…can’t…reach it? An online thesaurus is what you need: Thesaurus.
  • DICTIONARY: Do you suddenly wonder if that word means what you think it means? Inconceivable! Use an all-encompassing online dictionary: MoreWords.
  • ACROSTIC: Poe used poetry that was mathematic, and shaped. He used acrostic form to a new level. The typical definition is “a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc.” Poe used this form to hide the names of his mistresses within his art.
    • Here is a dictionary to find certain letters within the words you need (i.e. you need a seven letter word, and the fourth letter has to be an R): Acrostic Dictionary.
    • Crossword Cheats can be used in reverse to build an intense acrostic: Crossword Reverse