First of all, you need to get acquainted with the theoretical foundations of writing poems. In the generally accepted understanding, a verse is a special artistic form of speech, which is characterized by rhythm, metricity, the presence of size and rhyme. By rhythm here is meant a certain sound order of constructing verse phrases. The most common versification today is the syllabo-tonic. This term means that the lines in the poem should be organized both by the number of syllables and by the number of stresses.
The second important component of the verse is metric organization, that is, the constant alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables according to one or another system. In combination with additional characteristics, such as the number of such alternations, line endings and other moments, a poetic size is formed. There are many ways of metric organization, but five are most common, of which two are the so-called “double-footed”, when a strong syllable alternates with a weak syllable (iambic and trochee), and three three-footed (one stressed syllable per two unstressed) - dactyl, anapaest and amphibrachium. The difference between them lies in the position of the stressed syllable relative to unstressed.
One of the most famous poets in Germany, Schiller could write poetry only if he could smell rotting apples, so in his office there was always a plate with spoiled fruits.
The third attribute of the poem is rhyme. There are a lot of types and methods of classification of rhymes, but for a start it is worth remembering that rhymes are male when the stress falls on the last syllable, and female when the stressed syllable is the penultimate. In addition, verses are classified by rhyme arrangement in a quatrain.
Practice and exercises
Having mastered the theoretical part, we can proceed to practical exercises. First you need to learn how to write correctly. The content of the verse is not so much important here as its form: you can rhyme everything that comes to your mind to learn how to automatically count syllables and feel the rhythm. It can be a good exercise to think up rhymes for the first word you come across (for example, sin is a nut, laughter, everyone).
Beginner poets often have difficulty choosing a topic. That is why most poems are written about love - the most poetic feeling. To get rid of them, try an associative approach. Take any word or concept and write down your associations with it. Now try to describe this phenomenon in a poem using your notes. You may not be able to get a world-class masterpiece the first time, but after several training sessions you will learn how to easily build chains of associations with even the most prosaic objects and events. Considerable help can be given to you by reading classical poems, for example, Pushkin. Having some theoretical background, you will be able to take a fresh look at the lines familiar from childhood, to understand the technique of performing the verse.
Vladimir Mayakovsky was criticized by colleagues in the poetry workshop for writing poetry with a “ladder,” since poets received a fee for each line, and there were much more lines with this method.
Naturally, all these recommendations are suitable only for the initial stage. To develop in a poetic plan, it will be necessary to develop your own style, use unique images, a broken rhythm, complex rhymes. However, before you learn to compose poetry in an original way, you just need to learn how to write poetry.
Can all be poets?
It is hard to say why people write poetry. Most often, they are driven by the desire to express their emotions about the world around us: an impressive corner of nature, heartfelt emotions, thoughts about the structure of life - all this becomes the theme for poetry. No less often poems are written as a kind of response to the events of public life (in modern times or in history) that excited the author. In any case, the reason for writing poetry is usually an emotional impulse, and the rhythmic lines become a response to the events of external or internal life.
Many people try versification, and you can create too if you feel such a desire. Of course, no one will guarantee that you will become a good poet, but such an experience will not be in vain. Most importantly, you will understand how to write.
Verse and stanza - specify the meaning
If you try your hand at poetry, then it will not be out of place to know some important concepts related to versification.
Verse. This word has two meanings. First: poetic speech, organized in a particular tradition (for example, “Pushkin’s verse”). Second: a rhythmic line of poetic text.
It is incorrect to use the word “verse” in the meaning of “poem”, since the first is an integral part of the second or (in some cases) a much broader concept than a single work.
The combination of two or more poetic lines (verses) is called a stanza.
Among such combinations distinguish a couplet, three-part, quatrain. and so on, up to ten verses.
The rest of the article will explain a few more important concepts. We understood why different people write poetry and how it can be useful, and also understood the meanings of the words that confuse readers and many novice poets. Next, we will talk about the secrets of writing a good poem.
First step: where to start?
If you have never been involved in versification before, it is most reasonable to start by reading poetry by recognized authors. It’s not necessary to immediately grab the classics if you don’t really like it. Start with modern authors, then move on to poets of the Silver Age, and then you can complicate your reading repertoire. If you don’t know yet how to start writing poetry, then just find and read something that will resonate in your soul. Moreover, it is very possible that your first independent opuses will be similar to the work of those poets that you like best. Treat this as the first stage of training and continue to compose how it turns out. It is no secret that the first verses of many subsequently glorified poets were imitative. But a purposeful person will be able to develop his talent and find his own writing style. Believe in yourself, try, experiment.
Genres of Poems
But in order to know in which direction to move, we will understand the main varieties of poetic works.
Let's talk about which genre you can try. For subtle senses, lyrical and philosophical poetry, as well as ballads and stanzas, are suitable. Those who are actively interested in the surrounding social life, you can try to write journalistic poems. Parody, satirical and humorous poetry also deserves attention - individual copies of these genres are loved by readers no less than serious poems.
Varieties of versification
The chosen genre and style will tell you how to write. A verse in the meaning of "a way of expressing poetic speech" is composed according to certain rules. We list the types of poetic works:
- white verse (there is no rhyme, but the size and rhythm are clearly preserved),
- acrostic (a manner of writing in which the first letters of each line form a word together, less often two or three),
- mixed verse (a way of writing without preserving the same size throughout the work),
- poetry in prose (there is no rhyme and rhythm, but a special expressive style allows you to attribute them to poetry),
- verliber (a difficult style, characterized by a special construction of lines, concise and rich images and lack of rhyme).
Next, we will understand the main components of the poem: rhyme, size and rhythm.
How does rhyme add up?
So, you have decided what poetic styles and methods of versification you want to try yourself. But just wanting to do poetry is not enough; you need to know how. Writing a verse - every line of your work - is necessary according to certain rules.
One of the most important points is rhyme - the consonant ending of two or more words. As you know, in a poem such words are placed at the end of the line. In this case, the adjacent two verses can rhyme either through one, less often two. Rhyme has its own varieties:
- masculine (with emphasis on the last syllable),
- female (emphasis falls on the penultimate syllable),
- dactylic (with emphasis on the third syllable of the verse),
- hyperdactyl (emphasis on the fourth syllable or even further).
There are many other varieties, but for a novice poet you can get acquainted with the main ones. It is important to find a suitable and original rhyme that is not like “love is blood” or “never - forever”. And besides, the words chosen for the rhyme should organically enter the text of the poem, creating the image that the poet intended to convey.
If you want to know how to write poetry, then check out the concepts of poetic size and rhythm.
Why size and rhythm?
The size of the poem is extremely important because it determines the sound, melody, mood of the work. You can determine the size by the combination of stressed and unstressed syllables in 2-3 lines of a poetic work. If you are thinking about how to learn to write poetry, then try to analyze your favorite works for dimensionality and understand how the author got the desired effect.
One stressed syllable and one unstressed. In iamba, emphasis falls on the second syllable, and in chorea on the first.
One syllable is stressed, and the other two are unstressed. The difference is in which syllable the emphasis falls: the first is dactyl, the second is amphibrach, the third is anapest.
Will the knowledge of poetic sizes help to learn how to write poetry? It’s hardly in itself, however, to look “inside” a particular poem is still useful. Such an analysis reveals something that is not noticeable during ordinary reading, and allows you to learn how to build a poetic drawing.
Another important factor is the rhythm - the cyclical alternation of unstressed syllables with stressed ones. To better feel the rhythm, you need to read the written poem aloud.
We learned a lot about poetry, but have not yet fully decided the question of how to write. A verse is a separate line, from the combination of which a poem is composed. In order for it to possess not only form, but also content, you need to know and be able to apply poetic techniques. Here are some of them:
- alliteration (sound recording),
- antithesis (contrast),
- gradation (gain),
- rhetorical appeal or question,
Knowing these tricks alone will not tell you how to learn to write poetry. But if you get used to finding artistic means in other people's works, it will become clear what you can apply in your own work.
Poet or graphomaniac?
Suppose you have already written one or more poems. How to determine how good they are? Doing it yourself is not easy, because not by reason, but in a fit of inspiration, we write poetry. At the same time, we can adore every line of our own creativity, but will it cause the same delight among others? One way to check this is to let other people read their poems. If you were able to interest someone else in your work, then you’ve come closer to understanding how to write good poems.
The main signs of a successful poem:
- the reader feels the feeling that the author put in, or sees the described picture,
- fresh, original rhymes, appropriate in meaning and mood,
- respected size and rhythm in all lines,
- there are no speech, stylistic and other errors (except when this is included in the creative technique).
"I want to write poetry, what to do?" The only answer is to write. And also to read, and creations of not only recognized masters, but also beginner authors. By practicing and analyzing other people's opuses, you will learn the technique of writing poetry and develop the ability to distinguish successful lines from failed ones. But be prepared for the fact that you will have to train for the development of your style for many years, if not all your life.