Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What makes a good poem?

Previously on the blog, I have posted about my desire to read poetry. Well now, I'd quite like to try writing poetry. In the past I have dabbled with poetry, but then ran out of steam. This Christmas I received a beautiful notebook and it crys out to have poetic words written in it. So, I'm going to have another go at it.

As I'm one of those people who can never launches into anything without doing research before hand, I have searched around the Internet for some inspiration. By doing this, I have discovered some wonderful poetry blogs.

However I'm still wondering, what makes a good poem?

Does it have to rhyme? Are classic poems better than modern ones? Or are certain subjects more effective for poetry?

If you have any suggestions as to what makes a poem or have any favourite poems, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. What a poetic pursuit! I love reading poetry, but consider myself a very bad poet. I have favorite poets starting with WB Yeats, Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Rita Dove, Maya Angelou, John Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, James Kavanaugh, Langston Hughs, and so many more. For me, it's more about the subject than if it rhymes. A good poem need not rhyme, but it must contain just the right words that convey the message in a succinct, eloquent manner.

    I wish you all the best as you begin your poetry journey and I do hope you'll share with us.

    Have a marvelous day!

  2. Poetry, I feel, comes in many forms like Art.
    What appeals to one may not appeal to another.

    I love nonsense poetry, limericks, and Haiku. Would others see limericks as poetry?

    I have attempted Haiku myself. It seems the 'easiest' form for me to write.

    Good luck with your poetry. If you feel you could share with us all the better. :)


  3. Teresa thanks for your comment. I think reading more poetry will help me to expand my own poetry, so thanks for the list of your favourite authors.

    Dizzy ,I was also considering starting off with Haiku's. When I was looking at different definitions of poetry, the Haiku seemed to be the quickest and possibly easiest form of poetry. I might be wrong though! I also think that Limericks are considered to be a form of poetry. What do others think?

    I'll see how my first attempt at poetry goes and I might put it on the blog.

  4. Oh spangle
    I always do ask myself the very same questions.. I wonder if I am a poet at all... but one thing I am sure of.. if it comes from your heart and soul... and gets to just one reader besides yourself... then that IS a poem...
    After reading W. Whitman and the Lost Generation Poets... the greatest ones IMO, I understood rhyme is not as important as rhythm..


  5. I love poetry. I think poetry should come naturally like breathing.
    I can recommend Josef Brodsky's "Watermark", a poetry about Venice.

  6. I echo the sentiments of Dulce and Olga. Wise and true comments; poetry is breathing and is from the heart.

  7. Thanks for all your comments. Olga, I searched for Josef Brodsky on Google and managed to find some of his poems on the web. I don't know much about poetry, but it seems to me that Brodsky writes about what he observes really well. I may have to order 'Watermark' to read more of his work.

    I think that I will have to just give poetry a go! Actually, I have been considering whether to do regular challenges (either on this blog or on a new blog) for poetry writing.

    This wouldn't be for critique and would be open to everyone. However, I thought that it would be interesting to see how different people interpret the same prompt and also it would be a chance for those interested in poetry (of any level), to explore poetry with me. What are your thoughts,ideas on this?

  8. I am am atrocious poetry writer! It just doesn't work for me, and so I have every admiration for people who can do it. I think I like best poems that are elegant and pithy but make me laugh. I love Wendy Cope, and Sophie Hannah, very modern poets who write quite short pieces, often with acerbic wit. I also love poetry that makes me see something familiar in an unusual light. But I really cannot do it myself! Good luck to you!

  9. Thanks for the comment and recommendations litlove. I could also be a terrible poetry writer, but I haven't dare attempt to write anything, in order to find out!

    However, I looked up both Wendy Cope and Sophie Hannah on the net. I couldn't find anything poetry from Sophie Hannah but I found some poems by Wendy Cope. She seems to write the sort of poetry that I would enjoy. She is very funny.

    I think that I'm going to be spending a lot of money on poetry books shortly!

  10. A good poem is one that speaks to your soul. xo style, she wrote