April is Poetry Month

In honor of poetry month, write a poem.

Here are some poetry tips:
1. Be as specific as possible. Cut most abstract words from your poem; words like love, friendship, death.

2. Replace them with concrete words. Every line should have one concrete word in it. (A tree, a spider, a glob of glue . . .)

3. Use action words, not adjectives. (I need an example here!) * The leaves are orange and bright. Bright orange leaves fall. (Don’t try to describe an emotion with abstract words like love, sorrow, loss, longing . . . )

4. Remember: A poem is not simply prose put in broken lines. Every word counts, each line forms its own thought.

5. Rhythm. Poetry need not rhyme, but the words need to work together in harmony. When reading the poem aloud, there should be a rhythmic flow — but that doesn’t mean sing-songy* (explain that)*. Really listen to the words and how each one sounds with the ones around it.

6. Engage the reader with your five senses – touch, taste, sight, sound, smell

7. If you can have more than one layer to your poem, that is a metaphor. At face value, the words may mean one thing, but with a deeper look, there may be more to be understood. Example: My mind is a sailboat, drifting on the waves, etc,

8. Be original. If you’ve heard it before, don’t use it. Find a new subject or give an old subject a new twist. Is this another poem about spring? How can YOU see spring differently from anyone else. A good poem will make the reader feel or think something new about the subject. *Spring is my sister. She listens to my thoughts like the . . . , she .

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