Do you want to know how to write a poem?
Or… are you wondering why someone would want to write a poem? Let’s start with that question first.
As National Poetry Month comes to an end, we at PAPYRUS want to uplift poetry and spread the joy of putting pen to paper, exploring your thoughts, and creating something that sincerely expresses you.
The benefits of writing poetry are numerous. Some poetry forms are like puzzles, with rules you have to follow and structures you can’t stray from. The brain is a muscle, and you can keep it fit with fun poetry exercises that really stretch your ability to craft prose.
Other forms of poetry make you look inward. Like journaling, poems can help you explore feelings and emotions that seem too confusing to understand.
Most of all, it’s important to have a creative outlet in life.
We’ve written a helpful guide on how to started writing poetry. When you’re done, you’ll have a piece of writing that is completely yours, or something you want to share with a friend. Unique poems are such a lovely addition to any greeting card.
So let’s get started!
1. Haikus: Short & Sweet
If you want to get straight to the point while still writing some truly beautiful prose, than the Haiku poetry form is perfect.
Haiku poetry is a traditional Japanese form that usually focused on nature and similar themes. While you don’t have to stick with nature, using the 5-7-5 structure is very important for matching the Haiku’s lovely pacing and form.
|Writing Tip: If you’re having trouble finding words with the right amount of syllables, try a thesaurus for similar ideas and themes!|
So, how to write a Haiku? This little poem style follows a structure of five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and then five again for the third and last line.
If you’re wondering what syllables are, no worries! They’re separate units of each word that can be counted by saying the word slowly with a beat. For example: HAI – KU. “Haiku” has two syllables. Here’s another one: PA – PY – RUS. So, PAPYRUS has three!
Now that you know what syllables are, it’s time for the fun part. We’ve crafted a little Haiku poem to get things started.
You are my sunshine
Where you go, I will follow
To the moon and back
Do two of those lines look familiar? It’s easy to find inspiration wherever you look, and this Sun & Moon Mug Set was our starting point for writing a cute “I love you” poem that would fit perfectly in a romantic card for someone special.
Just remember: All you need for a Haiku is three lines; the first has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5.
2. Limericks: Fun & Silly
Limerick poems are fun. Limericks are goofy. And limericks are perfect for making everyone smile. Not all poetry has to be reflective or sad—sometimes letting your silly side loose can really shake up your writing.
How do you write a limerick? Like the Haiku form, the limerick relies on syllables. But there’s five lines, and now you have to throw some rhymes in there! Let’s break the limerick down to something we can all understand:
Line 1: 8 or 9 syllables – Rhymes with Line 2 & Line 5
Line 2: 8 or 9 syllables – Rhymes with Line 1 & Line 5
Line 3: 5 or 6 syllables – Rhymes with Line 4
Line 4: 5 or 6 syllables – Rhymes with Line 3
Line 5: 8 or 9 syllables – Rhymes with Line 1 & Line 2
Writing Tip: There’s a ton of super helpful resources online for finding words that rhyme! Just do an internet search for “rhymes with,” and you’ll find plenty of options.
Here’s a limerick example we had a lot of fun writing:
There once was a forgetful girl
Her life was a big messy whirl
She didn’t send regards
And Grandma’s birthday card
So she won’t inherit the pearls
As you can see, limericks really are goofy. They can be fun to write (almost like a puzzle!) and also delightful to receive in a card.
3. Free Verse Poems: Individual & Liberating
Finally we have the last, and possibly the toughest poem form to tackle: the free verse.
You don’t have to follow any rhythm or meter rules, which can feel liberating. But the lack of structure might be scary.
With their traditional themes, limericks and Haikus also help prompt your subject, while the free verse has no starting concept. Anything goes!
Writing Tip: Notepads and sticky notes are perfect for building a mind map of ideas and themes. Clear your floor and go nuts; write different words and lines and then place them out in a grid so you can get the bigger picture.
So, how to write a free verse poem?
Brainstorming or mind-mapping are great starting points. These techniques are similar to journaling; you explore what’s going on inside your head and let it all out.
When you begin to notice a pattern, or a certain thought jumps out at you, you have a perfect theme, mood, or topic for your free verse poem!
While there really are no rules to the free verse, we decided to set our own structure for the example: each ending word has to rhyme:
What delights and treasures lay before
Beautiful cards, gifts, and stationery galore
At the exciting, cute Papyrus Online store!