Anyone Can Write a Poem (In 4 Easy Steps)

Chef Gusteau

“Anyone can cook.”
Chef Auguste Gusteau, from Pixar’s Ratatouille

If Chef Gusteau had been a poet, he might have said, “Anyone can write a poem.” With the kind of poetry being written today, it indeed looks like anyone can write a poem and everyone is writing one.

Back by popular request ( not really ) is guest poet, StarvingPoet aka LowIncomePoet who has purposed to show how you too can swiftly write your own modest poem in four easy ( easy as eating a Jonathan apple ) steps:

Step 1: If don’t want to work on your PC, get something to write with and something to write on like a pencil and a piece of paper.

Step 2: Take a deep breath, relax and begin jotting down whatever happens to pop into your mind. ( Poetic Tip #1: Try to keep it centered on one main idea for an overall cohesive feel to your poem.  If your mind can’t stay focused, then random stream of consciousness is perfectly acceptable. ) Personal experience is always a good topic to write a poem about since people love reality and reality TV shows. If it’s too personal so that the meaning is obscured, the better. People and academics have the tendency to think if something is obscure, it’s got to be deep. Here’s my example: It’s ten PM on a Friday night and there’s nothing worth watching on the tube. I’m bored. Too early to go to bed ( especially on a Friday night ). Couldn’t get a datethough heaven knows I tried ). Thoughts of Hilda back in Westmoreland nibbling on a carambole ( an example of a personal reference to a person and place the reader has no clue about, plus bonus points for using a foreign word like the French word carambole to add a dash of exoticism ). In fact, I have no love life let alone a life. (Poetic Tip #2: Try to include some cultural reference to show how hip or classy you are. Charles Bukowski referred to classical music in some of his poems, so I’ll refer to the Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major which is both hip and classy and insert it somewhere into my poem.

Step 3: Arbitrarily break up what you’ve written into lines. Don’t worry about things like stanzas, meter, rhyme, grammar or punctuation – after all, it’s poetry.

Step 4: Now, you’re ready to add the finishing touch: a title. Choose one that reflects the main idea of your poem or you can be traditional and simply use the first line. I’ll go the traditional route and use the first line: 3 AM Friday Night. Now, put it all together and – voila! – a poem:


it’s 3 am friday night
nothing worth watching on the tube
I’m bored
too early to go to bed
especially on a friday night

couldn’t get a date ( heaven knows I tried )
thoughts of Hilda back in Westmoreland nibbling on a carambole
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major murmuring on the radio

an endless ** string of friday nights
no love life
no love

no life

See.  Writing a poem is easy as eating a creamy carambole (Poetic tip #3: Try to make a comparison using ‘as’ or ‘like’ – it’s what is known as a metaphor. ) Now it’s your turn. Just remember: Anyone can write a poem.

* Notice I’ve changed the original time of 10 PM to 3 AM which is a waaay more poetic-sounding time, n’est-ce pas?.  This is an example of poetic license.
** including words like ‘endless’ (with its association to eternity) make the poem appear more profound as well as sound trè poétique.

(  3 AM friday night, StarvingPoet aka LowIncomePoet © 2012. All Rights Reserved.  Disclaimer: The views expressed by StarvingPoet aka LowIncomePoet are not necessarily those shared by PoeticMeditations. )


About poeticmeditations

A 19th-century romantic poet living in the 21st-century. The Romantic poets, nib pens, candlelight, waistcoats, and pocket watches are a few of my favorite things.
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