Play with Your Words—Poetry

I love writing poetry.  However, I wouldn’t call myself a poet. I reserve that term for people like Shakespeare.  The main reason I love writing poetry is simply for the sheer fun of creating it. And, as a delightful extra bonus, that “fun” doubles as a great writing skill builder.

Writing poetry is a wonderful exercise for improving your “word choice” skills. Because poetry is short and tight (especially if you compare it to writing a novel), every word in a poem needs to count, and so being precise in your choice of words is essential.

Writing poetry is also a way to develop voice as an author. The highly distilled intensity of a poem (and by that I do not mean the solemnity, but just the flavor packed juiciness of it) seems to draw from deep inside a voice that reflects who you really are and what you are passionate about.

A further benefit to writing poetry is that it helps build organizational skills. Poems can be so highly organized in such a variety of ways; there is the use of stanzas and line schemes, repeating words, choruses or refrains. Even free verse calls for deliberate thought on how to most effectively present the poem. Each line break, each margin change provides an arrow or a frame to emphasize or deemphasize words and phrases.

And so, because playing with poetry brings such benefit and pleasure, on the first Friday of each month the “Play with Your Words” prompt will be a poetry prompt. We can use the rest of the month’s Fridays to focus on polishing our prose.

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