Posted in Writing

Poetry – What to Write About?

Not sure how this is going to go, but it is something I mentioned I may do another post about, and although I made a point of not promising anything, I still feel even mentioning I might obliges me to at least try. But this isn’t going to be particularly helpful to anyone, I don’t think, if any of my posts are very helpful. It’s just some of my own thoughts, which I guess is a valid purpose a blog can have, even if I feel a bit daft.

Anyway, some ramblings on the content of poetry.

I’m not sure what kinds of poetry I like and dislike. Sometimes I feel poems about a certain place or thing are a bit pointless. But as I went over in my last poetry post, if a form of entertainment is entertaining, then it has fulfilled its purpose, even if that is it’s only purpose. Also, I do like these poems, some of them – no-one’s ever going to like everything, not even everything in one specific genre, even if everything in that genre was well written. So I don’t know why I have this in my head that I don’t like them. If I am being completely honest, my wariness may be due to description being one of my own weaknesses as a writer. If the point of your poem is to talk about something specific, and how awesome, or I guess not-awesome, it is, then you really need to have that description because… well, otherwise you have nothing. So maybe I’m just scared of writing these poems, and that clouds my feelings towards them generally.

I know I like it when poems tell stories. I’m naturally more of a story writer myself, so this makes sense to me. If the poem is telling a story then it’s got somewhere very definite it is going to. A good poem will always sort of wrap up at the end, it shouldn’t feel like the poet just ran out of words, with the ending of the last stanza feeling the same as the ending of the previous ones. I guess it’s like how I said in my other poetry post about free verse being harder to do properly than traditional poetry, because traditional poetry has a set structure you have to stick to. If the poem is telling a story, then there will be an ending, and even if it’s badly written you’ve gone somewhere. You don’t end up just repeating the same thought in different words.

So basically what I’m saying is I lean towards structure. There should always be some kind of structure, obviously, but I apparently like a set, rigid, I guess, structure. Because that way, no matter how badly the poem turns out, there will at least be a structure. It’s a bit of a safety net for me, I think.

What other things can you write poetry about?

Emotions, I guess. Write about how you’re feeling. I did that. Glad I never shared those poems, they’re just whiny. I’m not saying all poems people write about their emotions are, but mine certainly turned out that way. Also repetitive. It’s just like, ‘I’m sad, I’m very sad, I have never been this sad’. Not quite like that, obviously, and usually a bit more angry, but you get the idea. I think this type of poetry is something to be careful about. Not something not to do, but… yeah, be careful. If you write a poem while you’re upset or angry about something, I’d advise putting it away for a bit if you’re planning to share it, until you’re maybe a bit happier. Then you can take more of an objective look at the quality of the poem itself. It’s a good way to vent, though.

Not that emotion poems are all about bad emotions. Just mine always tended to be. Tend to be, I don’t know why I’m writing like I don’t do this anymore. It’s not like I’m always sad or anything, I just don’t feel compelled to write poems about how happy or alright I am. Because I don’t need to vent then. And people write about how much in love they are sometimes, which… yeah, nothing for me to write about there.

Funny poetry! I like to read funny writing, but I wouldn’t dare try this myself. I’m a little worried when I try to inject a bit of humour into my prose, a poem intended to be funny is much more daunting. Comedy’s one of those things that if you do wrong, it’s just embarrassing for everyone. But when someone can pull of comedic writing, then yeah, that is great. I don’t think I’m that someone though.

One thing I’ve taken to recently is writing from the viewpoint of a character. It’s usually one of my characters from one of my many, many stories which will never see the light of day, because I’m usually quite fond of the characters still, even if I’ve realised the story is rubbish. I like to play up one of their attributes for the poem, have it be about that. These poems don’t tell the stories, and hopefully the story isn’t necessary to enjoy the poem. The only reason I use these existing characters is because I know them, so it’s easier to write from their perspective, but a character can be made up for a poem like this. I have no idea how interesting people would find these poems to read. I guess I should get a few polished up to their best and find out.

I’m sure there’s other types of poems I could mention, I know there is, you can write about anything. But I think I’m done here. I’ve not done a blog entry in over a month, I have about a million almost finished ones on my computer which just don’t seem right. I’ve mentioned doing that before, and it’s got to a ridiculous point. I keep picking one I think I can put up, and then not liking it anymore. This one, though, this is just a bit of rambling.

I never know how to end these things. That’s something to work on in my writing generally; ending it. I’ll just end this post here.


2 thoughts on “Poetry – What to Write About?

  1. I say write whatever you want. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way but do think the worst thing a writer can do, actually anyone in any discipline, is to not be true to themselves. Be you and let the poem follow.

    1. Oh, of course, any piece of art should reflect the artist. This is just a bit of rambling on the subject, and honestly I’m not always sure what I do want to write. But if I do want to write a type of poem, I’ll generally give it a shot, although I admit sharing it is another matter. Thank you for commenting!

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