7 Tips for Writing a Short Poem

Short poems can convey intimate moments with simple, specific, compelling words. They carry growing momentum from start to finish. A short poem differs from a long one in that poets may spend more time on word choice and clarity. Given this meticulous undertaking, writing a short poem can be tougher than writing a long poem! Check out these poems for examples and get  started.

  1. Get inspired. Carry the inspiration until something sparks. This inspiration can be a line, or just a word.  Remember this is a short poem; you can begin small.
  2. Just say it. Challenge yourself to tell a story or describe a moment in, say, no more than five lines. Don't second-guess yourself — go for it!
  3. Select your words. Choose and explore the right words: don't be afraid to turn to a rhyming dictionary or a thesaurus. But remember: a shorter poem may mean less breathing room for your fanciest vocabulary words.
  4. Read. Recite your poem aloud until it sounds like how you think it should.
  5. Style. Use poetic devices to enhance your poem’s meaning. Short poems can be great ways to showcase extended metaphors. Then again, something brief and straightforward can have a lot of impact too!
  6. Get some space. Take a break before editing. You'll want a fresh start when you look at your writing with a critical eye.
  7. Share. Share on Power Poetry or with your family/friends. Ask for opinions and suggestions.


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