Why is it good to attempt writing poetry? Part 1

Courage - Part 1The more astute reader will have noticed how I’ve  phrased that opening question.

If I had used a heading like, ‘Is it good to attempt poetry?’ it wouldn’t have the same effect. My aim is to prove that poetry can work for writers – of all levels.

As always, please remember that any definitions or comments given in my posts are my own, unless otherwise stated.

What is a poem?

1. A poem is a piece of creative writing which is usually broken into bite-sized chunks.

2. The bite-sized chunks are called verses, or stanzas.

3. The stanzas might rhyme at the end of each line, or each alternative line, or not at all. Don’t worry, we’re not going to delve into the details or different types. It’s not a poetry lesson.

4. A poem is creative, and therefore is usually descriptive. In other words, it’s like telling a story, but in short bursts.

5. It can be done in as few or as many short bursts, (verses, or stanzas), as you please.

How can  a writer use a poem as an aid?

Unlike a short story idea which might take a few attempts to get started, a poem takes very little effort, and it doesn’t have to rhyme.

Try creating a beginning, a middle and an end. Three stanzas of four lines each; no more, no less. An example?

‘A Fighter Pilot’s Day’

…..

Jack took off in his plane

a fighter in the air

He’d be shot at once again

at fear again he’d stare

                    .

The ‘dog-fight’ was Jack’s worst

his craft was torn apart

Damaged by a burst

of bullets at the start

                  .

Landing would be hard

to miss the town he’d try

A field was Jack’s last card

he accepted he would die

                 …

That just took me less than ten minutes. I believe that those three simple verses could be developed into a credible short story.

In a short series of posts, I aim to prove my point, that poetry is indeed a good thing for a writer to attempt. I hope you’ll come along on the journey, and remember, we’ll all get more out of the journey if we travel together. Don’t just think a response – write it as a comment for the rest of us.

Do you agree? Disagree? Not sure?

Thank you for reading.