Do you want to learn how to write a better poem?
1. Read poetry. Immerse yourself in it. Find and sift through until you find the poets and the poems you like and admire.
2. Imitate their poems. I do not advocate plagiarism; I advocate practice and study. Imbue yourself in the form, the spacing, the use of line and rhythm – all the elements that interest you.
3. Copy your poems into a journal or notebook, or copy and paste it into a digital folder, and also keep ideas, lines from favorite poems, figurative language, vocabulary, pictures, and practice, practice, practice. Keep finished and unfinished poems in one, easily accessible place.
4. Hunt, search, research for new poets and poetry. No need to spend money. Use libraries, bookstores, the Internet. Use recommendations from Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Remember there are thousands of novels available, but we only read the few genres we like; likewise, with poetry, there are thousands of poets and poetry out there waiting to be discovered, read, and enjoyed.
5. Join a group of poets who write, share, and critique each other’s work. So much can be learned from those who understand the genre best.
Looking for ideas? Try:
1. Julia Alvarez. Homecoming
2. Niki Giovanni. The Women and the Men
3. Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. Why Am I So Brown?
4. Tupac Shakur. The Rose That Grew from Concrete.
5. Alice Walker. Revolutionary Petunias.