Poetry is something that intimidates people, and they can’t imagine understanding a poem, let alone writing one. But fear not you can write a poem.
Penning a love poem for someone special is one of the most romantic things you can do, and it’s easy enough to do as a last minute gift idea for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, your anniversary, or for no reason at all (which is perhaps the most romantic.)
Forget About What You Think a Poem Is Supposed to Be
The biggest mistake people making in trying to write a poem is to try and “sound” a certain way. So the first step in writing your own love poem is to get rid of those preconceived notions about poetry in general. If you’ve ever tried to read poetry and failed to understand it, be assured that you don’t have to write a poem like that. In fact, poetry is so freeing that you will find your own voice, and in doing so you’ll write something you (and your intended recipient) will not only understand but cherish.
Sure, there are plenty of forms and “rules” of poetry, but you don’t need to know any of them to write something special to your loved one.
Tips for Writing a Poem That Is Personal and Special
You might already have an idea of what you’d like to write about. But to make it even more special, it has to be personal. The more detail you can add to the poem, the more special your recipient will feel. Forget about greeting cards and clichéd versus. Instead, focus on things that apply only to your partner. Things like:
- The way she wears her hair
- How he sings in the shower
- The special meal she makes just for you
- The one time he surprised you
- Details of your first date
When you have a few memories in mind, begin jotting down details for each of them. Don’t worry about how they sound right now, because you’ll have time to go back and smooth out the words.
Focus on your feelings, and small details. For example, “You looked so beautiful in that orange dress on our date” or “I was so nervous before we said I do and then you took my hand, and I felt how warm and strong it was.”
Forget the Rhyme and Flowery Language
If you’re really good at creating rhyme, you can try it. But if this is your first time writing poetry, just skip it. Writing a rhyming poem is very difficult to do without sounding cheesy. For your first effort, go for freeform, which means you can write sentences at any length or meter. If you do try rhyming, avoid the biggest mistake of all which is forced end rhyme and changing tenses in order to fit your poem.
Another thing to avoid is flowery language you wouldn’t normally use. For this exercise, write as you would speak. Many people think they need to “formalize” their writing by adding “thee” or “thou” or some other more formal word usage, but this is simply not the case. Remember that you’re writing this poem for someone you love, and the more it sounds like you the more your special someone will appreciate it.
Arrange Your Words in a Logical Order
Jot down a few sentences that call up images of your partner. These can be individual moments, or general feelings. Write them down without worrying about the order right now. If you’re finding the words are not flowing, switch the way you’re getting words down on paper. For example, if you’re trying to pen a poem by hand, try typing it on the computer instead. If you’re currently typing it out, grab a pen and paper and try it that way.
When you have written several sentences, read through them without editing at first. Just read them and see if you’re able to call up the details you talk about in the lines. Are you missing some description that would help your partner read the poem? Don’t be afraid to edit here. If, for example, you have the line “you’re such a great mom to our kids” perhaps you could add detail that would let her know exactly what she does that you appreciate. Something like, “I love hearing your voice act out the characters as you read to the kids at night” will help her pinpoint the moments you’re talking about.
Finalize Your Poem
When you have your lines arranged in a way that sounds good to you, polish up any grammar, spacing, line breaks, and the like. Do this to improve the readability of the poem, not to follow any “rules.” The important thing is getting your thoughts across, and it doesn’t matter how you do it. Poets have always broken rules in their poems, and you can do the same.
When you’re happy with what you have, prepare your poem to give as a gift. You might want to write it all out on special paper or type it in a romantic font. Wrap it up like you would a present, or put it in a card. Do whatever feels right to you.
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