blog poetry | 4min Read
Published on June 30, 2022
Jamnabai Narsee School
The process of writing poetry is as personal and unique as the poem itself
Writing poems may seem daunting to some, while it may seem like a cakewalk to the rest. Irrespective of which category you belong to, I hope you’re able to take something away from this article (it sounds utterly fancy, but in reality, I am typing this on my laptop while sitting in my pj’s).
Poetry writing is as enjoyable as it is cathartic. How one perceives poetry (or any kind of literature for that matter) is highly subjective. Obviously, even the process of poetry writing varies from person to person. Many a time, people have asked me “how do you write poems?” Or “how to write good poetry?” This question usually stumps me because there is no one size fits all answer to this question. In order to understand what works best for you, you must start writing and figure it out for yourself.
In this article, I wouldn’t want to give you a step by step guide to write good poems. Instead, I would like to discuss a few things that you must focus on in order to zero down on the process that works best for you. Do bear in mind that the only way to get started with poetry writing is to get started with poetry writing- pick up the pen that has been lying next to your bed for ages and start scribbling things down. You will figure it out along the way, but you need to take the first step in order to get somewhere!
The 3 questions you must ask yourself :
Why do I want to write poetry?
Some of my contemporaries write poems merely for fun, some write it because it is a cathartic experience and few of them write in order to publish their work someday- all of these choices are equally valid and significant. It is important to introspect and figure out a purpose( it doesn’t have to be a lofty one, frivolous ones work too – as long as you’re happy ). In my opinion, writing for a purpose not only takes the quality of the poetry up a notch but also helps people stay motivated throughout the process of writing – I assure you, it can be quite tedious at times. Indulging in poetry writing for fun is vastly different from writing a weekly/monthly column. So before you embark on this wondrous journey, pause for a moment and ask yourself the questions that philosophers have been asking themselves for ages- what’s the purpose of this?
What kind of an external setting do I need in order to write a poem?
Honestly, If you took me to Willy Wonka’s factory, I’d probably pen down the best poem I have ever written, but alas, that is not to be! Jokes aside, where we write and when we write matters more than we can fathom. Case in point, I am writing this piece at 3 am whilst listening to ‘chandni raat’ by Ali Sethi. I am most productive at night – Mumbai exudes a serene and soothing vibe at night, and as someone who is sometimes bothered by the cacophony of the city, a calm and peaceful environment is essential for me if I am to write. On the other hand, my friend simply can’t digest the fact that I prefer writing at night to writing during the day. Her groggy and delirious self cannot do even an iota of work after sunset. Some of the best poems that I have written have been written in gardens, quaint cafes and libraries. Definitely do pay attention to the kind of environment that appeals to the writer in you
Which topics do I usually gravitate towards?
This would be particularly relevant to you if you intend on publishing your work. If you tend to gravitate towards a particular topic often and/or if the best poems that you’ve ever written focus on a particular theme, then congrats, you have found your forte! For the record, there is absolutely no harm in not having a forte. However, if you do have one, it is easier to focus on your strengths whilst honing your skills in order to work on your weaknesses. Exploring the various nuances of the theme of your choice is perhaps as intellectually stimulating as stepping out of your comfort zone, and maintaining a balance between the two helps an artist grow in every way possible.
Bonus post-script- my experience and a piece of my heart
The first poem I ever wrote –
On moving on
I am leaving behind all the memories I made,
And slowly but eventually,
They all shall fade.
But the feeling!Ah the feeling!
That shall always sail in my heart
Grieving but dancing
Crying but singing
But just as the sun always shines
And the wind always blows
The heart always pines
And as it pines,it seeks.
New memories shall be your bait
Fresh beginnings are coming your way
A fresh start awaits
Let the heart not grieve!
For a fresh start awaits,a fresh start awaits….
I started writing approximately 4 years ago, and though I am still an amateur, I was a complete novice back then. One fine day, I just picked up my diary and wrote down everything that came to mind at that moment. It was a process full of trial and error, but eventually, it worked out well for me. In the process of writing poetry (and figuring out which method of poetry writing works best for me), I became better acquainted with myself. There is no 5 step guide to poetry writing that will work for every single person in the world. The best way is to figure it out for yourself by starting small and paying close attention to what entices you the most. Most of all, do not forget to have fun!
Keep writing, keep shining.