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To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme: A Perspective on Writing Poetry

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For those of you who may feel intimidated at the prospect of writing poetry...take heart. I assure you, this noble art form is open to everyone. Aside from a few basic guidelines that may govern certain forms of poetry, there really are no rules that would otherwise fetter the creative spirit.

to-rhyme-or-not-to-rhyme-a-perspective-on-writing-poetry


What does a perfect poem look and sound like? Can the rules of poetry discourage us from appreciating this art form? Perhaps part of the problem is due to the fact that poetry is so poorly taught in many classrooms. This is understandable because certain teachers may love literature, but have an aversion to poetry and dislike teaching it altogether.

I shall never forget my high school days and the poetry phase of our sophomore literature class. Our teacher, who I will refer to as Ms. Grim (pardon the poetic license), began teaching poetry by assigning John Keats’ Ode to A Nightingale. To our unhappy surprise, rather than discussing the poem or the poet, Ms. Grim decided instead to ambush us with those four dreaded words: “What does it mean?” When that question failed to inspire the required response, she followed up with, “No, class! What was Keats thinking when he wrote this poem?”

Predictably, our teacher's demands resulted in the ‘deer in the headlights’ look from a number of my classmates, while others tried to slither downward in their chairs to hide from her view. Clearly annoyed, Ms. Grim began to parse the poem out in sections on the chalkboard for us to analyze. It was an unpleasant experience, reminiscent of the time we were required to dissect pickled frogs during biology class. She never strayed far from her teaching guide, referring to it often. In retrospect, I don't doubt that the great John Keats would have been either mortified or highly amused.

The more interesting days occurred when Ms. Grim required us to write poetry. We could always count on her red flair to fill the landscape of our papers with brusque criticism. She chastised me, more than once, for writing rhyming poetry that held a duality of meaning she didn't understand. She criticized others in class as well, causing them to blush with embarrassment. It took a couple of months for me to completely recuperate from the resulting poetry-blindness of Ms. Grim’s instruction on the classics. I suspect that others never fully recovered. Her constant demand for analytical attention created a dislike of poetry from most of her students -- if not predisposing them to detest poetry, entirely.

To be fair, other teachers truly excel in teaching poetry by approaching it from both an analytical and creative aspect. They unlock the doors to its creative language of thought and emotion expressed through vivid imagery, theme and symbolism. These are gifted teachers. They enable their students to breathe life into the music of the words to better understand how poetry’s natural beauty and power are accessible to us all.

Everyone has their own tastes and preferences with poetry. Some prefer free or blank verse, while others enjoy the elements of flowing rhyme. Rhyme critics consider this form to be fraught with a sing-song quality that is mundane or too traditional, often characterized with the, “We skipped through the tulips…fa la la la la," type of verse. Others claim that writers begin with rhyme before progressing to other, “more serious forms" of poetry. Famous poets have been accused of trying to force a word that doesn’t fit into the rhyme scheme, thus making the poem sound too contrived.

The rhyming, evocative and melodic elements of poetry in music …


As someone who often writes in rhyme, I would like to dispel some of these myths. First of all, like falling in love, we do not choose rhyme; rather, it often chooses or finds us. That being said, rhyme can also be very challenging. We want to express something compelling, moving and thought-provoking while providing magic elements of imagery -- often within a melodic flow. Reading it should be effortless.

Granted, there are times when attempting to rhyme takes over the writing process. One moment we’re in handcuffs; the next, we're whisked away as the words take on a life of their own. Of course, there are the occasional wild rides down a rabbit hole where we land with a thump and ask ourselves, “How on earth did I get here?" Actually, this is one of my favorite moments in the writing process. I look about this strange land to see what it has to offer; its unique phrasing and words will inevitably find me.

There are also those intermittent times we are faced with a word that doesn’t rhyme within the structure of our poem. This is the puzzle piece that doesn’t fit; the anomalous color that distorts the painting; the sour, out-of-tune key on the piano; the odd dinner plate that destroys an otherwise exquisite table setting. Never one for tulip-skipping, Emily Dickinson would often change a word many times to suit her ear in a line of verse that rhymed. I should also mention that one rarely sees forced rhyme in any of Robert Frost's poetry. In other words, if we are challenged by the trappings of rhyme, we're in excellent company.

Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world.”

-Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

I'm an omnivorous reader and a struggling, eclectic writer of articles, short stories and poetry. Although I frequently write in rhyme (I still have much to learn), I also love free verse poetry that is "unfettered" with the normal rules of poetry. Reading Walt Whitman for the first time was, for me, a revelation. Free verse and blank verse poets are more comfortable with this style of poetry because they find it less cumbersome and more open to creative expression. "To each his own," is extremely important and should always be respected.

If writing poetry calls to you, by all means answer. This is one of the noblest of all art forms. Whether you write rhyme, blank verse, free verse, haiku or other forms, don’t be afraid of or dominated by rules and convention. An extraordinary writer once provided me with these helpful guidelines: Don't be discouraged if you write a bad poem (we all do); you’ll soon write a better one. Read other poetry, including the classics, various forms and the works of the masters. Never overlook lesser known or unknown writers; we all have a voice. Write often. Try not to explain too much in your poetry but avoid being too obscure. Never cling to your words out of stubbornness and refuse to consider revisions.

From my own experience, above all, don’t be afraid to write about something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Dispel any haunting red flairs and chalkboards from your past and open yourself up to new dimensions. Inspirations will visit you from unexpected places. Welcome them and look for those magic elements. You can begin by writing down a few thoughts or emotions and let the seeds of the poem grow from there. Just be careful of the tulips. :-)

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough."

-Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

© 2017 Genna East

Comments

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on February 05, 2020:

Hello Kari. Thank you for reading and the comment! I think that no matter what our genre is, we are always striving to become better. I know that I am. Good to see you. :-)

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on February 01, 2020:

Your love of poetry is written into this article. I write poetry sometimes, and I'm always hoping to become better. Thanks for the encouragement!

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on December 14, 2019:

"Quite a challenge to avoid forced rhymes or lines that seemed out of place." Couldn't agree more, Tommy. When rhyme is written well, it can reach into the soul with a duality of meaning -- something I employ at times when writing rhyme, or other poetry for that matter. But I'm still a neophyte. :-) Thank you much for the visit and the read, and for the your perceptive comments.

Tommyboy on December 13, 2019:

Traditional form bashers abound and I say to each his/her own. But I love excellent rhyme poetry that is well metered. Free verse certainly requires less discipline which may be one reason so many neo poets prefer it. I wrote (and rewrote and rewrote) an 88 line rhyme poem based on the meter and complicated rhyme scheme of the final stanza of Poe's famous Tamerlane. Quite a challenge to avoid forced rhymes or lines that seemed out of place. I also enjoy writing sonnets in perfect (or near perfect) iambic pentameter, though I've found that many today want to skip the difficult meter requirement. Anyway, I love competent rhyme poetry, especially if the poem tells a good story. Nice article.

Genna East on July 19, 2019:

Hello Brian. Many thanks for that thoughtful comment. Poetry is an open landscape, with many forms abundant with possibilities. How I love it. :-) And you are so right about the power of this art form.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on July 16, 2019:

All good advice and suggestions, Genna.

Another sort of poem that is an alternative to rhyming and strict form poems is the prose poem. The book THE AMERICAN PROSE POEM: POETIC FORM AND THE BOUNDARIES OF GENRE by Delville discusses prose poems by a number of American authors. Prose poems were pioneered by 19th-century French poets such as Rimbaud, Bertrand, Baudelaire, and Mallarme. I've heard that contemporary flash fiction is sometimes prose poetry.

A poem crafted by a master can be powerful, whether it has some traditional form and rhyming scheme, is free verse or blank verse, or is prose poetry.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on March 11, 2019:

Tim Truzy: Hi Tim. How fortunate you were to have a supportive and inspiring teacher. Thanks so much for the visit and kind words. You are always welcome here. I look forward to reading your poetry. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on March 11, 2019:

Dream On: Such a nice thing to say...thank you. We have some very talented poets, here, on the Hub -- Verlie, Jodah and Mckbirdbks, to name just a few. I hope you have time to stop by their hubs for some wonderful reading. :-)

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on March 09, 2019:

Wonderful article on poetry. I enjoyed reading it. You are so right: the experience (real or imagined) often determines whether I use rhyme within the structure of my poetry. My high school English teacher was very supportive, and for that, I'm thankful.

Respectfully,

Tim

DREAM ON on March 07, 2019:

A wonderful hub exploring the art of poetry. I never learned poetry in school but if you were my teacher I would have certainly tried. I think poetry is a good way to describe our life and the way we share it with the world. I look forward to reading more. Have an amazing day.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on December 16, 2018:

Hi Verlie and Paula...

My apologies for not responding sooner, but I've been in Colorado for a couple of weeks visiting family. I'm only now just getting caught up. :-0

Verlie, you can go on as long as you wish! I'm tickled that one of my favorite poets spotted this hub and wrote a thoughtful and interesting comment. Your experience and exploration in reading so many poets and musical lyrics has produced a symphony of creativity that is uniquely your own. You are very talented. Thank you!

Hi Paula. I agree that we have some talented writers and poets on the Hub. We each have our own muse, my friend, and they doesn't always show up on our doorstep at the time or the way we might expect. There are times when I think I should send out an RSVP when life bogs me down with its own laundry-list of annoying details. Thanks so much for the visit and kind words, as well as the favorite reference. Good to see you.

Suzie from Carson City on December 02, 2018:

Genna....I truly appreciate this beneficial education on poetry...interesting, eye-opening and very helpful to non-poets like myself. I've tried my muse at a few poems...mostly nonsense poetry and just a couple serious ones. I just don't think I could really master Poetry without some study and a lot of practice. I say this based on the truly great poetry I read by some writers....many right here on our site.

I enjoyed this article Jenn and will Favorite it as a reference. Peace, Paula

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on December 02, 2018:

Hi Genna, I just spotted this on the feed, and realized I had not read yet, and happy I did.

I had no poetry lessons in school that I can recall, but plenty of music, including choir, and all that singing left a huge love of lyrics and lyricism that I think influenced my love of writing verse. In later years I discovered poets I loved, and read everything of their work I could, Leonard Cohen's poetry and lyrics, Bob Dylan's poetic lyrics, and then was lucky to be introduced to the imagist poets by a friend who had a collection of the works of Hilda Doolittle, another friend gifted me with a collection of Walt Whitman. It just kind of happened that way. And eventually it led me to read everything, and anything and every poetry anthology I could find from contemporary right back to the classic Romantic poets, both British and American, and translations from the ancient Chinese and Buddhist poets.

With this mix of influence I just started to play with writing my own, and I've been playing ever since. I love rhyme, but I also love the freedom of more open forms. I really believe it's the reader who finds the meaning of the poem, the poet can only suggest, it is a magical process. Sorry to go on and on.

I enjoyed your open, and positive approach. It is encouraging.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on December 02, 2018:

Hi Kim and Bob...

My apologies for being late, but things have been so crazy busy. Kim, I am delighted by your comments, and Bob, your poem does honor to this article. Thank you both. :-)

diogenes on November 27, 2018:

POEM "Just Sparks..."

"Just sparks we are, descended from the sun.

Blink your eye and we are gone.

Some burn brightly, others dim,

The lucky fuse; burn brighter than one.

But just sparks we are, nothing ever more.

Just fireflies dancing at heaven's door..."

Robert Challen (Diogenes Nov 2018)

ocfireflies on November 27, 2018:

Genna,

I found this hub to be helpful, eloquently written. So much so I am smitten

by your own personal style. By using anecdotes and writing so freely, effortlessly, the reader not only receives excellent advice, but is such a reader-friendly way. Stellar job, per usual.

Blessings Always,

Kim

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 27, 2017:

peek-a-boo again..:)

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 23, 2017:

anytime and have a blessed Christmas and a fantastic new year...:)

Genna East on December 17, 2017:

Thank you Frank and Nikki. What a lovely surprise to see your comments. They are so much appreciated. All the best for a very Merry Christmas! :-)

Nikki Khan from London on December 04, 2017:

Hi Genna,

Very well woven article,,an interesting work to read and learn.Thanks for sharing.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 04, 2017:

smart, intelligent and a great tool for want to be poets.. Very well written too Genna East

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on December 03, 2017:

Nell, "going with the flow" is what's all about, so you are spot on. Thank you for the visit and kind comment.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on December 03, 2017:

Shyron, thank you for your comment. I must apologize as I seemed to have missed it. Forgive me. Blessings to you as well, my friend. :-)

Nell Rose from England on December 03, 2017:

To be honest I am not sure what my poetry is, I just go with the flow! LOL! and yes that Ms Grim sounds like a right pain in the back side! good to see you!

Genna East on December 03, 2017:

Thank you, Kari, for taking the time to read this article and for the nice comment. I'm afraid a number of us had a Ms. Grim. (Lol.) Thank goodness we have other teachers who know and "see" better, and inspire our students.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 02, 2017:

Thank you so much for the advice and encouragement. I think I must have had Ms. Grim also, lol. I like your way much better!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 13, 2017:

Genna, this is beautiful, I did not have poetry in school or if I did I must have been sleeping. I write what I feel and what I am inspired to write..

Thank you for all this information, it is very helpful

Blessings my friend.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on July 16, 2017:

Thank you, Eddy. Good to see you. :-)

Eiddwen from Wales on July 10, 2017:

A brilliant read and like Nell I simply write from the heart in whatever genre happens to flow at the time. Take care and thank you so much for sharing Genna.

Eddy.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on July 06, 2017:

Audrey Howitt: I am so sorry, but I never received the e-mail that you commented. It's odd because this is the 4th or 5th time it's happened with HP. My account reads "comments," yet nothing appears below to list the comments. Anywho, thanks so much for commenting. I had a lot of fun writing this. :-)

Audrey Hunt: Two of my favorite writers on the Hub, and they both have the same first name. Now that is Kismet. :-) I so appreciate the comment. As I noted above, I had great fun writing this. Good to see you.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 05, 2017:

Most of my poetry calls to me in rhyme. I rarely think about it...it just happens so fast. You,ve inspired me to try more free verse. It will be a challenge but I love to learn and develop my writing.

Great hub Genna!

Audrey Howitt from California on May 02, 2017:

What a great article Genna--you describe our fear around poetry so well--I don't think it was until I was an adult that I even thought of poetry as having some deeper way of expressing feeling--and even then, I am not sure that I understood that then or now--at least not to the level I would like to--

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on March 15, 2017:

Thank you Shyron! And blessings to you as well. :-)

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 11, 2017:

Genna, I love your article and poetry as I am a logophile and if the words rhyme all the better.

Like Mike I don't remember poetry lessons, but wrote it from fourth grade.

Songs especially country and religious are poems set to music.

This is a fantastic article and I will be back many times I am sure.

Blessings

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 11, 2017:

Thank you Genna. =)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on February 11, 2017:

Thank you! And welcome to Hubpages, Louise.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 07, 2017:

I love poetry. Not very good at writing it though, but I do enjoy reading it. I should give it a try, see what I can do. I love words.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 31, 2017:

What a wonderful teacher, Shauna! You were blessed to have one of the good ones. Thanks so much for the visit and comment.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 30, 2017:

Genna, this article is beautifully penned and is as poetic as they come.

When I was in junior high, our teacher often had us analyze songs such as Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" and The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby". Of course, she'd play the songs for us first, then stop and start as we dug deep into our souls to delve deeply into the words. I loved her teaching style!

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 30, 2017:

Body: I so agree! I appreciate the visit and comment.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 30, 2017:

Nithya: Thanks so much for your visit and comment. Haiku is not easy to write; I find it very challenging. But it sounds as though you have mastered one of the beautiful and magical art forms of poetry.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 28, 2017:

A great perspective about writing poetry. I love to write poetry, especially haiku. I do try to write in rhyming fashion, but sometimes I feel restricted because I cannot find the right words to rhyme and express my feelings.

BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on January 28, 2017:

Creative spirits are gifts, whether the verses rhyme or not.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 27, 2017:

Hi Maria...

I'm so sorry it took me this long to respond, but ever since they moved my article to LetterPile, I've had trouble editing and leaving comments. Sheesh. Thank you, my dear, for such a beautiful comment. It more than made my day. Your students are blessed to have you. We need more inspirational and gifted souls like yours.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on January 23, 2017:

I wish I could have a word with Ms. Grim...telling her how wonderful and talented you turned out despite her brusque and critical manner, dear Genna.

A former nursing student shared a similar story with me. In this case her teacher told her she had 'zero' writing ability and should essentially retire her pen. After I gave her a well-deserved 'A' on a paper (telling her she was a fabulous writer), she broke down and cried about this traumatizing feedback.

How thrilled I was to learn she is in the process of publishing a children's story.

Poetry is as individual as the scribe. And yours, whether rhyming or not is some of finest I've ever read. Love, Maria

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 21, 2017:

Hi. I didn't see a previous comment, but I'm happy to read this one. Thank you :-) It does depend on the work in that I can't imagine Poe's classic without rhyme.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 20, 2017:

I thought I had left a comment but must have not finished it. Anyway, can you imagine Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" with no rhyme scheme? I guess it depends on the work. I often prefer non-rhyming but it depends.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

Venkatachari M: Hi there. I look forward to reading your poems on the blog you mentioned. Blessings, and thank you.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

Jodah: Hi John. I read your rhyme poem and loved its cleverness! I think rhyme has its own charm, challenges and beauty; it can illuminate reality in such a powerful, unique way. Aren't we lucky to be able to experience it? :-) Thanks of much for the visit and kind comments.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

MartieCoetser: Thank you, Martie. I look forward to reading your poem. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

AlwaysExploring: We each have our own muse -- that pied piper of the heart and mind. I think that rhyme is a rare calling. Flash fiction and poetry are where you live, Ruby. I'm often in awe of how you write in the style like Senru and make it look so easy. I keep thinking, "How does she do it?" I don't have that talent. But you do, my friend. :-) Hugs.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

Mckbirdbks: Hi Mike. I fell in love with words when I was a little girl and began to read. What treasures they unlock -- what dreams of worlds, experiences and possibilities that are unending. You have that same love, my friend, and a unique understanding of human nature and the reality of the world that shows with everything you write. I love your stories, and your poetry. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

SheilaMarie: HI Sheila. Good to see you. Rhyme is a unique call. We don't see much of it these days. But those who can write in rhyme, well, have a melody of words inside, like a song. All poetic forms are special...As Frost once said, “Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world.”

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

SamTumblin: Thank you, Sam. You brought up a good point. Yes, it can be daunting. Poetry isn't written from a perspective of, "Well, I have to write poem today." It flows forth when we have something to say.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

Billybuc: We should all have such limitations, my friend; you're one of the best writers it's been my privilege to read. I often see a sense of poetry in your wonderful stories. It's one of the reasons I'm such a fan. Thank you for your comment. Blessings to you as well. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

AnnArt: Good morning, Ann. Thank you for those nice words and encouragement. I love what you wrote about "recognizing the harmony." Beautifully stated. Haiku can be very rigid...I envy those who can write in this style so easily. And writing from the heart is the very definition of inspiration. Good to see you. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

Diogenes: Hi Bob. Thank you. "Poetry has been such a great friend to me, both entertaining and inspiring all of my adult life." I think you have stated so eloquently what poetry means. How sad that it seems to be a dying art in modern times -- when we need it the most. There aren't many Maya Angelou's (RIP) left although we still have poets like Juan Herrera. The bard poets used to be rock stars in society. We now have digital entertainment, and it seems that a growing number of people prefer not to read anything that requires time and concentration. More's the pity, my friend. This is one of the reasons why I mention in the article to never ignore lesser-known or unknown poets. We all have a voice. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

NellRose: Nell, your style is free verse. And to write from the heart is writing with spirit, compassion and knowing. You are what poetry is all about. Haiku is challenging, with a set of rules that can be pretty limiting. Thanks so much for your comment. :-)

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on January 17, 2017:

Very interesting and informative article. You have provided many useful tips and much encouragement through your words and with your own experiences in writing poetry. I tried it once or twice at wordpress.com and it is still there at my blog there.

Thanks for this wonderful article, Genna.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 17, 2017:

I love this Genna, thanks for resurrecting and redoing it. Funny though, I just wrote a poem called "Just a Random Poem" and it has kinda' the same theme. I love any hubs about poetry, and rhyming verse will always be my favourite.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on January 17, 2017:

Very insightful and encouraging take on poetry, Genna. I feel like writing a poem right now :)

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 17, 2017:

My first love is poetry. I love to rhyme, and it can be difficult. Some words refuse to rhyme. I used to love doing Haiku and Senryu poetry. I've tried doing free verse, but I want to rhyme so badly it never works. I enjoyed reading your perspective on poetry. I am aware that some people dislike poetry in any form. I say, " Different strokes for different folks. " I might add, don't knock it until you've tried it...

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on January 17, 2017:

Hello Genna - I enjoyed your article and the direct and sensible way it is presented. I tried to recall a poetry lesson of any kind during my school days and cannot. It is likely something to do with my teenage years attention span. I have written a few poems in my time. Then when Emerald Wells Cafe came along I found myself writing upwards of fourteen poems every two weeks.

When you present a piece of your poetry to us, I become fully aware of the realms that can be opened with words. Your talent with words is unique and delicate.

(Now, I am tempted to write a little rhyming poem, but I won't.)

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on January 17, 2017:

Thanks, Genna, for a thoughtful article on poetry. Rhyme is only one of the many tools, and often surprises, in the poet's toolbox. And, as you have pointed out, great poets who use rhymes, such as Robert Frost, do so in such a natural way that the rhyme doesn't get in the way of the meaning or the flow of the poem.

Sam Tumblin from Eunice, La. on January 17, 2017:

Enjoyed reading your article "To rhyme or not to rhyme" from your perspective. It could be a very daunting task to string a poem together.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 17, 2017:

Genna, this man knows his limitations. I'm not one of those dogs who chases his tail for his entire lifetime. I'd rather chase something I can actually catch. Having said all that, I'm more than satisfied sitting back and reading poetry written by people like you. It's one of my secret pleasures, but I have no motivation to try it....it's just not in me. :) Blessings to you always.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 17, 2017:

Excellent and well-written hub, Genna! I always enjoy your writing. There is such good advice here. I never took to poetry as a student, though my teacher was great; I think it takes a certain maturity to appreciate this form of writing and I know the fault was in me.

I now enjoy writing in all styles, like you, because even though it's sometimes a challenge I find that certain subjects require a certain style. Words flow more easily if you recognise that harmony, I find. As Nell says, often writing from the heart brings its own words and its own style - inspiration is the key! Haiku is fairly rigid but even that has its suitable themes - short, sharp detail and a surprise included!

Good to read your work again.

Ann

diogenes from UK and Mexico on January 17, 2017:

Hi Genna: What a lovely, sensible and inspiring article. I played with poetry/verse for many years, finally publishing "Charged Particles," a small collection, now out of print due to a fraudulent publisher/agent.

As age slowed me: physically, mentally and creatively, I read and composed little recently except for doing a few hub-articles.

But poetry has been such a great friend to me, both entertaining and inspiring all of my adult life; it is such a huge shame it is not taught enough in school and university, nor even published by many serious poets any more.

Please give us another article suggesting how people can begin to love, understand and read the better minor poets as well as the bards.

Bob x

Nell Rose from England on January 17, 2017:

I don't have a style of poetry, I just write from the heart, mainly stuff about legends etc. I wish I could write Haiku's they are the ones that totally throw me! lol!