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Schreibtischtäter > Literary writing > Genre

Decide on a topic. Every poem needs to tell a story, or at least discuss the same topic throughout. You might even want to brainstorm some of your ideas and when some points out on paper about what you'd like to say in your poem. This will be great to refer to during the writing process.

Begin writing each verse. For this style of poem, there will be 4 lines per verse (you may think of a verse as a ‘poem paragraph'), and every second line will rhyme. You also need to note that every line of a rhyming poem is capitalized, and punctuation is used throughout just as you would if you were writing a normal sentence. Make note of the look and formatting of this 4-line verse:

Mary had a little lamb.
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

As you can see, each line lines up at the margin, and each line begins with a capital regardless of where it is in the sentence. Also, since this is an ABCB style poem, the second and fourth lines rhyme (both referred to as B since they share the same ending sound). In terms of content, use lots of descriptive words and imagery. Be sure to save your strongest point for the very last line of your poem. End with a ‘bang', so to speak.

Say your poem out loud. Every poem has a sort of rhythm to it, a tempo that almost feels like a pulse when you read it. You'll need to read your poem out loud to make sure that your poem flows well, and has the same tempo throughout. The poem above has 4 beats per line - can you tell? If one line has 4 beats, and the next line has 7 beats, you need to revise your poem so that both lines are about the same length and share the same tempo.
6. Edit your poem. While you might think that your finished poem is a masterpiece, you will definitely need to re-read it to check for errors. There are often a few words that you can replace to make your poem sound even better. Double-check that you have included everything you wanted to say in your poem, and add more verses if you need to. Remember, there is no set length to a poem. It just needs to be consistent in style and formatting throughout. Think of a great title after you're done writing the poem, so you can be sure it suits it perfectly!

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