1. Before you write your poem, give it a tentative TITLE. Tentative because the inspiration may lead you elsewhere as you write.
2. A poem is like an ESSAY in verse. So, just as you list points in essays, list the main points of your poem before starting.
3. Decide if you want to have regular stanza formations (equal number of verses in a stanza), alternated or just free verse.
4. Make up your mind to RHYME or not.
5. If you want to rhyme, chose a rhyme scheme. You can create yours. I have several of mine. Be creative, but let there be a pattern.
6. MIND YOUR DICTION!!!!!!!!!!! This is key, don’t use every word you pick in a novel to write poem! The best of poems use SIMPLE words in CRAFTY ways. It’s not to use ‘OJUJU’ words that makes your poem cool. Until you become a master of words, stay off words you can’t manipulate…
7. Repetition is a poetic device…but it doesn’t mean you should tell us the same thing in 3 different stanzas.
8. Let there be a flow in your verses. Let them link. Don’t jump from beginning to end back to middle and beginning so much that we end up in a psychiatrist ward because we read your poem.
9. Poetic license doesn’t mean you should create non ‘relatable’ words and expect the reader to understand. If you do, add a phone number in your poem so that every reader can call to ask the meaning.
10. Spellings! Spell check yourself!
11. TENSE, Subject Verb Agreement, and parts of Speech must not be played around with. Do you mind people who tell you that you can do whatever you please as a poet?
12. A little restraint and adherence to rules made some poetic forms, and poets stand out. Observe rules where you can.
REVISE, REVISE AND REVISE…and let friends edit for you.
Kai, I don tire sef…