Tips and Tricks
Unlike sitting down to write a letter, research paper, or book, writing in prose poetry is much different. For example, when it comes to writing a book in prose, the author will choose his/her words very carefully to convey his/her story or message. However, when it comes to prose poetry, the author must choose similar words but put them in a specific order to transport the reader to a higher state of consciousness or veracity. Below you will find a few tips on how to better write in prose poetry.
- The introduction – Also known as the hook, you need to make it memorable. Think back to your favourite books, poems, and even movies. What do you remember most? The opening line! Take for example Edgar Allen Poe’s opening line in The Raven, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.” Even if someone has never read The Raven, they have heard of this line. Therefore, make sure your opening line is compelling, thought inspiring, and visually stimulates the mind.
- Paint a picture in the in the mind of the reader – Taking the opening line from above from Poe, we can actually see things in our mind. When he uses midnight dreary, we can see the darkness, feel the damp air on our skin, maybe see the moon peeking through the clouds. He goes on to describe a person feeling lethargic by the monotonous night. The way Poe arranges his words makes the reader think back to a night in which they were bored and possibly feeling depressed. He engaged your senses. In short, don’t simply tell the reader there is a rose in the garden, describe the aspects of the rose without saying the word.
- Tone – Choose words that describe the subject’s mood (if applicable). Going back to The Raven, the words Poe chose to convey to us, the readers, describe exactly how the person is feeling – depressed. Other tones a prose poem can use are humour, amusement, anger, playfulness, etc. Decide on the tone of your writing and make your reader feel what the subject is feeling.
- Powerful ending – Think of the ending as the crowning point of the poem. Each and every line leading up to this point has foreshadowed and expanded the universal truth you are trying to reveal to the reader. In short, the most important two points are the first and last lines of the poem. They always have and always will be the most remembered lines in any book, poem, or movie.
If you follow these simple steps: introduce the reader to your setting, paint a word picture of your setting, provide a tone to the setting, and draw the setting to a close, you will be well on your way to your next great poem. For more information on poetry writing be sure to head on over to our website and have a look at more of our tips on poetry as well as great resources to make you the best possible poet you can be.