Sunday, November 15, 2015

How I Write Poems

I've always thought creativity and poetry are quite spontaneous and that there is no fixed 'methodology' that you can prescribe to it. However, in recent times, I've been thinking we all have a set of algorithms embedded deep within us that brings out our signature style. Even though, technically, how I write poetry is I meditate on an emotion, make it expand intensely and let it engulf me whole and let the words flow, I realize I do have a set pattern.

#1 Fixing the rhyme scheme

Call me old school. I just don't like poems that don't rhyme. It seems as if it is too easy. I generally go for an AABB rhyme scheme, just rhyming consecutive lines and being happy. If am adventurous, I may try ABAB.

#2 Fixing the meter

I usually go for a pentameter, 10 syllables per line. Sometimes I do seven syllables per line. That's about it.

#3 Throw in a LOT of alliteration

I love alliteration. I like phrases like 'tree trembles', 'wind whispers'. They almost sound musical to me.

#4 The cheats I use
Sometime, I google rhyming words :P Sometime if am too lazy, I'll end with the same word in two lines.

#5 Poetic license
I try not to abuse my poetic license much. I like a good structured poem. One prominent example where I used it is when once I said, "when blows the breeze" instead of "when the breeze blows".

So all this talking led me to try writing a poem. I'm going to try this algorithm in four lines on a very easy topic, the current incessant rains.

Dear droplets of Hydrogen Dioxide,
You batter everyone that's outside.
However, you brought well needed respite,
from both, the heat and the power bill's bite!

Hmm, maybe one day I'll make a natural language generator out of this!


  1. Haha. That was a short and funny poem! I love writing poems but I concentrate only on rhyming words. After reading your post, I feel I should focus on syllables and alliteration as well. Keep writing more poems :)

    - Sandhya Sureshkumar

    1. Hey!! Long time no see :) Thank you so much :)