1. Basics

1. Basics

A Lesson by Samith Pich

Just notes about poetry I've gathered over the years.


Why write poetry? Because you want to. Sometimes because you have to.

What is poetry? 

Poetry is a form of literature that is often highly personal. 
Like art, poetry has many shapes and sizes and styles.
But what brings it together is the word.

poetry is the process of choosing the best possible words, in the best order, to convey the idea/feeling/moment you want to convey.

A poem is not a story (but it can tell one).
A poem is often a loose collection of moments or just the exploration of one defining moment.

It's like a torch that illuminates several still photoes. Each photo a memory of a time and place.
But like memory, it doesn't have to 'be accurate' what needs to be accurate is the feeling of that moment.

And how you choose to convey it is up to you (and to a certain extent the level of skill and experience you have).

Why is poetry powerful?

What gives a poem it's impact is the ability to convey the most feeling in the most precise way.

What makes poetry so rich is that language is so rich.

What makes poetry so relateable is that it often draws upon the richness and rawness of human experience:

Love, loss, childhood, happiness, betrayal, sadness etc 

Poetry is like music. But not that it needs to rhyme (unless it needs to). But in that the spaces between notes, the silence between stanzas can be what makes the msuic powerful. Not just the melodic noise.

The process

1. write what you want how you want.

I like to write
how I want 
them to be

read this
there will be

a cadence
or a


line break

and a 


Writing like this helps the reader read your poem how you would speak it.

All poems should be read out loud. 

They should read naturally, with minimal dramatisation. But heaps of feeling (if it requires it).

There should be a flow but not a forced one.

Llanguage devices

Similies are nice. Comparing one thing to another - 'My love is like a rose'
Metaphors are better but can be more complex .
A metaphor states one thing IS another i.e 'love is a battefield'
Alliteration is nice because it sounds good 'sweet birds sang a song of sixpence'


Less is more with poetry.
Unless you are going for more is more.
Be precise enough so your words create images in the reader's mind.
Play with language. Play with ubsurb combinations of words or phrases. 
Once you've written a poem (and ideally always write on paper) let it sit for a day or two. 
Then edit out everything unnecessary.

Read out the poem atleast 5 times.

Roll it around on yur tongue.

If it feels good on the tongue and it feels good in the heart it will be a poem you can be happy enough with.

Final notes:

Most of your writing/poetry will suck.
Write anyways.
Only by writing lots of truely god-awful stuff can you get to the good stuff.

Even your good stuff may not be good enough.
Thats okay. It's not a bloody competition. (Unless it is).

This is YOUR jouney. This is YOUR experience.
No one has a right to judge your jouney or experience.

But they do have a right to constructively critique your ability to best convey it. When you choose to share it.

Always have a pen and paper handy.
You never know when inspiration will strike.

If I'm awake at 2am and a phrase just keeps repeating itself in my head.
I wake up write it down and go back to sleep.

Above all -

"Just be yourself! Everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde


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Posted 4 Months Ago

Thank you very much for sharing this. There are times i have thought that my poems must fit a mold to be accepted, :) but its not a competition. I enjoyed this lesson. Bless!!!
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Added on February 9, 2021
Last Updated on February 9, 2021
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Samith Pich
Samith Pich

Perth, Australia

At the end of your life only 3 questions need to be answered: Did you live? Did you love? Did you matter?