Three Tips for the Novice Poet

Novice Poet pic
Novice Poet

The director and chairman of the board of Custom Cable Services, Inc., in Fultondale, Alabama, Edgar Gentle also holds one-third of the stock in the company, which maintains annual sales of $13 million. Outside of his professional life, Edgar Gentle spends his time between two Alabama lake houses, where he enjoys writing poetry.

Like any art form, poetry can seem intimidating to the novice, resulting in fear rather than bringing feelings of joy and satisfaction. Here are three tips for budding poets to get the most out of their work while avoiding common mistakes:

1. Write About What Matters to You – Poetry can help poets recognize and process their own feelings. Andrew Motion, a former poet laureate of the United Kingdom who has been knighted for his contributions to literature, has said that his early poetry helped him deal with and express his feelings regarding his mother’s death. He advises poets to “let your subject find you.”

2. Have Clear Direction – Before writing your poem, ask yourself what the purpose of the poem is and what you want it to do. This clear vision will help you write a poem with a cohesive message and theme.

3. Revise – Your poem is not completed once you have finished the first draft. Put your poem aside for a few days before coming back to it with a fresh perspective. Another option is to ask a friend or colleague for constructive criticism. A fresh set of eyes may notice an issue you completely missed.