All poetic projects on this wiki are designed to be engaging to students and also designed to scaffold poetic writing from the very beginning to the very sophisticated.

Crafting Poetry
How to do a freewrite
Web-based resources for writing poetry

See also:
Ballad Projects
Blues
Dream Flags
Fill in the Blank Writing
Making books
No David!
Opera
Persuasive Songs
Play Party Songs
Presidential Poetry
Seuss (a painless lesson on poetic meter)
Sonnet Drafter a program in Python that helps you write a sonnet
Carnival Poetry
Patterns


Crafting Poetry
Activity: do a free write on something that is important to you. Then see if you can turn it into a poem.

A lot of people think that somehow poets think up poems that have all those poetic devices and since they can't think things up like that, fully formed, then they obviously cannot write poetry. Not true.

Let's take something that doesn't seem to be an art form. If you paint a room in your house, you carefully paint around edges of woodwork and the ceiling and then you paint the walls. Then you back up and you take a look at what you have done. You see a place where you hit the woodwork and you wipe that off. There's a place where the paint ran and you re-roll that so the run is not so obvious. You wipe spots of paint off the floor.

Or, you decide to frost a cake. You mix the frosting, you gather whatever tools you are going to use--knife for spreading the frosting, tube of decorative gel to write on the cake, etc. Then you pile the frosting on the cake and spread it around, get it all over the cake. As soon as it is all over the cake, then you shape it so that there are no knife marks where you don't want them and you have a smooth place to write "Happy Birthday." Then you write. You might fix some place where the letters didn't look as good.

Writing poetry is like any of these activities. You get an idea that seems like a good subject for a poem. Maybe you have a metaphor in mind that will be the center of the poem. So, you write your idea down. Maybe it's pretty minimal. What do you do? Call that a poem and go on? You can make that choice, OR....


You can decide to do a freewrite for about ten minutes about your topic. That means you write freely, without stopping, whatever comes to mind. You don't censor. The first stuff you write will be what everyone writes about that topic. As you get that stuff out of your head, then you will start writing about the things that matter to you. These may seem bizarre to you, but these ideas are the foundation for great poetry that is unique to you.
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Now, you look for some lines in your freewrite that seem poetic and you add those to the poem. Notice there has been nothing said yet about rhyme, meter, etc. All you have done is to get your meaning on paper.

After you have your meaning down, then you can start to listen to the sound of the words you used. Here is where those poetic devices will start to make themselves known. Remember that the English language has at least two or three ways to say almost any thought you can think of, so you can start thinking of alternatives to what is already on the paper. For example, suppose you have two words that begin with the same sound in your first draft. Well, you might continue using that same sound by extending it, through changing words around those two words so they have the same sound, if not at the beginning of the word, somewhere in the word. See also Seuss for further information on this process.

You may find some natural rhyme. Does this seem like a poem that wants to rhyme? Get a rhyming dictionary and see if you can put it into a rhymed form of some sort without bending it too much.

Use some resources. It is not cheating to use a dictionary, a thesaurus (to find alternate words), a rhyming dictionary. These will help you to access a lot more possible words you can use to express your meaning and take into account the sounds your poem has.

To sum up: people make poems and then enhance poetic devices. They don't start with a poetic device, usually, and then make a poem.
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Here are web-based resources for writing poetry
http://brainstorm-services.com/wcu/craft-poetry.html
Brainstorming

http://www.wordle.net/
This resource uses tag clouds to create poetry--words of various sizes and orientations. You can even make poetry out of someone else's text which would be a relative risk free way of trying poetry out using this tool.
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