Poetry is a very broad thing to cover. However, I hope you find these general tips and tidbits helpful when writing. I hope you guys find this useful.
-Decide what format your poem will work the best with.
Think about what your poem is trying to be, and who it is targeted to. If you are planning to a poem for a more child-like audience, for example, you would generally want a lot of alliteration and rhyming to make it sound young and cheerful. However, if you wanted a more serious adult piece, you would most likely not make the poem rhyme due to the fact that rhyming makes it sound more childish (which is not always a bad thing!). Is your poem going fit better if you write it as a haiku or another Eastern poem or is it going to fit better as urban/spoken word? If you are writing Eastern poetry, then you will focus more on syllables and the themes of nature, peace, and things like that (traditionally speaking). If you write urban/spoken word, the poem is less dependent on rhyme schemes and syllables, and more focused on how it sounds when it’s spoken, and how the beat of the line correlates with the content that is being spoken. These preliminary choices are huge questions that answering will really help with the format and flow of the piece much easier than if you just wing it completely. Usually, you will have a vague idea when you first get the thought, so just try to flesh it out slightly before continuing.
-Don’t just add in impressive words into a poem for no reason.
There is a common misconception in writing that adding in words like “abhor”, “aberration” and “extol” for no reason other than show that you know some big words makes you a good writer. It actually can make you a worse one. If you use too many big words no one will usually understand, it might pull them out of the trance of the poem, and lead them to a dictionary instead. While teaching people is nice—there are usually better things that your poetry could teach someone than a few interesting words. So if you want to use a big vocabulary, make sure you’re careful and have a very justified reason for doing so, or else you’ll find the impact of your poetry might not be as strong as it could be.
-Make sure to use imagery and other literary devices.
I know for a fact I have said this tip over and over by now, but it still doesn’t make it any less important. Considering that poetry is all about showing people self-expression in the most interesting and beautiful way words will allow, literary devices and imagery are hugely important to consider when writing your poems. Alliteration and personification are some of the most common and helpful devices to use for poetry, due to these devices ability to control flow and automatically create interesting imagery. However, other great literary devices that can easily and effectively be put in poetry are similes, metaphors, and things of that nature as well. If you don’t put many literary devices in your literature, especially with poetry, I have found it tends to sound more like a specially formatted statement or complaint than actual art, so it’s important to try to use these every now and then.
-Think hard about the poem’s title.
Whether you have realized it or not, but the title is especially important in poetry. Without the title, some poems almost act as a puzzle, while others actually miss out on an entire line of the poem! So, think hard about what your poem is about and the most important details, and if it deserves to be highlighted in the title. Feel free to get creative with it, just don’t tell yourself, “Oh, the title doesn’t matter…”, because often in poetry it does.
-Pay attention to the “little things”.
For as long as poetry has existed, poetry has almost always been about those little things. Nature, feelings, self-discovery—all the things that make us human. Therefore, it is important to be observant. You never know when you’re going to look out of the window, and see something that gives you a brilliant idea. As corny as it is, it’s important to take your time and make sure you haven’t missed anything, because as a writer, you tend to write what you know and have seen the best.