Writie a poem that follows a specific form. You may write it in first-person point of view (I, me, my, we, us, etc.) or third-person point of view (he, she, it, they, etc.) Here is a list of poem suggestions:
- Write a Shakespearean sonnet like William Shakespeare’s poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer Day. Compare someone to something in nature.
- Write a Shakespearean sonnet about a fear you have like John Keat’s did in his poem “When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be.”
- Write a villanelle about death like Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” Remember you have to have good repeating lines for a villanelle to work.
- Write a villanelle about an inanimate object like Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “The House on the Hill.” Remember you have to have good repeating lines for a villanelle to work.
- Write a concrete poem like George Herbert’s poem “Easter Wings” or like E. E. Cummings’ poem “In Just.”
You get the idea, right? Brainstorm a list of your own ideas, a variation of one of the above, or use one of the above ideas.
Show Don’t Tell
Remember to use specific nouns and strong action verbs. Remember to use your senses: sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell. Remember to include literary devices like assonance, consonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhythm, meter, end-line stop, enjambment, caesura. Of course, poets use less words than fiction writers, too.
Follow the traditional line breaks and format that most free-verse poets use. Make the line breaks where there is punctuation, an end of a phrase, or the end of a sentence unless you are deliberately using enjambment.
Final Draft Instructions
Follow these instructions for typing the final draft:
- The poem must be typed in a Microsoft Word file (.docx).
- It must have one-inch margins, be single-spaced, and typed in a 12 pt. readable font like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
- Don’t allow the auto-correct in Microsoft Word to capitalize the first line of each poem. Use conventional English rules to write your lines.
- In the upper left-hand corner of page 1, type your first and last name, the name of the class, the date the assignment is due, and the assignment name. Example:
ENGL 1465–Creative Writing
Writing Assignment: Form Poem
- Be sure to give your poem a title. Do not bold, enlarge, or punctuate the title. Capitalize the first word and each important word in the title.