7 Tips for Writing Short Poems

Short poems can convey intimate moments with simple, specific, compelling words. They carry growing momentum from start to finish. A short poem differs from a long one in that poets may spend more time on word choice and clarity. Given this meticulous undertaking, writing a short poem can actually be tougher than writing a long poem! Check out these examples and poems from our Power Poetry community for reference, and get started on your own short poems.


How to Write Short Poems


  1. Get Inspired. Carry the inspiration until something sparks. This inspiration can be a line, a cause, a memory or just a word. Remember this is a short poem; you can begin with a small moment, idea, or feeling.
  2. Just Say It. Challenge yourself to tell a story or describe a moment in, say, no more than five lines. Don't second-guess yourself - go for it!
  3. Select Your Words. Choose and explore the right words: don't be afraid to turn to a rhyming dictionary or a thesaurus. But remember: short poems may mean less breathing room for your fanciest vocabulary words. Focus on the phrases that convey the most meaning in the least space.
  4. Read. Recite your poem aloud until you feel comfortable with its cadence and think it conveys the message you think it should. Check out our tips for reading poetry out loud for more advice on how to practice this type of presentation.
  5. Style. Use poetic devices to enhance your poem's meaning. Short poems can be great ways to showcase extended metaphors. Then again, something brief and straightforward can have a lot of impact too!
  6. Get Some Space. Take a break before editing. You'll want a fresh start when you look at your writing with a critical eye.
  7. Share. Share on Power Poetry or with or with your family or friends. Ask for opinions and suggestions. You can also enlist the help of a trusted friend or writing mentor to read your short poem and workshop your work with you.

Short poems may be brief, but their message and impact can pack a punch. If you're ready to share your short poems with more people and get connected with a larger poetry community, consider entering one of our online poetry slams or joining Power Poetry today!


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