How to Make a Poem: Getting Started with Poetry

Putting together your first poem isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just follow these easy steps!


Whether you’re feeling inspired to write a poem—or you have to do it as school assignment—it can be tough to find exactly the right words. Before you put pen to paper (or sit down at a computer) follow these easy steps to make a poem that you’ll be proud to read, save, or share.

  1. Step 1: Read other poems. To find inspiration, take a look at that other poems that are out there. For starters, check out any anthology (book of poems) from your local library. For instance, you might enjoy the dark, gothic, mysterious poems of Edgar Allan Poe, the beautiful way Walt Whitman describes nature, or the intensity of the writing of Sharon Olds. Once you’ve explored classic poems by professionals, browse through poems by other teens like you here.
  2. Step 2: Choose a form. Figure out what style of poetry suits you best. If you like writing about love, for example, then you might want to try a ballad. If you like math and want a strict, tight structure, a haiku could be your thing. If you’re musical and have a sense of humor, a limerick may be more your speed.
  3. Step 3: Think about what’s meaningful to you. When it comes to choosing a topic, what is the first thing that crosses your mind when you wake up and the last thing that crosses your mind before you go to sleep at night? Maybe it’s playing basketball, someone you have a crush on, or remembering a grandparent who recently passed. Don’t worry about what may be important to other people—focus only on what matters to you.
  4. Step 4: Don’t be afraid of a blank page. Learning how to make a poem for the first time might feel daunting, but fight the urge to procrastinate and simply start by writing down the first words that flow through your brain. Keep in mind that for your first draft, you don’t have to get it right—you just have to write. You can always go back and edit yourself later!
  5. Step 5: Give yourself a deadline. Creating a specific timeframe for completing the poem will motivate you to not just start it, but also finish it. That might mean a month, a week, a day or an hour. Choose a deadline that fits your particular schedule. If you treat it like a serious school assignment, then you’re more likely to stay focused, get it done, and feel like a proud, first-time poet!

Image via The Modern Tog

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