How Reading and Writing Poetry Makes You a Better Writer

Insights into reading and writing poetry

Diana Raab

--

Photo Credit: Upspash/ Thought Catalog

Poetry is presumed to be the oldest of the literary arts. In its early form it was performed, sung or orally spoken. Basically, it’s a succinct and condensed form of expression using an economy of words to tell a story. A poem can be thought of as a slice-of-life or vignette. In terms of fiction writing, we can think of a novel or short story as a collection of vignettes. Each poem or vignette can very often stand on its own.

Poetry tends to be concerned with specific and concrete language. Its strength lies in the interaction between language and rhythm. This is one of the reasons that poetry is often sung, such as in the case of the late poet and songwriter, Leonard Cohen. Poets often help us see a perspective of the world which we might not have considered before. Poetry is detail-oriented, which is great practice for all fiction writers.

A poem often begins with inspiration from a feeling, an image, or an event. Similarly, our connection with prose often starts with something we see which is brought into our consciousness by our senses, whether it’s hearing a sound, seeing a color, or tasting a food. Famous poet Goethe said, “I no sooner have an idea, than it turns into an image.” This is where keeping a journal comes in handy for the writer, as often images and ideas come to us during the normal course of our day, and not necessarily while we’re seated in our writing studios or at our computers.

Reading and Writing Poetry

As writers, we’re often told that if we want to be successful at it, then we also need to be diligent readers. We’ve also been advised to read the genre in which we write; however, there might be one exception — and that is the importance of bringing poems into our lives.

Reading poetry begets poetry. The more you read, the more you will want to read. In Mc Nerney’s article, “How to Incorporate Poetry Into Your Daily Routine she says reading poetry can be quite refreshing. The fact is, reading poetry can be nurturing, fun, and enlightening. The similarities between fiction and poetry is that they’re both manifestations of the writer’s imagination. Both fiction and poetry can inspire us to listen…

--

--

Diana Raab

Award-winning author/poet/blogger. Speaks and writes on writing for healing & transformation. Visit: dianaraab.com