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How To Write a Poem

By T. J. Dennett

This is where you start; where you pick up your pen,

or place your fingers on the keyboard

and turn your thoughts into letters, into words,

into poetry.

Be direct. Grab the reader's attention

like a hand around their neck.

Don't worry too much about structure,

just put your thoughts down on paper.

You can come back to this later.

It’s important not to lose focus

as you come towards the middle verses.

Concentrate on the rhythm,

not the rhyme. Though you’ll be forgiven

for thinking the latter is more important,

it isn’t. At least not this time.

Now you’re on the final stretch;

the last few hurdles to jump, to soar.

End your poem with something original, something raw;

or something beautiful, something pure.

But always end it with something

that leaves your audience wanting more.


T. J. Dennett is a writer and performer from Northamptonshire, England. He lives with his wife, daughter and their Labrador.


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