Write a poem that describes your home/street/neighborhood.

Your poem should communicate what you see, hear, smell and feel about your home. Consider the memories and emotions that you want to communicate to your reader. Are there any special people or locations that you could write about? Use the 'tools of the trade' or figurative language to get creative with language and structure.

Tips for writing a great poem

  • Decide on a unique point of view or perspective.
  • Use punctuation and line breaks to clarify meaning and emphasize important ideas.
  • Decide on a formal or casual register and keep it consistent.
  • Use repetition of words to emphasize important ideas/theme.
  • Be very deliberate with the words you choose, as each word in a poem communicates a particular message.
  • Use figurative language to communicate symbolic meaning (personification, similes, metaphors, hyperbole, alliteration, assonance ....)
  • be creative with the look, shape, and layout of your poem.

Expressing Your Ideas

How to write a poem - expressing your insights.

Here are some tips that will help:

  1. Don't state the obvious. Everyone knows that grass is green, and that snow is cold. If you mention grass, readers will suppose it is green unless you inform them otherwise. It's not necessary to mention the color of the grass unless you have something to say about it that the reader doesn't already know.

  2. But don't force originality. If the grass is actually green, you don't have rack your brain for another way to express the color just to be "different." Keep looking, focus on your subject matter, to find the real details that make it unique, the hidden meaning.

  3. Choose the right words. I'm not talking about words that are "poetic" or "impressive," I'm talking about words that express your subject matter. In his essay about animal poems, Hughes talks about words as if they themselves were living animals, each with a certain appearance and sound and way of moving.

    Think of the words "glow" and "glitter." Both describe light, but different kinds of light. When I see the word "glow," I think of a gentle warm light coming from inside of something. When I see the word "glitter," I think of many tiny pieces of light reflecting off of a hard surface. The word "glitter" gives me more of an idea of motion. The sounds of the words also create different feelings. "Glow" has a soft, round sound; "Glitter" has a hard sound and is broken into two parts, like light that is fragmented or moving.