Writing poetry can be
incredibly difficult

who can say
what is poetry
what is not?


It can all be so overwhelming,
That one can forget
The end goal of writing professional poetry:


Enough of that. ead on, and learn how you can get your own poems published. There are a lot of freaks in the poetry business so it's not nearly as difficult to break into as you think. All it takes is a little inspiration, creativity, determination, and persistence. Don't forget to wear a beret and to snap your fingers whenever you read something you like.


There's a huge difference between wistful poems in your diary every night before bed and writing for a wider audience. If you want to keep your poems purely to yourself, then go write anything you like. Haikus, sonnets, limericks, whatever.

But if you hope to see your poetry collection sitting next to the work of published poets in a local bookstore, some revision is going to be necessary. This is not selling out; this is just part of participating in an artistic community. So revise your poems until they are the strongest, most unique poems you are capable of writing. Your goal is to try to say what you want to say in the best way possible (and ideally by choosing the fewest words in which to say it).

But you need to be careful not to kill the poem's energy in the process. Here are some suggestions for revising your poems:

  • A good strategy is to spend some time reworking your poems and then shelve them for a few weeks. Heck, shelve them for a few months. Whip them out later and this time view them with new eyes. What were you trying to say, and how effectively did you say it?

  • Try to be as real as possible. Editors can always smell a faker, so be sure to be honest to your emotions and say what's in your heart.

  • Don't be freaky just for the sake of being freaky. It angers us. Every single word of a poem should have a point.

  • Show your poems to some friends who will be honest with you and offer some constructive criticism you will take seriously. Let their feedback be a guide as to how well your writing is saying what you want it to. What you were trying to say and how a reader interprets it can be vastly different.

  • An important thing to remember is that you are a member of your reading audience. When selecting your poems, ask yourself: is this something I would want to read? How would this poem make me feel had I picked it up off the shelf written by another author? Would I want to buy it? Because chances are, if you aren't connecting with the writing yourself, not many other people will either.